In the early years of this widowed life, it was as if a meat slicer lived inside my chest, right around my heart. The chopping sensation was a 24 hour thing and it affected my breathing. Somewhere in the 3rd year I sought out counseling and went through some EMDR sessions, along with bi-lateral brain stimulation. Both of which served to remove the meat slicer from my chest so that I could breathe a bit more easily. It was as if I could see that meat slicer sitting next to me but was detached from it a bit.
It shocked me, always, to look into any mirror and realize how…normal…I appeared, considering that I felt as old as Methuselah note of admiration and surprise to myself...I just spelled that correctly…but I didn’t look as old as that old man of myth.
I felt disconnected from the world. Adrift. Uncertain.
It took quite a few years to feel any semblance of my feet underneath me, even as I drove far and wide around the USA, towing my tiny pink trailer behind me.
April 21 is Chuck’s anniversary date. It will be more than 7 years but, as previously written, I refuse to count beyond 7 years; my heart can’t bear the addition of time. So, Chuck was dead for 7 years last year and he’s dead 7 years this year.
On a personal level, I still feel disconnected from this world in many ways. I’ve become more of an introvert. The pandemic hasn’t helped, of course, but I find that I’ve drawn what feels like a soft shawl around myself. My world is more intimate now. I lack the ability to enter into shallow talk in a group. Being in a crowd of strangers saps my energy. It hasn’t helped, either, that I stopped traveling right before the pandemic and don’t know when I can safely return to the road. I’m 100% energy when talking about life and death and philosophy and deep things, which is mostly the conversation when I’m talking about my Odyssey of Love. Those conversations energize me. Dark humor around death and grief energizes me. Some of you probably relate to that. Anything else, I’m not much good, honestly.
Otherwise, my grief is much more intimate than in the early years. Chuck, my memories of him, who I was with him…I hold those in my heart so closely and I take out those memories…faded photographs almost…and I feel his Love for me and mine for him. He is mine to hold, as I was his. I’m the memory keeper of us.
For all that I write about Chuck so often, for all that I speak of him so often, and our Love for each other, at the same time, I don’t really talk about him at all. I can’t, because how does one find words for something so intimate in one’s life? How do you reach way down into the deepest most private parts of your soul and explain to another human being what this one human really meant and what it is to live without him?
For someone…me…who loves stringing words together into story…both verbally and written…I find myself at a loss for a real expression of what my internal world really feels like.
It’s grief, yes.
But, at its truest depth, it’s more Love than is imaginable.
It’s like trying to describe a particular color to a person who has never seen color.
Love is intimate.
Grief is Love at its most intimate~