This new world of widowhood and what is different now, besides everything:
I used to love crowds of people and was a great conversationalist. I was good at making people feel comfortable and engaged with them easily. Now it’s really kind of tough for me to be in groups of anything more than 3 or 4 people and that’s usually when it’s family or close friends. I just don’t have it in me to make casual conversation. Mostly I only want to talk philosophy about life, end-of-life, death, hear other’s experiences…pretty much a buzz kill for others. I feel heavy and dark and it takes endless amounts of energy to fake being okay. Which I’m not interested in doing in any case.
A few days ago I colored my hair for the first time since Chuck’s death. I spent the last few decades coloring my hair regularly but stopped after his death. Maybe it’s a sign of something that I did this…I don’t know or care. All I know is that all the grey since Chuck’s death made me look old and frumpy and my skin looks a little better now. Grief is a sure fire agent for aging our appearance.
The longer I’m into this new life without him, the more okay I seem on the outside and the deeper and more intimate this grief actually becomes on the inside. I feel numb most of the time, even as I’m engaged with events and people. Emptiness. Numbness.
I’ve never been so at a loss as to where I want to take my life. There is no internal compass leading me in any direction, for the first time in my life. What is my passion? What interests me? No clue. No interest or energy to discover.
The only thing I believe in any longer is the love I had for Chuck and the love he had for me, and left behind for me. Am I the only one who lives on memory? I try to anyways. For some reason, the night that Chuck died, my entire life with him seemed to disappear too, and I’ve consistently had difficulty remembering anything specific about our life, or what it felt like to have his energy next to me. That’s incredibly disturbing to me. But, once again, I at least remember that he loved me and I loved him and I look at pictures to help me remember.
Seriously, all I know about my life in this time, and the only thing that keeps me from going insane as I contemplate a future without him, is the memory of his love. This is all really too much to bear. And yet, bear it I must. Bear it we all must.
Sending love to all of you who walk this path with me.