It's been a little over a month since my husband passed away. And now that most of the responsibilities have been taken care of (massive amount of work just getting insurance settled and the funeral paid for), more on that later, I have time to grieve.
Let me say my tears and words of, "I can't let him go," the day he died were nothing compared to the short weeks later.
What do I do with half a body? Strange thought, but he was my soulmate. We were truly one. There was an energy about him that I felt from the time I woke up to the time we both went to sleep at night. His energy was electrifying, uplifting, special. Often times, we'd be lying in bed, thirty minutes after we turned out the lights and I'd say, "what's on your mind?"
His surprised reply, after all these years was, "what do you mean?"
"I can hear you thinking."
"Just the..." the blank would inevitably be filled with something to do with farming. He'd turn over on his side toward me and tell me what his new plans were. Then, he'd fold me in his arms, kiss me, get out of the bed, and go to the living room to sleep in his recliner. Sometimes, he'd fall asleep right away. Most often the answer to my question, "what time did you fall asleep?" the next day would be, "Oh, about two."
How am I supposed to work? Steve was the essence of my writing. My love stories are the manifestation of his love for me. His very touch. The gleam in his eyes. I looked for that gleam when we put together the video for the funeral. I couldn't find it. I realized why. It was his special look for me. I miss that so much. Every dialogue I write was based on his words to me. He told me he loved me every morning, at lunch, when he came home from work, and throughout the evening. It wasn't something he picked up recently (because our grown children were out of the house) but from the first time he said it until the last, he told me, but most importantly of all, he showed me how much he loved me.
The sex scenes I write had all been tried out by us. And we had a heck of a lot of fun making love to one another. Often enough, our son or the grandkids would tell him to, "get a room." He'd laugh, but that wouldn't stop him from doing whatever he was doing at the time.
I find I'm questioning myself often. What if I make the wrong decision? Hence the reason I'm sitting in a small apartment that belongs to my son trying to figure out how to live without the love of my life. The grieving process is excruciating and different for everyone. There are men and women who know how I feel. There are some who, like me, left their parents' home as a teen, (18), and moved right into marriage. This is the first time in my life I'm alone. I have to depend upon myself for all the answers. I'm screwed. Let's just hope not too badly.
How am I supposed to comfort my son, stepdaughters, and stepgrandchildren when only part of me is alive? I wonder if there is anything I have to give them? I can't see my worth because Steve isn't here to tell me I'm a good woman. He was my champion. Steve was the light in all of our lives. I'm a quiet soul. I let my writing do my talking. Not Steve. He'd wake me just before going to work with a lingering kiss and groping hands. He'd walk in the door at lunch asking me how my morning was. He spent five minutes, five days a week, just telling me goodbye at the end of his lunch hour. And when he came home each evening, my welfare, my day, me, was all he wanted to talk about.
The struggle to live without that is overwhelming.
Then, I wonder what am I going to do about a career? I doubt many have noticed my absence. I'm sure people aren't rushing to find out what happened to that budding author Aine Blaze. Can I add more clients as a freelance editor? Possibly find the creativity to develop new book covers?
Actually, none of that matters. What's on my mind?
Steve hired on as a salesman at a hardware store three-and-a-half-years ago. The first week, he pulled his jeans, belt, and work shirts out of the drawers and laid them on the ottoman in the living room. I told him I was fine with him waking me up at seven a.m. to get dressed. He wouldn't hear of it. "I want my baby to get her rest," he'd say. I haven't had the heart to move those clothes yet.
Steve was a fan of westerns. I can't bear to have a DVD of John Wayne or Jimmy Stewart in the house now. His favorite dessert was coconut pie. I enjoy it as well. My sister-in-law, Steve's youngest sister, made him a pie on his last day of work. We picked it up on our way home. Over his first piece that afternoon, he talked of bright plans for our future. He only had eaten two pieces of that pie before he died. The smell and taste of coconut now makes me sick.
My days are lonely. My nights even worse. I'm sitting here wanting nothing more than to go home. But can't bear the thought of stepping foot in that house because he's not there.
I am homeless.
Home isn't a place it's a person. The one person that we meet, fall in love with and make our life with. When that person is ripped away from us, whether the illness is sudden, short, and unexpected or lingering and the inevitable outcome. Steve's death ripped me in two.
I've lost my best friend, my lover, half of me. I'll get through this because I have people who depend on me. I'm here for them. I will try, put forth the effort to get through this pain just for them. It's not easy, and frankly, I don't have the heart right now.
But I will. Because when I close my eyes I can see Steve and he's still encouraging me. The grief is just beginning. I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm sure in the distant future I'll be able to remember him with only love and none of the pain. But for now, both are my companions.
I just wish...
And that's what grief is. Or mine anyway. Thanks for letting me vent.