It’s been 3 1/2 years. Almost exactly.
He’s dead. He’s not coming back. They took his body, stuck it in an incinerator and presented me with a very lovely, beautifully decorated box of what remained of him.
Some of his cremains are in the Squamish River.
Some of them are in various other rivers.
Some of them are in my skin.
Some of them sit on a shelf in my living room.
Some of them travel with me as I go to various places.
But he’s GONE.
And his absence leaves a hole in my heart that I don’t know how to heal. Every new thing, every milestone that hits the wound rips open and bleeds a little more.
At the same time, I can’t live in constant pain. I get told by people that I am grieving too hard, having a pity party, holding on to the past.
I get ripped open by people because I still love a dead guy and the dead guy’s absensce still causes me enormous amounts of pain.
How do I live with both? I thought it was going to be a matter of I fell in love again, the new love would give me joy, the joy would buffer me against the sadness but when the sadness hit, the new love would be the blanket I would wrap myself in while the pain washed over me.
The new love didn’t see it that way, and that fell apart, and now I live with loving a dead guy AND a live guy, neither of whom I can lean on, neither of whom I have a promise of growing old with.
I want to be happy again. I have been. I am. But I want to be HAPPY. I want to be sitting in my own living room, not dragged down by depression and sadness and grief. I want to be as ok alone as I am when I’m snuggled up to someone.
I wonder; am I holding on too hard, missing him too much, trying to be the “perfect” widow? ?
Or am I just feeling, just loving, just being?
Someone said it’s at least 5 years before the pain won’t rip me apart anymore. And then I read from other widows who are STILL going through pain as fresh and acute as it was 3 1/2 years ago, 2 1/2 years ago, a year and a half ago, 6 months ago… it still hurts. It’s still painful and lonely and sad for them.
And I don’t want to be there. But how to live with both? The joy of a future being built as the pain of a future lost?
I don’t know. I don’t know the answer.
Just as I can’t act my age because I’ve never been this old before, I can’t manage my grief because I’ve never been 3 1/2 years a widow before…