It’s been three weeks since my lifemate died. I feel as if I am in an emotional whirlpool, spinning round and round, never quite knowing where I am or where I am going. I have days of relative calm where I can be glad he is finally at peace, then something happens to remind me of my loss, and grief pulls me under. Most recently, I was cleaning photos out of my computer when I came across an image of him I didn’t know I had. (We did not take pictures of each other, so the only other photo I have was taken 15 years ago, and it does not look like him at all.) Last August, we took a trip to the north rim of the Black Canyon. (It’s only 20 miles away, but because of the bad road, it might as well have been 200.) The photo I found is of him, alone in that desolate place, with his back to me, looking at . . . eternity, perhaps.
I never expected to grieve so much. He was sick for so long and in such pain that we didn’t have much of a life together the past year or two. I struggled to live while he was dying and thought I succeeded, but nothing prepared me for this total devastation. It turns out that all of it, the good and bad, was part of our life together. In the movie Three to Tango is a film clip of a movie I have never seen — I think it’s Of Human Bondage. The woman in the clip asks: “Will we be happy?” He answers, “No, but does it matter?” And, for us, it didn’t matter, at least where each other was concerned. We were connected, no matter what. And now that connection is broken. And I feel that I am broken, too.
I know someday I will find my way again. I know someday I will be able to laugh, to find joy in living again. I know that someday I might even find a new love. But for now, I don’t know how to be.
Hospice hosts a grief support group, and I’m thinking of going. If he were alive, I would never consider it — we were always each other’s support group. But if he were alive, I would not be grieving.
I hesitated about posting this — I do not want people to feel I am soliciting sympathy — but this is a writer’s blog, and what is writing if not life?