I’m gradually moving away from the influence of grief. I’m not moving away grief itself, since there is a good chance that somewhere deep inside I will always be crying (I can feel the gathering tears even when I am not overtly sad), but I am moving away from grief’s influence. I can think clearly again, though the answers to many of my questions about life and death and the meaning of it all remain unanswered. I can focus without being distracted by thoughts of my deceased life mate/soul mate. I am not revved up with anger or guilt or adrenaline. I don’t feel quite as soul-shattered or heart-broken as I did at the beginning, and my yearnings for him are not quite as vast. His absence looms almost as large as his presence once did, but I am getting used to working around the void. I am also getting used to the unwelcome knowledge that I will never see him again in this lifetime, never hear him talk, never be warmed by his smile. (I’m just getting used to the knowledge that I will not see him; I will never get used to the fact.)
But . . . now that the big losses are a bit tamer, the small losses are becoming more apparent. I have no one with whom to share a moment with. You know what I mean — you’re watching a movie and, after a particularly touching scene, you turn to each other and smile. If I turn, no one is there. I sometimes look at his photo at such moments, but there is not much “sharing” when it is between you a piece of tinted paper.
I was also going to say I have no one to share anything with, but that’s not strictly true since I do have people I can share major happenings with. What is true is that there’s no one to share nothing with. There are so many little nothings in a day — miniscule victories or insignificant happenings that aren’t worth talking about, but that you want to mention anyway. And there are times when you’re sad or lonely or restless, and just want a moment’s connection before continuing your daily tasks. You can call someone perhaps, or email, but it’s not the same thing. By the time you make the connection, the moment of nothing has become something.
I also have no one to share the small incongruities and ironies of life with. Once walking in the desert, I saw a television on the road. So totally incongruous, it seemed as if it were an art piece in the making, and I had no one to tell about it in passing. Today I went to the dentist to have him check on a small matter, and he told me to eat lots of sticky candy. The irony of the advice tickled me (I mean, really, when was the last time your dentist told you to eat lots of sticky candy?), and I had no one to tell that to in passing, either.
Come to think of it, there is no “in passing” anymore.
I made it through some of the major traumas of grief. Now I have to try to make it through the nothings.