It’s been three years, three months, three weeks, and three days since the death of my life mate/soul mate. With all those threes, this should be a mystical day, but it’s a day like any other. I’m not especially grieving, though I’m not ungrieving, either. It’s just me and my normal underlying sadness, my missing him, my wondering about the future.
I’m to the point where I need something more, something beyond the bleakness of my daily life, but that “something more” comes in small doses and is not enough to sustain me. I take quick trips, go out to lunch occasionally, write a little, go walking in the desert. Although my 96-year-old father is doing well and is still quite independent, I am on a short leash (or at least it feels that way) since he likes having someone around in case of emergency.
But, that is just an excuse. The truth is, I don’t know what to do and wouldn’t know what to do even if I weren’t here looking after my father. I’d travel, of course, but it seems to me that taking an extended trip by myself would be terribly lonely and perhaps even feel pointless. I drove by the ocean the other day and couldn’t think of a single reason to stop. I’ve been to the ocean, so it wasn’t anything new. Just a lot of water. (In my defense, it was very late and I was very tired.)
I try to be upbeat, try to believe in endless possibilities (because of course, that is the nature of the universe), but I don’t yet see those possibilities in my daily life. I try to think differently, to feel differently, to open myself up to change, but I’m always just me. Alone. Waiting.
Maybe things will be different when I’m totally alone, when I am free of responsibilities, but I no longer know if that will make a difference. I feel self-indulgent at times even mentioning any of this, considering what terrible lives some people are forced to live, but I can’t live any life but my own. And my own feels empty.
If it sounds as if I’m feeling sorry for myself, there’s perfectly good explanation for that. Today I do feel sorry for myself. I have managed to get through three years, three months, three weeks, and three days since his death, and I will continue managing, but I wish I wanted something, was in love with something, felt something besides ever-fading sorrow.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.