Grief Update — Twenty-Three Months

Twenty-three months ago my life mate/soul mate died. There are times when his goneness from my life is as fresh as the day he died, and other times, like today, I can take it in stride. Of course, I’m dealing with a bad cold right now, and I need to keep my focus firmly on myself since grief depresses the immune system, so I’m not allowing myself to think of his being dead, and I’m not allowing myself to think of all the lonely years ahead.

Whether I take my new life in stride, or whether I dissolve into tears, it still comes down to the same thing — that he is dead. The world seemed to dim the day he died, and in all these months, the brightness never returned. I don’t know if it ever will.

People keep telling me not to live in the past, yet at the same time, they tell me that he lives in my memory. Seems contradictory, doesn’t it? My memory is the past. (Or is the past my memory?) And anyway, it’s impossible to live in the past. It’s . . . passed. Even if I could go to the past, where would I go? So much of our time together was unhappy. How could it have been otherwise with his ill heath? Even thoughts of our incredible meeting almost thirty-six years ago bring me sadness. I remember how intelligent and vibrant, wise and radiant he was, and then I remember his end where he was so drugged he could barely string two words together. But I loved him at the beginning and I loved him at the end and I still love him today.

They tell me love doesn’t die, and apparently that is true, but what does one do with a love that has no end? It’s like live wire with no grounding. Some day, I imagine, I will find a grounding, perhaps in my writing.

Today, for the first time in a long while, I felt the joy of writing. (And I had the concentration for it, something that has been missing for the past few years, not just since his death, but during the hellacious two years that preceded it.) I’m collaborating with other Second Wind Publishing authors on Rubicon Ranch, and today I had to write my chapter. My character is easy to write — she is struggling to survive the death of her husband, and somehow death keeps finding her. Art imitating life? Or just my finding it impossible to imagine being anyone else but a woman struggling to survive the loss of her mate?

The struggle for survival and autonomy still forms my days. Even when I don’t think of him, I know he is absent. Even when I don’t consciously yearn for him, something deep inside me reaches out for him. We were deeply connected for a very long time, and twenty-three months doesn’t even begin to lessen that bond.