Sometimes when other women hear that my husband died, their response is oh god I could never live without my husband I don’t know how you do it my husband is my life I just can’t imagine what this is like for you....and such.
They’re speaking honestly and truthfully and I’m sure they wish to convey every sort of empathy and sympathy and...such.
And here’s what I’d really like to say to them in response.
I can’t live without him either.
I don’t know how I’ve done these past 27 months either.
Chuck was my life and I can’t imagine my life without him.
And therein lies my grief. Therein is the grief that lives in my body and heart and soul and runs through my bloodstream and vibrates through me with each breath.
But we don’t have a choice, do we? Realistically, I mean.
We don’t do this without a massive struggle but unless we make the choice to, you know, kill ourselves, then we kind of have to just continue on, don't we? I suppose we have a choice in how we continue on; we can get in bed and pull the covers up and stay there or hide under the bed and pretend nobody can see us or we can hide in a bottle of booze or drugs or I don’t know name numerous other strategies, but then there’s the responsibilities of daily living that keep on damn interfering, so...
The sun rises every morning and there’s a part of me (okay, all of me), that curses that damn sun every morning because it wakes me from a night where I mostly sleep, thank god,with not an impossible number of wake ups, and I lie there for that one nano- second before my body feels his absence next to me and my heart is flooded with the weight of his gone-ness and the grief shoots in like a cannon explosion. Memories of every sort surge like a river through me along with the searing longing for his touch on my body, for his kisses, for his weight next to me, his voice in my ear, his arms pulling me back into bed.
Each morning is a decision made anew to swing my feet to the floor and stand up and get a shower and make a list of what must be done and what I kind of need to do but probably won’t do and I make a list in my head to remind myself to make a list on paper or text these things to myself so I won't forget them but I'm too tired to grab a pen and paper at that moment, though I know, or hope anyways that, generally, I'll remember at least one of the must-do's and I just get ready for the day. In my case, since I full-time on the road, it’s also a decision to get in my car and turn the ignition and continue this Odyssey of Love and that, believe me, takes a stupendous amount of energy but that one decision is of paramount importance because, well, I'm often in the middle of nowhere in one state, on my way to another. So drive I must.
None of us knew how we could ever do this and we don’t know how we did it, how we’re doing it and we, more than anyone, can’t imagine life without our husbands and wives and yet...and yet, here we are.
Oh, how I would dearly love to be the one to say I can’t imagine living without my husband.