I sit here at Mike’s old desk, a glass of wine by my elbow and the almost full moon shining brightly through the window, and wonder what I would be doing now were he still alive.
I pause for a moment and think of our other writers here and their lives; all of our struggles, changes, decisions and thoughts in the wake of our losses. And all the other widows and widowers out there, and how much pain and grief, support and commonality we share. I imagine we might all have that pit in our guts that stabs at us throughout our days, reminding us of the strange new world in which we now reside, that we didn’t ask for.
And aside from the commonalities, I think of our differences. Whether we had children, whether we have financial issues, whether we changed where we lived, changed careers…met people, lost others, as a result of our widowhood. How different our grief timetables can be. Whether we’ve managed to find a small light on our paths, or whether it is still very much dark.
In an odd way, I feel as if my life has sped up, somehow. I can only describe it as if I have been on this winding road which veers both up and down and around and around…as if I’m driving through patches of bright sunlight and then suddenly stuck in a traffic jam inside a long dark tunnel…only to come out the other side, perhaps in a dreary mist that soon fades into a bright starry night, with that glistening moon.
But the road doesn’t stop. There is no end to it, as far as I can see, and I can’t slow down, even though I’m the only one driving now. There is only the methodical plodding through, the automatic pilot sometimes, the shock of coming to in a world I don’t quite recognize blurring past me through the window. And yet I will admit, and feel grateful for this, that I have had a lot of nice moments too, that I didn’t expect. New and beautiful people around me. Things to look forward to, to plan for. I don’t know whether those things would be in my life were he still here.
Would I give them away to have him back? You know I would…and yet, I can honestly say I would miss a lot of what I find around myself now too. Maybe it’s like I’ve heard said, that life just finds a way. I think of the stories about what our coastline here in Kona used to look like before the lava flows of the 1800s covered the blanket of breadfruit trees that grew for miles and miles, the ancient sweet potato gardens, fish traps and sandy beaches. It will never be same again here, after the lava came; and yet, there are new plants and trees rising, seemingly impossibly, through the black volcanic stone. There is still life here; it’s just a different sort.
Like a flower pruned from its stem promoting another to blossom somewhere else on the vine. I guess that’s a good thing. It’s not all dark tunnels these days. I find my life fuller than I thought it ever could be without Mike, even as he alone was my fulfillment during our days together. The difference is I know nothing is permanent now. I am not fooled into thinking this flower can’t also fade. So I am both careful and throwing caution to the wind at the same time.
I miss him to the core of my being and know I always will. Him, and all the little things, all the bits of life we shared together, the adventures, philosophies, laughter and even the challenging moments. The way my world was with him in it. But I know it’s important to say that I’ve found some other bits that are actually quite nice and I'm doing my best to appreciate them while I can.
I suppose, this is the nature of life, the universe and everything.