How often does it strike right through you that you maybe, just possibly, will not survive this?
This being the loneliness, the grief, the sadness, the confusion, the not knowing, the uncertainty, the anxiety, the desolation of living without your person?
At times it hits me that I have now lived 1387 days +21 hours without Chuck. That’s 45 and a half months. 4 years and 9 months, going into 10.
Realizing the sheer amount of time still has the power to horrify me.
I’ve spent the years since his death on the road, driving my PinkMagic rig around the country on my Odyssey of Love, determined to make the Love greater than the grief.
But here’s the secret that, to quote e. e. cummings, is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of sky of the sky of a tree called…my life since Chuck died.
I’m tired. My spirit is exhausted. My body is, in the last few months, beginning to show the stress of the withoutness. Oh, it’s showing itself in seemingly ordinary ways: allergies, but allergies that are out of control, higher blood pressure that is not directly because of the stress of grief but the stress my body is under from allergies attacking it. Sometimes, again, I feel the blood racing through my veins as it did in the first year after his death, racing so fast that it is ahead of me.
I went to the doctor today. Again. I haven’t been to the doctor as often in my entire life as I have been in the last two months and it’s always for the same damn fucking thing; out of control allergies. My body isn’t right and I can feel it. A low-grade itching crawls along my body day and night.
I have to take care of all of this, I know. I know, I know. And I am. But there is such a huge part of me that just doesn’t care. Not because I’m depressed, but because I’m tired. I’m tired of doing life on my own. Tired not so much in body but in soul.
I know you get it and I’m so thankful I don’t have to defend any of this.
The past 4 years and 9 months as I’ve traveled, I’ve spoken daily about Chuck, about my Odyssey, with strangers met on the road who wonder why my rig is the color it is. And it has warmed my heart to do so.
For the last couple months. I can barely mention Chuck’s name without falling apart. Oh, I hide it well and take a deep breath and swallow and continue talking. But it rips my soul. It’s unbearable remembering back to our hospice time. It’s unbearable hearing music he and I listened to, danced to. It’s unbearable knowing that I’m on this earth without him.
I push through it all. I always have, and I always will, but I just need to own up that it is unbearable.
We went through a first bout of cancer a year and a half earlier than the one that killed him. After all the surgeries and radiation treatments and horror were done with, I remember thinking that I’d never known a cancer survivor before. I knew a cancer survivor! We went on with our traveling life with determination and continued it even as he sickened again. We lived life right up until he couldn’t do it anymore and I found him a hospice and he died 3 weeks later.
I need to say this and I just need it acknowledged by the world, not because I feel sorry for myself or need anyone to fix it or anything else….
I’m really not alright. I do what I do, as all of us do, and I will continue to get up every morning and interact and be in the world and the woman who does that is real.
But just as real is the other side of who I am now, and that is a woman whose heart is broken. I miss Chuck so much at times all times, and life feels so fucking empty, no matter what I do, and I know Chuck would hate this for me and I don’t know what to tell myself about that other than I’m trying as hard as I can and all I want is for him to put his arms around me, all I want is to sink into his arms and stand on my tiptoes with my nose pressed into his neck and take a deep breath and inhale his scent and his presence and his Love for me and know that my world is alright.
My world isn’t alright; Chuck is gone and that life is gone and I just need to say aloud to the world that this is not okay and I’m not stronger and I find no comfort in any of the fucking clichés out there. I wish I could scream that from the mountain tops and grip my heart in my bloody hands and hold it up in the air defiantly raging, to show how fucking broken it is. With no apologies to anyone, no necessity of explaining that no, I’m not depressed, no, I’m not this or that. It’s just a fucking broken heart, okay?
My beloved husband Chuck is dead and he was my sun and my moon and he held my heart and it fucking isn’t okay, no matter which way you slice it.
My world went dark when he died. But I’ll still get up in the fucking morning and do life, because that’s what we do.