I have to make an effort not to put pressure on myself to get through this faster than I’m ready. Faster than is good for me. It occurred to me that the anguish I feel makes his presence more immediate, it keeps him close. There’s a part of me that feels somehow if I give myself permission to move beyond the distress, it will mean that he wasn’t that important to me. I’m not ready to give myself that permission. But, I don’t want to make it seem as if it’s as easy as just deciding to move past the pain. Believe me, I would if it were so easy.
There is a whole new way of life that I have to invent. I still find myself turning to ask his opinion of something, or being caught short by something that he would have caught, but I missed. It really is like having a phantom limb. I can not comprehend that this vital man, so full of life, is just…gone. I’m still depending on him to have my back, and it’s an almost impossible adjustment for me to make. I keep a picture of him on my nightstand, and every night I kiss him and tell him goodnight. And then I say “How is it that you aren’t here with me?” I really am bewildered. There are plenty of things out of my sight that I know are still there, like…Florida, or my car sitting in the driveway. I suppose that would be the Valhalla known as acceptance. That place is separated from me by a massive divide – I can’t even see the other side. But I have to believe it’s there, and I will make my way to it.
So, I will continue my (mostly) forward trajectory. Even with the constant setbacks, I have to start again and keep moving forward. What other option is there? I can’t curl up in bed for the rest of my life, as much as I want to most of the time. (how much? hint: A LOT.) Stephen would never forgive me if I buried myself with him.
We don’t deal with death publicly, openly. There’s no rulebook, or set of guidelines, that will lead you by the hand. To tell you what you need to do to accept that death has happened, that the person you love does not exist anymore. We can do it easily with a pet goldfish, why is it so hard with a person? Obviously you have more invested in a husband than a hamster…maybe that’s the answer? I don’t know. It’s more acceptable to publicly mourn a pet than a family member. When people see my locket, they visibly recoil. No one wants to ask who died.
So, I’m left to work through my bewilderment on my own. Well, while sharing it with the whole world here, haha.