Somehow, I keep finding myself explaining myself and my situation over and over again. Sometimes, the words get stuck between my teeth, and as much as I want to shout “MY HUSBAND DIED!”; I cannot. I end up softly mentioning how Jon died almost a month ago. A month ago.

To some, I don’t have to lower my voice. I simply speak: “My husband just died”

To others, they seem to need me to repeat myself. “My husband just died. MY HUSBAND JUST DIED.”

And it still doesn’t seem real to them.

I don’t blame them. It doesn’t seem real to me either. It doesn’t seem real to me at all. His pictures. His clothes. The fresh memory of his stubble in my hands as I kissed him. It seems as though all those things can just happen again, at any moment. He’s not really gone. He’s just not here right now.

But I’m lying. I’m the biggest liar. I never knew how badly my heart could lie to me, because it cannot handle the truth. I can’t believe I’ll never see his face in this life again. Or that he came to this demise. How can this be? How can he be dead, like a squashed bug or a falling bird from a tree? How can he join the ranks of the past, instead of being a part of the present? How come he is not going to be in my future?

These are all rhetorical, obviously. There are no answers. I can dream. I can pretend. I can even carry on a typical Jon-and-Maria-Conversation in my head, while everyone else lives in the real world. I can do all these things.

But I cannot touch his face, or kiss his hands. I cannot wrap my arms around his waist and burrow into his back as we sleep. I cannot look up to his eyes in the shower, and see the beautiful color of his auburn hair, wet and finger-tossed, above me.

And I have to keep explaining that to myself. And to everyone else. He’s dead. And the dead cannot continue to live. It’s the plainest of truths, and the hardest of all to swallow.

Missing him no longer quite describes my despair.