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I suppose I never will.

I can feel like I’m moving in a new direction, or letting go of all the painful things; only to quite suddenly miss him like he died just yesterday.

And in the past week, he’s been back in my thoughts. I long for him in the morning when I wake up, and his name is somehow written on my eyelids when I try to sleep.

It’s not like I have some kind of special date coming up. We’re coming close on the half-year mark, but I know I’m not hung up over it. I passed all my important dates this Summer with grace and ease, relatively speaking. I held my common tears and bit my lower lip in defiance. Grief did not take the best of me this year. I doubt it will do so, again.

But I really miss him lately. For no reason other than I miss him. I miss him enough to dream of his face, and his smile. To have a stolen moment with him, as if I have to ask for one. And his voice was so perfect in my ear, that I lay in bed for a few minutes past dawn, replaying it over and over again.

I wrote more poetry, thinking that would somehow expel what feels like an on-coming storm. It only made me realize how fresh I can bring him to mind.

I don’t have any  clichés or fancy words to say this time. I don’t know why I feel surprised that somehow my thoughts of him cannot be reality. I only know that I find myself wondering when I’ll see him next, as if he was just here. I have to remind myself that I can’t wish for what cannot be, and the disappointment feels foreign. I feel as if I am just figuring this all out all over again.

Will it always be this way?


Lucid 

We are ghosts here, pretending the party still lives.

The Sun; to poke his latent fingers through the broken glass,

pays no mind to our borrowed rally, its beams piercing right through.

And in my bony fingers, I possess a thousand breaths, each one

from a different moment touching your skin; and your arms, they

fit like branches around my neck.

We intertwine, growing vines and shedding dead leaves.

Around us we are all at once Fall and Winter;

cold and falling, but always alive.

The taste of you decays on my lips:

a fragment of old flowers and the memory of your favorite mints.

If I close my withered lids, I can see your face, green from

your dashboard radio, and hear the old lyrics to our favorite

echoing tunes.

So long ago, when the word girl could describe me

with impatience and awkward lust.

When my desire was stronger than my need,

and I so often confused the two.

My heaven is a vapor, a grey memory for

someone else’s sunrise dreams. Those last

vibrations, still bouncing around,

becoming ever quieter still. The last chance

to hear you say “I love you,” exactly as you did.

My grip, like Death, to refuse release on what I once

knew, keeps me a phantom, an ivory skeleton, hanging

silently in my darkened closet. I can wait here, and I do.

It’s easier than you think.

It’s important to point out that it happens, just like that. I’m talking about grief and how it can attack you at anytime, no matter how far away you are from Point A. 

It can be so quick. I could be reading a book called Little Bee, and there is a character, and she is Sarah. She is missing a finger, and laughs because it still itches. And the grim-faced policemen are forced to blurt out the news that her husband died suddenly at his home. Apparently, he just dropped dead, just like that. And she gets to pick out an oak casket, and she gets to explain to a four-year-old what death means. And she marvels at how it hasn’t even hit her yet.

Well…why would it? But she isn’t real, and her character-husband didn’t really die, and even though it’s true how oddly funny funeral salespeople can be, (oak is such a classic choice). I didn’t go with oak. I went with aluminum, (I think?). It was a brushed silver casket, because Jon liked brushed silver, and I picked some sort of golf stationary, (Oh? Did he golf, too?) and it was only because it had trees. Jon liked trees.He never golfed.

Suddenly, I am there. I am right back in that odd-smelling office, with the odd-cookie-baking sales guy, who was LDS and didn’t want to be buried with shoes. I hate the smell of lilies and old coffee. I hate the look of gleaming brushed silver, and I hate the pall of old, yellowed memories that find their way through the words of some stupid book that was great all the way up until now.

I don’t even want to read the rest of the book, (which is undoubtedly very good), because I don’t want to read how the author totally messes up the real season of grief that his Sarah-character won’t really go through. It will just be a blemish on her weird, written up world, but I won’t be able to ignore it. I won’t be able to pretend that his Sarah didn’t lose her husband to quick death, like I lost mine. It will bother me until I read the same passage again and again, and marvel at how she doesn’t seem to be feeling the same way I felt. Until I remember that she doesn’t breathe the way I do, and she doesn’t really exist the way anyone does.

 And this, my friends, is how Grief, with its ever-present rumble, its low-vibrating scowl, can sneak up and destroy you in two minutes.

We should win awards for how well we are able to quickly pull ourselves together and pretend it never happened. Books, magazines, blogs, billboards….they should all come with warning labels. Mine fields ahead.

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that “time will heal,” or “time will make it better,” I’d have a lot of nickels and no where to put them.

But I am want for nickels and I know from experience that time itself will not heal anything.

Between today and where I was in May of 2008, there has been a lot of laughter, and a million tears. I have cried in anguish, and I have relished accomplishments. I have felt lonelier than I ever have, and I have been grateful for the support of my many friends that never seems to cease. I have lived enough, in these 29 months, to believe that despite the invalidation that such a phrase can conjure in a newly grieving person, it does come from a very profound truth. However, it’s not a truth that can be explained away by an insensitive platitude. It must be experienced.

I now think of time like a vessel. Life and all it’s inhabitants are on a journey, and whether we participate in it or not, that vessel keeps moving, ever forward. You cannot stop it, and you cannot put your hand over your mouth and wave to get off. There have been many times that I have wanted to do so, and despite my retching and desparate waving, I am still along for the ride. Eventually, I chose to participate, and in doing so, I found my first real moments of healing.

The problem with trying to explain my thinking now, to someone who is where I was then, is that newly widowed people are so saturated with Death. It is everywhere we go: in our clothes, in our hair, on our walls, and in our hearts. Like a black hole, it swallows the life we wanted to live completely, and we are left numb and confused, while people struggle to comfort us. It tells only of an unknown future, and that can be completely overwhelming. It scares us into believing that we have no reason to continue, and we feel completely vulnerable. How, then, can a future, that brings us there via time, be of any comfort at all?

The answer is simple, but it stings. And Death wants us to hate it. 

We have to live. That is what time holds in it’s mechanical fingers: life, and the time we have here on Earth. And to most people, that means two of the worst words ever said to the bereaved: Move On.

I totally disagree with this, and call it an outright lie. People have no idea what it means to “move on.” I think that phrase is nothing but an indirect way of saying, “I don’t want to deal with it anymore.”

No. Living doesn’t not mean “Moving On,” and I would never suggest anyone try to do that. No one really moves on from anything, in my opinion. Just ask anyone about things they dealt with in their past. Most of them will tell you ever ready sob stories about their difficult childhoods and prior experiences. And if they don’t, they will tell you about the great ones. Either way, they haven’t moved on from those things. They have simply learned to live with them.

We’ve all heard the adage about diamonds, and how they are forged from carbon, ugly and uncut. We all know that a jeweler will work with their many facets, cutting and polishing them until they are worthy to be sold for a large price. We all know that what it takes to end up who we are, whether we are delicate and diplomatic, or stoic and steadfast. Whatever areas we are of strong character, we all know what it has taken to get there.

Like those experiences, this one will cut us a new facet to catch a new light. And it is not necessarily time that will take us there, but a life lived, in pain or in pleasure, between the past and the future. It is a multitude of experiences and lessons that will elevate us to understand that time is irrelevant. What matters is how we lived.

Another tragedy has struck my neighborhood and social circle. Tonight, I pray for a family who has been victim to the tragedy of losing a son, a husband and a father. It’s close enough to home to keep me up. I can’t stop thinking about them.

I didn’t realize it would be so hard to watch someone else go through the pain of loss and widowhood. Most of the time, my peers are widows who are either around my time line or farther out. Some are earlier widows, but they are mostly faceless names on a computer screen. They are not someone I know, who is going through something very similar to what I went through two years ago.

It’s bringing a lot of stuff out from under the ground, that I thought I had gotten passed.

Right now, I’m just trying to find the right words to say, if the opportunity arises. What DO you say to a sudden widow? What do you say to a care-giving widow? And the people in between? All I can do is tell them what I know.

I realize that there are a lot of newly widowed people who stumble across this blog. By the keyword searches people are using, there are a lot of broken, confused and hurting people, looking for answers and maybe a little comfort.

In retrospect, there are two major things I learned: Don’t rush to the finish line, especially if you can’t even see it, and All forward motion counts.

I will not tell you that this goes away with time or that you’ll be better within a year. Instead, I’ll tell you to think OUTSIDE of time. Your life is going to go on, as long as you live it. That’s just how it goes. But your grief will go with you. You don’t have to think about time in a sense of having to keep up appointments and stages. You’ll be depressed when you’re depressed. And you’ll be angry when you’re angry. You’ll be lonely when you’re lonely, and you’ll be in denial for as long as you are in denial. I don’t believe there’s a set strategy to the process of grieving. It’s a process that we have very little control over. When we try to control it, it waits for us to exhaust ourselves, and then starts all over again.

This is true for the amount of time that one grieves. For some people, it may only take a year or two to accept their new sense of normalcy and continue on with their lives. I’ll put those people in a very small percentage, however. I think the majority of young widow/ers find themselves at a year, and cannot believe that it’s gone by so fast. They suffered through an entire year of Firsts, where they had to endure holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, accomplishments, hardships and everything else without their spouses. While the loneliness can make it seem long and painful; most widow/ers find themselves at a year and think, “Already??!!”

Then the second year of Reality hits, and the grieving can find themselves more alone, and more aware of what has happened. The second year was a little harder for me, because people surrounding me were passed their period of grieving for my husband. But I wasn’t. I spent a year hiding the fact that I missed him so much, as much as ever, and that I was no where near being “over it” as some people expected, (and wanted) me to be. It hurt to lose impatient and clueless friends, whom I thought I could count on to comfort me still. But for them, my time was up, and Reality began its harsh lesson.

I had to teach myself not to put too much into the far off future. I don’t really care what happens when I’m an old lady anymore. That will happen if and when it happens.

It’s kind of silly, since I planned on growing old with my husband, and he didn’t even make it to 30 years old. How do I even know I’ll make it to my birthday in six months? I don’t. While I understand that planning and preparation are important, they don’t rule my life anymore. I make a goal, and if I reach it, I’m ok. If not, there are other goals and other ways to live my life.

I also had to accept that I am walking at a totally different speed than just about everyone on this journey, and everyone outside of it. And that is just fine. I know that I will make it to the other side of this, because I’m going forward. Sometimes, it may feel like I’m going backwards, but I’ve learned that a moment with the monster known as Grief does not mean I’m regressing. It does not mean I’m losing progress. It just means that I’m still working through the debris from what happened to me. It’s a process, and as long as I keep pushing forward, it counts and I continue. There is no real time line, and I’ve read from numerous sources that most people accept their new sense of “normal” anywhere from 3 to 5 years out. And that’s a rough estimate.

There is no order of stages that one must follow. Most people feel a mixture of all the stages at any point in time,  especially in the first year. This is normal. It is also normal to not feel anything at times. Numbness and denial are the body’s way of coping. They buffer the reality that our conscious selves are not ready to face.

Some people remark on this as some kind of supernatural inner strength. I don’t know about other people, but that bothered me a little bit. I did not feel “strong” despite arguments to the contrary. I was simply trying to live through what I consider to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to face in my life.  It’s very much like being chased by a train, speeding on a bridge that’s suspended above a giant ravine, thousands of miles up, without a shoulder to avoid.  What do you do? YOU RUN. And when your life as you know it turns upside down,  you don’t get a time out to freeze everything and breathe. You just deal. Some people call that strength, and that’s ok. But when it’s either sink or swim, most of us make the choice to swim. I will say that this kind of thing does MAKE one stronger, in that they are now aware of what they can survive. It turns one into a “thriver”, regardless of their situation. And that’s what it’s supposed to do.

There are tons of books about widowhood, grieving and how to gently and quietly get over it and live a new life with actual joy and happiness. I can even recommend a few, because some are actually good. But the past two years have taught me to bite my tongue, unless asked. Joy and happiness seem very far off for the recently widowed, and it’s not something they can identify with.

Instead, I’ll close with this: Drink water, because dehydration only makes things worse. (crying can make you dehydrated) Try not to get so drunk that you wake up still a widow AND regretting last night. That’s a terrible feeling. Talk to your doctor if you’re feeling suicidal or think you need more help – DON’T BE ASHAMED! And finally: take it slow. If  you think you can’t survive, try surviving just 5 minutes. Then try 10. After that 20, then 30, then an hour, then a day, then a week, and so on and so forth. For me, I paused at a week for a while, and then it was “month to month.” Now, I can handle whole seasons knowing I’ll make it to the next unless The Almighty has a different agenda.

At two years out, I am able to focus on the task at hand, which is just learning how to live in this new reality, and make the best of it. Coming from a place where I couldn’t even breathe, knowing that my husband wouldn’t be there to breathe with me, I think I’ve come a long way. And eventually, so will you.

The concept of dating and love has become a serious enigma for me. I believe I have a lot of life left. It’s possible that I don’t, but for all intents and purposes, I’m still living. Therefore, I must have more time.

And the obvious conclusion that everyone comes to is that I probably shouldn’t spend it alone. I probably shouldn’t spend it without a partner, or at least someone to see movies with. Worst-case-scenario, I should at LEAST have someone to sit quietly with me, to avoid dining alone, and to sit quietly next to me in a movie theatre.

I’ve entertained the idea of another Mr. Right, who strolls right into my life and rocks my world all over again. This mysterious man, who makes falling in love sound like a good idea, who loves my kids like his own and eagerly fathers them into adulthood with me, and who has no issue with the Jon-shaped void in all our pictures and in the deep recess of our hearts.

I’m sorry, but I have a hard time believing that he exists. I know that there have been many widows with children (and widowers), who have found that one special person who fits that bill. I am happy for them! It’s actually rather common. But for whatever reason, I’m having a seriously hard time believing that he’s out there for me, too. Not that I am unworthy or even unattractive; because this is deeper than that. But I have a strong tendency to be wary of Captain Save A Ho. And I suspect it’s due to the fact that *I* wouldn’t get involved with a man in MY shoes. It’s more than enough drama for me.

I’m quite adverse to the drama gene that runs in my family. Aside from all the other stupid and over-exaggerated things that have happened, my grandmother was widowed three times, and the idea of having to go through this again is overwhelming and scary. I get exhausted just thinking about it.

However, my grandfather was her third husband, and was an amazing man. He helped her raise her three oldest children, along with three of their own. He loved them all, gave them all his name and provided his family with a good life, even if it was a difficult one. I’ve always wanted to have a marriage like theirs. It lasted over 50 years. And by my own witness, they were deeply in love until they both died, nearly a decade ago.

I used to think that Jon and I had that. That we had that kind of marriage, and it would last for as long as we lived. I only wanted to live my life with him, and our children. I only wanted to have the 20+ grandchildren my grandparents bragged about, and become the matriarch of my family. I was so looking forward to it.

I’m afraid to look that far ahead, anymore. People tell me that I should want to live to see my grandchildren, and I do. But they have no idea how hard it is to accept that I may have to do that alone. And I will KNOW that he is not there. I will recognize his absence in the same way that I do now. And it will hurt, regardless. It’s hard to look forward to hurt.

I’ve been given the “blessing,”  so to speak, from many of my friends, (and that list grows every day), to start dating and to find someone. They tell me that I can’t be alone, and that I will find someone. “It will happen,” they always tell me.

My in-laws made it a point to tell me that I can date anytime I like, and find whomever I need to find to be happy. I’m blessed that they’re so supportive, even when I don’t know how to talk to them sometimes. I love them dearly. I always will.

I guess what it comes down to, is that I am simply not ready to have someone new, or to even date. I don’t even know what I would look for. Do I look for someone like my husband? Someone supportive and friendly to everyone? Someone calm, and steady, against my agitation and frantic logic? Do I look for someone as nuts as I am, so that he’ll understand and accept my idiosyncrasies as his own? It all seems so complicated and overwhelming. Isn’t this supposed to be a good thing?

I’m hoping that progression doesn’t necessarily mean I need to find a man to complete me again. I’d like to complete myself, and truthfully, I’d want a man who would want me as a healed person, instead of a person healing. The irony is that I don’t see myself ever not loving and missing Jon, and that means there’s a level of healing I may never reach. I have no idea where to go then, from here.

For now, I’m just going to focus on what I can handle. It’s one of the many lessons I’ve learned from this journey, so far. Stop looking so far ahead that I forget about now. *sigh* This is always easier said than done, I suppose.

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written here, but I promise I haven’t completely neglected this blog.

I just haven’t had the right words to post here, lately. And to be honest, I have three other blogs that I keep up with, (one for almost 9 years); and sometimes the eloquence that I take pride in for this particular publication doesn’t show up when I need it to. I hide in my LiveJournal.  And my other blog is cruder, filled with my angst, as opposed to my “wisdom,” as so many have suggested is here.

But I do want to document a few things that I’ve dealt with over the course of the past five months.

I’ll try to be structured:

October: If I can be honest, without fear of judgement (or perhaps without care), I would like to confess that October was a bad month for me.  I struggled with bad decisions and stupid mistakes that I knew were wrong to begin with. Alcohol and I are no longer occasional acquaintances. And in October, I let it throw me off track. Fortunately for me, and everyone else in my city, the only that it affected was my pride. But I learned a very valuable lesson: A cocktail (or five), only makes grief worse. Especially in my case.

We’ve since stopped talking altogether, although I have had some weak moments. But the shakes and the panic attacks the following morning are enough to keep this back-stabbing frenemy from hanging out with me again. Hopefully, I’ll gain some of my self-control back.

November: I moved. I moved to a different part of town and I still hate where I live. I’m currently looking for a new place to move. Again.

November also saw a restructuring of my parenting, especially with my oldest daughter. She suffered from her own form of grief, and it was evident in her schoolwork and attitude. Moving relieved some of that, and for that reason, I’d much rather live where I do now, than where I did. Incidentally, she’s back on the honor roll.

December was a monumental month. Not only did I turn 33, but things seemed to change drastically from the first day.  There was significant improvement in my mood and mindset. I could see where I was spending time with people who were detrimental to my psyche, and just halting those people from affecting my life gave me a sense of reconnection to people I shouldn’t have abandoned after Jon died. Or maybe I should have. Maybe their moment to re-enter my life came right when it did. I only know that I took too long in extricating toxic friends from my every day existence. And I have no regrets.

The past two months, I have just been rethinking a lot of things. For one thing, I realized that there has been a small measure of denial that I haven’t even begun to deal with. It’s kept me from leaping off the deep end and becoming overwhelmed with grief, but it’s also kept me at a very twisted plateau.  If I don’t focus on the fact that Jon is not coming back, (and that is hard to type as much as it is hard to say), I can easily float through my life, saying things people want me to say, and acting mostly normal (and somewhat detached – which has been remarked upon), without too much consequence.  It’s been easier to just give in to the belief that this life – this tragedy that I am faced with is not permanent.

I have only recently begun to realize how much I counted on that idea to get me through the day, let alone my life. I’ve been living every day as if Jon was on his way back home, and that I’ll simply see him when he gets here.  It has only recently occurred to me that I am going to have to accept that he will not be back, for as long as I live.

It’s overwhelming to think about.  I can’t seem to grasp that the man I vowed to love for the rest of my life, as well as his, will never return to me.  He will not walk through my door and prepare us for departure.  He will not see me through the next phases of my life. And he will not help me parent our children.

I’m willing to accept that his memory and legacy of who he was in my head, will help guide me in my future.  I often resort to a silent conversation of what he would say, when I say something to him.  It’s comforting to know that I can still conjure his voice, facial expressions and mannerisms to pretend as though he can hear me.  Maybe he can.  I honestly don’t know anymore.

But he is not here.  I cannot bring him back.  I have prayed, bargained, cried, pounded the earth above his body and become completely apathetic to the whole process.  But nothing works.  My Jonathan is gone. He is gone about as much as I miss him.  And that is very very far away.

I realize this means that I am not ready to restart my life, as I thought I would be, by this time in my grief, nearly two years ago.  It’s incredibly hard to believe that it’s been nearly two years since he walked this planet, and shared his life with me.  I can still picture him as easily as I ever could.  I can imagine his gait, and hear his vocal tone.  I know how he shifted his weight from each leg to the next, when we walked next to me.  I remember what his hair felt like within my fingers, and the cooling touch of his brow when I kissed it.

I still feel like “he was just here.” It makes no sense to me that he has been gone for nearly 22 months.

So, here I am, finding myself still broken and not close to being as healed as I would like to be.  I’m still missing him as much as I ever did, and I am still actively grieving the life and future we had as a couple.  There is very little that has changed, save for the fact that I can fake a smile on a dime, and keep my aching feelings to myself, most of the time.

I have more to say, because it’s been so long, but I’m fading.  The hour of the wolf has been staved off by 5-HTP, but it doesn’t help if I don’t sleep, even a little. I promise to write the other things that have been bothering me lately.  And I won’t wait four months to do it.

Til next time…

For the sake of myself and the readers that are comforted by what I write, I’ve decided to write more often. Right now, I’m shooting for once a week, and the day will vary.

That being said…

I realize that I write a lot of my triumphs here,  as opposed to my weaknesses. And I feel that I’m unfairly portraying myself as someone stronger, wiser and more capable than I am. In truth, I’m very much like most (or in my subjective opinion, all), widow/ers. I feel like I am stumbling through my very own “Valley of The Shadow of Death” and the shadow seems to be the mountain I need to get to.  I suppose we all get there our own way, but we all get there. And from what I’ve read, some of those “mountains” include new loves, new experiences and new things to look forward to.  Some all, some a few and some none. All of these are different.

I don’t know what my “mountain” will include when I decide to climb it again. I didn’t realize that my last one included my husband and our life together before I got to it. I didn’t realize that it had a much smaller peak then I was expecting, and I didn’t realize how low it would be on the other side. And I wish I could be positive and say “But that means the next one will be higher!!” but I don’t really believe that.

It’s not that it won’t be, but I can’t bank on it. I can only know it’s there. Some of us pretend not to notice it, and wallow in our Valleys. What can I say? I do my share of wallowing, although I try to do it alone. The issue of my pride has often been a stumbling block, but in this case, it does keep me going.

A wise friend of mine reminded me that “…all forward motion counts”

Praise God for that! It’s so true. That’s the best thing about Valleys. They’re wide and low, but they create a large berth for us to wind about in, while we make it to the other side and start to climb. I don’t know where I am in my Valley, but that’s because it’s pretty dark in the shadow. But I do believe that God has created it to be pretty much safe and wide, although painful. There are moments when I just want to stop.

Many many moments.

With all this said, I also confess to feeling the oddest form of envy or frustration for the recently deceased. As a Christian, I believe that the life that continues after this one has ended is full of God’s promise and the answers to His Mysteries. I look forward to this; mostly because it’s also stated that the worst parts of this life won’t be there. The pain and grief I feel now, that haunt me into my strangest dreams, are supposed to be finished by the time I reach the Pearlies. I do hope this is true as I understand it. From my own experience with God and His ways, I usually don’t completely understand them, but that’s another issue I won’t have to deal with so blindly in Eternity. I figure I can cross that bridge (or gate..haha), when I get to it.

And all that was necessary to understand why I envy those that have passed before me. Especially in this past year.  I have struggled with the worst kind of guilt for wanting my time to be sooner than it has been, and then frustration because I would like to know what Jon has experienced so far as a citizen of Heaven, as I believe him to be.

It’s not only embarrassing to me, but it’s confusing to many people. Earthly death is truly only hard for the Earthly Living. And while I hope I don’t die after living 80 years, I’d hate to leave my children, friends and family here to wonder and grieve over my own passing. I can clearly see how incredibly selfish it is for me to feel this way, and yet, I find myself thinking these thoughts over and over again.

Part of me feels like these are related to abandonment issues and how lonely I feel on this planet. I literally feel left behind, sometimes, and directionless. What do I do from here if my future is up there?

God has yet to answer the big questions, and it’s probably because He likes to spoon feed us with information. I don’t think it’s because He doesn’t care about our confusion, but rather, because we’re like toddlers in this era. Everything we learn is by trial and error and we have very very little foresight. Those that do, seem to graduate much sooner. I don’t tell my own toddler the Facts of Life or other things that are not right for her to know, right now. Her understanding of things is elementary, at best, and I don’t want to overwhelm her. I have a feeling that God is of the same mindset.

Anyway, I wanted to share this, because it’s something that I’ve continued to be plagued with since Jon died, and it’s a lingering effect of grief. I’m no where near the finish line to Active Grieving, but at nearly 14 months out, I can see the differences between now and last year. Things then were blurry and out-of-focus. Things now are sharp, contrasted and clear. The most painful and compulsive emotions have become more controlled. They haven’t gone away, but I have accepted them as part of my life. I miss Jon. I miss being his wife. I wish I was still married to him and I wish he never died. I’m to the point where I don’t have to point out the obvious all the time. And I usually just did it for myself, anyway.

Does anyone else have these feelings? Does anyone else wish that life would just hurry up call their number in the Great Lotto, only to feel horribly guilty about it right afterwards?  I don’t think I’m the only one, and it does help to write it out and deal with it.

I can’t figure out what it is that I am supposed to do, now.

Some moments, I think I’m simply supposed to wait until it’s my turn to join him. Other moments, I think I’m supposed to continue living, and push him from my mind.

I’m sure it’s a mixture of both.

He wasn’t a part of most of my life. A small fraction of it, really. But he WAS my life. The entire thing pretty much summed up to his smile. I would wake up on weekends to find it in my face, and I couldn’t imagine a better life.

I’m supposed to accept that, and yet, be angry about not having it anymore. I’m supposed to ask why, and wait for the answer. I’m supposed to make sense out of nonsense.

But what if there is no sense?

I hate how we humans deal with our dead. And I hate how death actually happens. I hate what’s left of it when it does happen, and I hate how we resolve it, or absolve it, or even absorb it. We bury the remains under layers of dirt and time, like bad secrets that have been discovered, and we don’t know what to do with. Is the reality of death simply that our hearts and minds stop functioning? Do we console ourselves by believing in an afterlife that doesn’t exist?

Even in my cynicism, I don’t believe that. But I sometimes think that God left us with a terrible paradox. Remains have always puzzled us. If they disappeared on their own, we might have better closure. But they don’t. They rot and fall away, into the ground and become pitiful remnants of what we remember to be a robust vehicle of life, as we are. When that life is gone, what is left is meant to humble us. To remind us of our keeping. To me, it’s an insult to the life we lead, that is supposed to be a means to an end.

I’m angry, but I don’t know what I’m angry about or at whom. God? Jon? Myself? None of these targets seems to satisfy that question. And I think I’m angry at life. I’m angry that it’s so damn short. I’m angry that I have to give up the life I was living, without consent and without purpose. I have NO idea where to go from here, and even if I think positively, it’s marred by the idea that no matter what else I do, Jon will not be a part of it. That is simply not how it was supposed to be.

We knew, years ago, that everything we wanted in our future was based upon the contingency that it would include the two of us. He was going to be part of all my future memories. My children would grow to be products of our joint parenting, and our virtues, values and faults would be evident between them. Everyone has plans like these. Why does everyone else get to keep them, and not I? Not us?

And now, no matter how hard it is to believe, I have to EXCLUDE his input, his guidance, and his very presence from my future. Sometimes, I’m sure I can feel him around me. Other times, it’s just easier to remember that I’m on my own. That I am carrying the weight of my own world on my back, and dragging my girls along with it. I’m a single parent, and it’s not my fault. I didn’t sleep around and get myself into trouble. I didn’t cheat, lie or abuse my marriage or my husband. But he was taken away from me just the same, and by a God that HAD to know that how devastating it would be to my life, and the life of our girls. A God that knows everything, from beginning to end. And somehow, that God wants me to see from His birds-eye-view. See My plan, He says…

I’m sorry God, but I wasn’t built with lofty stature or even the means to reach that high. I cannot see what You’re planning, and I cannot see how I’m going to ever stop hurting. I cannot fathom ever not missing Jonathan, and I can’t figure out what to do with all the love I still have for him, as a carnal man, and a husband. His death is completely unfair. While his life is fulfilled and completed – my life, that was bound to his, is tattered, ripped and left alone.

If You want me to see Your plan, You’re going to have to give me a boost.