I am no stranger to grief. When I was 24 my mother died. It took years, but I got over it. When I was 39 my father died. I grieved and got over it. When I was 50 my brother died. I miss him but I have gotten over it. On Feb. 15th, just two and half weeks ago my one true love, my husband of nearly 30 years died. Within 24 hours the son of a best friend died. Within 48 hours my sister died. I mourn for my friend, I mourn for my sister's family, but I will get over it. You never "get over" it, this I know. You move on. But the death of my Coop? Grief is not alien to me, but this loss, this pain, this alone-ness is so different, so deep, so filled with emptiness and sorrow. Funny how emptiness and alone-ness can fill you. My grief is all consuming in moments. I do not wish to bring others down by it, yet I feel I must put it down in words as best I can. I write, it is what I do. I ask that you, my readers bear with me if you can. If not, close the window.
Tonight I am alone with my thoughts, alone in this house. I have chosen to be. I needed to be. Friends and family have been with me for two and a half weeks, afraid to leave my side, knowing I needed them. And they needed to be here for me. Where might I be without them? Even more lost I imagine. But I needed to test the waters. To see if I can make it through a night alone. I needed to talk aloud to my Coop instad of whispering in the dark under the sheets in our bed. I have to believe he hears me, is by my side strengthening me, loving me. If not, how do I go on? So tonight, when all is quiet I cry alone, talk to my Coop, wail in an unfamiliar voice and write. It is in these moments of despair I can only feel what is missing.
Everything has changed.
My comfort, my strength, my lover, my most intimate friend is gone.
In one single moment that I will live over and over again, he is gone. Taken from me.
Like a light that shines brightly, then with one single click...turned off...gone.
Lights out forever.
What would I give to feel your arms envelop me just once more?
To hear your voice, the music of your laughter or see your smile,
to touch your face, kiss your mouth just once more?
Everything. I would give everything.
Now I must will myself to go on, to learn to live all over again.
How will I accomplish this without you, my strength and resolve?
How do I go on...alone, learn to live in each day without projecting thoughts into all the tomorrows without you?
And in yestrdays as well, lest I wrap myself in sorrow forever for what has been and will not be again?
They keep telling me I am strong. But in this moment, these long, dark nights of my soul I am weak, brought to my knees, the wind knocked out of me by some invisible blow. Yet I know there are others who have lost their soul mate and a part of themselves and have suffered like this. Small comfort, but I will take what I can. I must not lose sight of myself. I must carry on as if life matters even if I am alone.
I pray to an unseen force, I pray to my beloved that I may be like the phoenix that rises up from the ashes. I pray for the strength to begin again, to remember who I am. I must remember who I alone am because everything has changed.