I was fine.
I made it through going to our diner for breakfast. I purposely flipped past the song that would make me cry on the way home on this dreary day.
I pulled into our driveway and for one quick second, looked at the beautiful red-orange leaves on the tree outside our bedroom and remembered that we bought this house this same time of year, twelve years ago. It’s a rainy, gloomy day, so, since the thought that flitted through my mind had the potential to bring on tears, I jumped out of the car and hurried into the house.
I bought a new comforter for our bed. The mattress needed flipping, and that wasn’t as easy without you here on the other side of the bed to help, but, nope, that’s just life; that wasn’t any reason to cry. I was having a difficult time getting the bedskirt on without you lifting the mattress so easily, so effortlessly, as you used to do to help out, but, again, no biggie.
After I plumped the new pillows and stood back to survey the pretty bed, I thought, He’ll never sleep in this bed again. Okay, yup, so what else is new? You’ve known that for more than a year now. You’ve had that thought a million times. It’s been examined, processed, closed. Let’s move on.
And on and on my day went. Glimpses of you, thoughts of you, memories and more memories rising to the surface. Nothing new, nothing insurmountable, nothing I can’t tamp down so I can continue on my productive day.
Cleaning, cooking, chores, laundry – that’s what this Sunday is about. Of course you’ll come to mind as I work around our house. Of course, I’ll think of you as I glance out the bedroom window and see that same tree, those same beautiful leaves, from inside. Of course, I would think about what a perfect Sunday afternoon this would have been to lie in bed in your arms. Of course. Okay, yup, time to do another load of laundry.
And then it just happened, out of the blue.
I sat down for one minute and glanced down at my Apple Watch and saw your face smiling up at me, and I lost it. The depth of the sorrow that came over me stunned me. It was like the day you died all over again.
How, how, how can you be gone? How can it STILL hurt this much?
Your death has left a void that I can’t seem to fill, no matter how hard I try.
No matter how busy I keep myself, no matter how many new plans and goals I devise to keep my eyes forward, to make a life for myself without you.
It’s still there – a yawning chasm, a deep, dark void in my life and in my heart.
I play with my grandkids, visit with family and friends, go to movies and concerts and parties and trivia nights. I read books. I go to work. I work on our business. I redecorate the house, repair things, and buy things, and do hobbies. I work on genealogy and crosswords and jigsaw puzzles. I travel.
And I write. I write out the pain. I write through the pain. I embrace the pain. I feel it, I experience it. I don’t avoid it, but it’s still here and it’s still raw after so long.
I’m trying so hard, honey, but I can’t fill the void that you left.
Year two. I guess I have to try harder.