Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Twenty-four months, 730 days

He’s been gone for twenty-four months. His absence has filled 730 days. The smell of his shampoo has faded from his pillow case. Most of his clothes have been donated. 

At Giverny, in 1991

And, yet, I still half expect to see him when I walk into our bedroom, or walk past his office, or hear a man’s deep laughter, or glance out the window into the garden.

I still find myself thinking, “I need to tell this to Gayland,” when I hear news of an old friend, or see something funny, or learn something new.

It still seems somehow wrong to be watching the continuing episodes of The Crown without him – and certainly it’s less fun without my resident historian telling me all the things they got right – or wrong.

I am able to listen to music now, something I haven’t been able to do until recently without completely losing it. And while in church I still can’t sing hymns, I can sometimes sing the service music. Who knows why I can manage one and not the other?

The problem is, our partnership touched every area of my life. His love and support was a constant presence, no matter what I was doing.

On still too many days I am overcome with the feeling that nothing is worth doing without him to share it or applaud it or just enjoy it. There are still so many days when getting out of bed is a damn miracle, much less being focused enough to work. At times the energy it takes to walk through the grief into the day is enormous. Who knew an absence could weigh so much?

So when people ask how I am and I say, “I’m here,” I’m not being cute. I am telling the truth. Sometimes it’s a huge achievement to just show up.

I miss you so, my love.