This week will mark three years since you died. I hear the date approaching like a tidal wave roaring miles away getting louder as it gets closer. The anticipation swells every day waiting for another milestone to hit marking more time that you have been away from me. What I have observed since you have been gone is that the fear during the expectation of these dates is far worse than the actual date itself. During the wait, my mind goes back to those last days and knowing what we have missed. I should have. I could have. If only I would have. If only we could have had a few more minutes. We needed one last conversation. Did I make the right choice? Was this what you really wanted? And on and on. On the anniversary dates, I find it easier to just be able to live in memories and gratitude for you, what we built and accomplished, the lives we touched and the fulfilling years that we were able to spend together.
So much has happened! Some you would be so proud of and some you would be ashamed and broken hearted. There have been joyful times, but much of the time has been set in a mood of heartbreak. People have surprised me in both good ways and horrible ways. I have seen the ugly side of people I thought had our backs. I often ask myself how you would have handled these situations. Our styles were always very different, and I wonder how different things would be with you here or if I decided to do things your way. The results would certainly be different….I do not know if for better or worse…..but certainly different.
People, when handing out advice on someone else’s grief, will say that time heals and that it will get better. Well, I can tell you from the experience of losing you that time does not heal, and it does not get better. The void is always there in everything that I do because time cannot erase the 35 years that we partnered in everything. In a crowded room nothing can eradicate the feeling of emptiness because you are not standing next to me holding my hand.
I think you sense my sadness because you have come to me almost every night in a dream. One night I felt your thumb softly stroking my cheek and I woke up expecting to see you next to me. The sweetest dream was when you held me on our couch, and I felt your kiss one more time. I woke up feeling both happy and sad for having a real experience with you yet knowing that it was only a dream.
Three years. I still cannot wrap my brain around the reality that you have been gone for three years and you are never coming back. Know, my love, that you are not forgotten and that you live in the hearts of those of us who had the privilege to share your life with you. A life well lived.
I miss you.