The Subject No One Wants to Talk About

Dear Larry:

This one is hard.  Does it breach our privacy?  Does it diminish our promises to each other?  Does it create a crack into the protective shell that we created around us and our bond?   I have to address it because it lives for me and drives so much of my current reality.   That reality is without you.

When our spouse dies, we also lose our lover.   It is such an intimate subject that no one ever approaches it, but it is real, and it is painful.  It is not the loss of the obvious part that brings so much pain.  It is the other stuff.

I miss your touch.  If I had my eyes closed and a dozen different people touched me, I could have picked yours from the crowd.  The dance we did for 35 years made me so familiar with how it felt to be touched by you that I knew the moisture of your skin and the temperature of your hand.  One of the last things I remember looking at before they took you away from me was your hands.  I missed seeing your class ring on your right hand.  The two other things that you always wore were now gone too.  Your bracelet and your wedding ring.  Your hand looked naked without the ring I placed there 35 years prior, and I remember touching that spot before they took you away forever.  Your bracelet was now on my arm next to the identical one you put on me so many years ago.  You loved our bracelets and the meaning that we attached to them.  To this day, I have not taken it off since screwing it in place on the night you died.

I miss your physical protection.   The safety that you offered me when you wrapped around me made me feel like nothing could invade our world and that if attempted that you would ward it off in order to keep me safe.  I took for granted how welcoming you were whenever I reached for you, and you were always withing arm’s reach.  God, I miss that.

I miss the sensation of your skin on mine.  Does it get more intimate than this?   There is no reason to try and hide anything because this is the safest place to be vulnerable and you were there to catch me if I fell.  You slept with you chest against my back.  Your skin on my skin.

Most of all I think I miss knowing that for one person on this earth I was the most cherished thing.   After feeling so valued for all of those years with you, the contrast now knocks me off balance.  Feeling not cherished is a sad and lonely place and there is little sense on looking for it now that you are gone because no one can fill that gap for me.  No one will ever to be able to do it like you did.

I never told you this and I think I made the right choice in keeping it to myself.  You knew that all of my life I got flashes of intuition.  Someone once told me that these were messages from spirit guides, and they warned me so that I would never be surprised.  One night after you had been diagnosed but before you went to the hospital, we had a beautiful and intimate night.  After you went to sleep, I remember stroking your face and watching you.  Then the thought came to me:  There will one day when it will be the last time that this happens.  And sadly, this was the last time.  I never told you because I did not want to ever breathe the words “last time” and make reality that there was a real possibility that you might die, and your side of the bed become empty forever.

Damn it.  I lost my lover.  I miss my lover.  I miss everything about this part of our marriage and there is a part of me that is angry that it is gone.  I am not angry with you because you did not want to die.  I am angry with the circumstances left behind after all is said and done.  I miss you physically.  I miss your touch.  I miss us as a couple.  Please know that I hold these memories so sacred and that forever I am

Your wife and lover.