Two years ago tonight you died. You did not pass away or get your wings or go on to your heavenly reward. You died and even after two entire years without you, I still have trouble conceptualizing that you are not here and you are never coming back. Often, I wake up before daybreak and forget that you are gone. It takes me a moment to remember that I am there alone and your absence brings tears every single time when reality hits me that you will never again be by my side.
There is so much I need to tell you. So much has changed. Some you would be so proud to know. Some would make you angry and disappointed. Then there are those dramatic things that have happened that would simply make you ashamed. I know. I am there too. We tried as hard as we knew how. Provided as best we could. We cared and disciplined from a place of love with the intention of developing good and responsible adults. Sometimes, apparently, our best was not good enough and the interpretation of our best efforts has turned into an ugly story which lives and grows in the retelling. You and I both know the truth, but your heart would still be broken as mine is.
I have learned the hard lesson of grief. I had never before thought about grief. I had sadness and experienced the emptiness of loss before, but this is something entirely different. Honestly, grief is merciless. It sweeps into your life and simply takes over without invitation or permission. And then it takes you over. It controls your thoughts and emotions and moods and motivation and appetite and sleeping and health and never gives you the option of sending it away. It moves itself into a permanent mood of your life that you never wanted and now it is there like and unwanted acquaintance that, once present, is a continual challenge to ask to go away. But it never seems to go.
The grief of your absence has now slotted itself in the place where you used to be. When I think of you, the sadness overwhelms and even when we laugh and remember warm and tender moments or laugh at your quirks and the funny things unique to you, the grief is a shroud which covers this all never really letting joy seep though. Eventually I have come to realize that grief is now a part of me, unwelcomed, but there regardless.
What all the books and “experts” say is wrong. Grief is not a journey. It is now an uncomfortable part of my life, but it is nevertheless now a part of me. There is no such thing as “closure”. I have no idea what that is supposed to be, but it sounds like to have that I have to close the door on you, and I am completely unwilling to do that. Closure would have me put you and our life together and our memories away in order to “move on”. If that is how it is done, that I will learn to be content stuck where I am, but closure is not a possibility for me and for us.
There have been decisions that I have made for us since you died, and I pray that you are guiding me from Heaven or have taken your place as my Guardian Angel. You know how lost I am without you, and because of that you come to me often in dreams. They are comforting, oddly, but leave me with the experience of being touched by you sharing, for just a tiny moment, our life together. Your absence has left a hole so huge. You were a significance presence and your essence is missed.
Tonight, I know that I will relive over and over your last moments here with me. I can’t get it out of my head and in a way do not want to. Above all, I want to honor you for the man that you were. A man of integrity. A man of his word. A man of dignity. A loyal friend. My husband. My blessing.
I love you,