Just a warning: there will be expletives ahead. I’m not apologizing because I’m an adult and I can use expletives if I want. Just fair warning if that sort of language bothers you. On with the show.
I’m almost four months out from my husband Mike’s death and it still gets me every once in a while: this feeling of utter disbelief that he’s dead and gone. I’ll be doing something mundane and it will just hit me, I can’t believe he’s fucking gone! I can’t fucking believe this is my life now! I’m never going to see his smile again, hear him say my name, hold his hand. That part of my life, the part I shared with my soulmate, is over and done.
Today my son was playing with some toys while I dozed nearby (give me a break, he woke up at 4:30am for the second day in a row). All of a sudden, I’m not sure if it was a combination sounds made by the TV, a toy and/or him, but I could have sworn I heard my husband calling my name. I jolted awake, sat bolt upright and looked around. My heart was pounding and my throat constricted. It sounded so like him but I soon realized it wasn’t, it was a combination of my drowsiness and environmental sounds that came together and tricked me; it wasn’t real.
That moment of realization, of remembering your life is missing a core element, can be very painful, especially in the beginning. In first days of my bereavement it could absolutely gut me and sometimes it still does. I wished for death more than once, not because I wanted to die, I just wanted to be wherever he was. As an agnostic this part is even more difficult. I don’t want to think that my husband just ceased to be, it’s incredibly painful to think there’s no part of him still existing somehow, somewhere. So I waver between letting myself believe his consciousness is in some kind of afterlife and facing what I believe to be the truth, that he really is just gone. Some days it’s too painful to be truthful with myself, so I believe the lie for a little while. But it never lasts.
I know this is all normal, as my therapist and multiple bereavement books tell me. But sometimes I get tired of being sad and crying; it feels like I’ve cried everyday since November 7, 2013 when the doctors told Michael and I he had cancer again after 11 years of remission. I want to move on, but at the same time I am not ready yet. I always feel this push and pull. I’m learning to be patient but it’s always a challenge.
This time last year I was heavily pregnant, just about six weeks away from delivering our first child, our son. Michael was recovering from his last surgery and we were hopeful it would be the end of cancer treatment. What a difference a year makes.