The word "acceptance" has been like a mantra to me since my husband died on January 14, 2006. For me, working to accept his death has been one of the most important steps in my own healing. I accept that Ken is gone. I accept that I must continue to live well without him. I accept that I will never forget him and that the sadness of his death and the joy of our 15 years together have woven together as part of the person I am today.
I wrote this poem to confront head-on the way that the death of a loving spouse absolutely confounds us. Even though death is part of the bargain we ultimately must accept as part of the price of living, I have found that acceptance of it takes a lot of hard work, time, and struggle.
Here. Forever. Gone.
I get it now.
You are really gone.
Grasping your infinite absence:
Like trying to understand
We're part of the Milky Way
While we stare at it overhead
On the darkest of nights.
You aren't coming back to me ever
Even if I hold your memory like a baby,
Even if I never stop writing you onto these pages.
And you are never leaving me either.
I can't write you out of me
Or find you when I pin my hopes
On the wrong guy over and over, I try.
You're staying here
Where you entered,
Where you launched
The gentlest, most peaceful takeover in the history
That continues word by word.
In the darkest night I am
Always alone now.
You are everywhere and nowhere.
I am lost in your magnitude
As I have been since the day
You crossed my threshold
And the night you crossed yours,
Never and completely disappearing.