A WV friend sent an email to check up on those of us who joined this club in 2013.
She wrote ”Its strange that sometimes it all seems so far away - and I wonder did I really live with this lovely man? The many photos say so.... but it is like a dream.”
How incredibly, horribly true.
I’ve done the same thing…flipping through pictures…staying for a time on the special ones…studying his face. I remember the feel of his mustache, his beard, his hair as I ran my fingers through it…his lips on mine. I remember his smell, his laugh, the way he cleared his throat, the shape of his finger nails.
I check into WV less now, but I always check on ‘my’ group, Widowed in 2013, to see the familiar screen names I know…to find out how everyone is doing. And each time, I am amazed that we’re almost ready to add a ‘Widowed in 2015’ group to the site.
So sad…so very sad…to know that more are doomed to join this club that no one wants to belong to. So sad that time did not stop when the ones we love left this world…that the world didn’t stop turning because of it. But with that email I received, I realized with a start that my world did…it stopped turning. And it hasn’t started back up again…yet(?).
Even though I am steadier, much steadier than I was, I have a deep uneasiness.
My family and co-workers often tell me how well I’m doing…how ‘strong’ I am. What a joke. Maybe they are simply glad that I don’t’ collapse in fits of tears in their presence. Maybe they say these things out of a sense of relief that they don’t have to pick me up off the floor every time they see me.
But what they don’t know (but would be relieved to hear) is that I never will…I will never do that. This gash in my soul is mine…it is private (except in Widville)…it is tender…and it burns and throbs inside me to the point that I can almost hear it. But it is mine, not theirs, to bear.
And another thing they don’t know…what I can’t describe to them is…that I feel…I feel…trapped. I am trapped in a dream, just like my friend described. Well after the 1 year anniversary, but not yet at number 2…it’s a dream. And I don’t know how to wake up…sometimes, I don’t know if I want to.
Am I imagining things? Did I ever have it that good? Am I losing my mind?
Probably all of us made this statement when we first lost the one we love (or at least thought or felt it): It is like living a nightmare…a horrible nightmare. WTF just happened?!?
Is the nightmare becoming the norm now? Is horror becoming daily life now?
Or is it that the hole in our hearts is just another wound we carry like scar from our childhood playground?
Is it that the loud silence in our homes is not so new anymore?
Or worse yet…is it that reality is finally hitting?
That this is ‘it’? This is our world, minus the most important person in our lives? This is what we have, and that’s that?
Could it be that this dreamlike state I am in is really me just fighting reality? It’s knocking on my door, but I won’t answer it?
Maybe so. In fact, probably so.
But…to hell with it. This IS my world right now and I have to live here for a while, I suppose. Just the next act in this awful play.
I have to look at my pictures some days…avoid them at others. I have to sing along with the radio to songs we loved…or shut the damn thing off because I cannot bear to hear the familiar melodies…and the memories that go along with them.
I have to exist here in this nightmare/dreamlike state and watch my Rick…the most influential person in my life…my best friend for more than 32 years…my hero…my gladiator…the most humble and honorable man I ever knew…turn into a dream. My dream lover…who I can only talk to in my heart, hold in my sleep.
This is the story I never knew…the book I never read before...not until now.
How the living become a dream.