In my dreams I fall apart. It is all the hurt and anger I cannot allow myself to feel when I am awake. The dreams are strange but mundane at the same time, filled with moments from the day that just passed or the day to come and filled with my unrestrained anguish. In my dreams, I cry and I scream and it is messy and uncontrolled and chaotic.
I feel so lonely so much of the time yet I can’t reach out, even when the opportunity is there. How are you? Fine, I reply. I am not fine. Inside my body there is howling and screaming and it hurts. It physically hurts. What would happen if I replied truthfully? What would happen if I let myself fall apart during waking hours? Would the screaming end? Would I disappear or disintegrate? It costs me so much to keep myself together.
I actually feel a bit better after waking from a shattered dream.
I am tired of being needy. But I need. I need. I need. I awaken many mornings with the plea, “help me, help me, help me” running on an endless loop in my head and it is only because the dog starts whining or one of the girls gets up and my day had to start that it comes to an end. The help arrives for that moment in the form of tasks to perform. Other needs to address.
But I need. I need company. I need someone to grieve with me. I need someone to show me that they miss Ron, too. I need someone to show their outrage that he is gone. I need someone to help me make decisions. I need someone to hold me when the anxiety courses through my body. I need someone to warm my feet at night. I need someone to give me a break. I need someone to laugh with. I need someone to lean against and to curl into. I need someone to put their hand on my back or to touch my face because they love to touch me. I need someone to acknowledge that my life is in tatters, even though it looks “fine” on the surface. I need someone to know how scary it is to be solely responsible for our daughters and to make decisions on their behalf with no sounding board, no rational counterbalance. I need someone to know how overwhelming it is to take care of the house and the car and the bills and the every last detail of our existences alone. I need to come to terms with some of the final decisions that were made about Ron’s care and I need to come to terms with not having the good bye that I wish we had. I need to come to terms with how we spent the last week of his life. I need the all-encompassing ache that permeates my body to ease. I need someone to see the fatigue that resides behind my smile. I need to find the small moments of lightness that do exist but are so infrequent these days. I need someone to ask me to tell them about Ron, to acknowledge the life I had, the life that Ron and I had, before they knew me. I need Ron’s death to be acknowledged and I need to be offered condolences. Yes, even though it was almost 18 months ago. It is not too late to tell me you are sorry for his death. I need his loss to be recognized. I need to find new small victories. The fact that I left the house and accomplished a task is not carrying the same weight it did when his death was so new and getting out of bed, getting dressed and feeding the girls a meal truly was an accomplishment and a victory. I need people to stop telling me about how great it is that they and their partner did something together or made a decision together or that their husband took care of the gutters or raked the leaves or cleaned out the mouse traps. I need someone to do my dishes. I need someone to bring me a cup of coffee in bed on a Saturday morning. I need to let more people in, let people get closer. I need to fall apart.