Let me warn you. I am not in a good place this morning, thus the delay of this post. I lost sleep and woke up exhausted, anxious and in tears. It is one of those valley days that came after a fairly okay, almost touching the climb to the peak day. And so it goes on my reluctant journey.
My girlfriend came over last night. We were supposed to meet at a restaurant, but my anxiety said no. Instead, she came over to my house where we sat and talked for six hours. We talked about our kids, about our jobs, about nothing and everything. I broke down and wept a few times when Peter’s name or memory of him crept into our conversations. When she left, I stayed up until about two in the morning, crying some more, and dealing with the dread of his death that ate away in my belly. This was another night where I wanted Peter back. This time, because I wanted to share with him the highlights of my evening.
See, I was the social one of our coupling. Big surprise to those who know us. I was the one who spent time with friends over food, tea, drinks, walks, any place where we could talk. When I would come home from my outings, I immediately vomited out the details to Peter. Sometimes, in my excitement to tell all, I would spew in bouncey incomplete sentences like a rabid bunny. Peter learned to kind of understand Betsy speak, but many times he couldn’t keep up. It was one of our jokes in our marriage – Betsy speak and how to follow. (My daughter understands me because speaks my language.)
Peter was not as social. He spent his time on solo adventures like bike rides, long hikes, cross country skiing, and gardening. If he did do something with a friend, their time together did not always give them an opportunity for conversations. How do you converse on a motorcycle? Plus, Peter was more into enjoying the activity than talking. It was his way. It never stopped me though from grilling him with questions of his time spent out. Peter’s answers were given in short, precise sentences. He omitted details as he never saw the point in their importance. Once in awhile, specifics of his nights or days out with a friend, emerged a day or a week later. He had his own language too.
There are so many things causing me unfathomable pain from his death. And, last night, one more was added – the longing to talk with him, like we did, in our own language. The longing was deep, dreadful, hurtful and stole another part of me. It erased more of what will never be again, and that’s the most painful in all of this.
Every day, if not more often, another memory-that-will-no- longer-be plunges into my soul and forms another hole. With every stab and every erase of what was, I grow more fearful of losing a huge part of who I am as a person. Because, you see, Peter was so much of my definition. And how can you find meaning in yourself if half of you needs to be redefined?
Part of the journey I’m on, I suppose, the reluctant one.