I got through another passage – 12 weeks without Peter in my life. It still blows me away he is gone, he is dead, and for the rest of my life, I will be without him. I can’t always let it sink in. The finality of all of this enters into my mind and heart like a flash that I can’t let lay there. Denial? Not sure. Protectiveness? More likely.
Peter’s facebook account is still up. Not sure how to delete. Not sure I want to delete it. There’s something connective about his page still laying there in the cloud as if he is still out there, in some type of cloud. I still post to it. Every week. Maybe it’s my version of laying flower at a headstone. Yesterday, I posted a quote stating he did love me until death did us apart and will continue to love me until I join him. It was a beautiful quote, one I actually had been thinking about for a while now. He loved me until he died. Wow! What a great gift to me.
A few years back, a young friend of mine was devastated when his girlfriend broke up with him. After comforting him, I told him what a hard but beautiful thing to feel this deeply. It meant he loved. It meant he was loved. With Peter, my grief wouldn’t be so hard if we didn’t love so hard. And at twelve weeks, I am starting to realize the gift given to me, a gift not everyone is lucky enough, blessed enough to receive.
When Peter first died, and in the midst of my pity and anger and well, grief, I questioned if he loved me. Not liked me. Not loved me like a friend, a sister. But loved me deeply, like a partner, a lover, a wife. Peter wasn’t very demonstrative, especially in public, and he wasn’t full of pretty words or trinkets. Oh, he was probably the best birthday and Christmas gift-giver, but not a just-because, or push present giver. It wasn’t him. Truth be told, it wasn’t me even. While I did rain compliments and innuendos and ‘I love you’s’ on him, I stayed pretty dried. I once asked him during a romantic scene in a movie ‘why don’t you say that to me’. He responded, ‘because I don’t have a writer’. Yeah, I laughed too.
With the suddenness of Peter’s death, there was no final “I love you”. Those words layed unspoken in a pile with good-byes and things left unattended. I wanted the final ‘I love you’, the ‘we had a good marriage’, the ‘thank you’. All the words I needed to hear before he left me for good. But it didn’t happen like the movies, because there was no writer to our story. Instead, I started to listen to Peter’s love language – the flowers planted because they were my favorite, the meals he made because he knew I liked them, the trust he had in me whenever I went out without him, the financial decisions he made for the betterment of us, of me and the tentativeness to me during our intimate moments. He spoke a language he knew and I started to remember it.
It started when I found my love letters he kept in a box in the closet. My discovery of them squeezed my heart. I started to think, really think, about all the thoughtful, kind things Peter did for me over the years. Not for our family, but for me and me alone. It was hard. I opened up trying to heal wounds cut be grief. Although once opened, these memories began to heal me again.
While I’m far from living with the pain, living with the broken heart as Cindy McCain called it, yesterday, on the twelfth week, I started to realize the gift I had been given. The gift of loving him, of getting love from him, of having each other’s love when things went wrong or got hard. I experienced deep love, the kind of love two people share as partners in life.
I was gifted something rare and beautiful and one Peter carried with him until the day he died. A love he had with him until death did part us. He had loved me from the first day he told me he loved me, until the rest of his life. How lucky am I?