Fair Warning: This post will sound angry and whoa-is-me and probably unfair, maybe even cruel, but you know what? I’m feeling all four this morning.
Since Peter’s death, I have repeated a question aloud and in my head, with a repetition envied by a skipped album Every day it slips into my consciousness, and I can’t shake it. It’s too embedded and, like a tic, it sucks the goodness out of me. The question is…why me? Why me? Why me? Why me?
I don’t understand how any of this happened to me, and, yes sometimes I wonder why it didn’t happen to someone else. Why was Peter taken from me? Why am I the widow now? Why the f-word was it me? I see couples in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and people in outwardly lousy marriages, and they still go on in their couplehood while I don’t have my other person, my Peter. Our marriage wasn’t perfect, but it was far from lousy.
When Peter died three months ago, I thought back to my teaches of my childhood for answers. I thought maybe it was God’s will, one of God’s mysteries. The thing is, now, I’m not sure if it was God’s will to take Peter from this earth. And I like to figure out mysteries not have them open like some type of cold case. I look at God, or did, as a loving God. I’m getting back there, baby step by baby step. Taking someone, killing someone, does not seem to match God’s love. I also thought maybe I was being punished, for something but I have no idea what I did to deserve it. Not a great lesson if you don’t know the reason why. Anyway, now, I don’t think any of this. I questioned everything about God when this all happened, including Her existence. I even stopped praying. It proved beneficial as I did filter out the silliness in my still-held-onto childhood beliefs. It doesn’t help answer my questions as to why it happened. Why it happened to me.
I said a few times to people, why NOT me as quickly as I question. I never meant it. Not really. It sounded good and I wanted to believe it, but I don’t. I mean, sure, I am no better or worse than anyone else. Nothing makes me special as to be Teflon to this kind of hurt or grief. Nobody is actually immune to death. While I know this, I can give you a list of reasons why not me. Not proud of it, but I can list them.
One, I already had so many health scares back to back to back these past few years, and they either put the fear of death in me, or they added long recovery/lifestyle changes. I didn’t need anything else added on. No, I need a breather and we all know, that won’t happen any time soon.
Two, I have fought for so much in my life I didn’t need another sparring challenge. I already knew I can fight. I didn’t have to be provoked yet again.
Three, from my birth, I lived with a sick father and always knew death was part of my life. I lived with its uncertainty every day for thirty-one years. I was okay, I am okay, giving this lesson to someone else.
Four, Peter gave light to my world, my kids’ world, his family’s world, his friends’ world, THE world, and we were all brightened by it. I don’t know why we couldn’t enjoy more of it, why darkness came.
Five, I never wanted to make grown-up decisions. I was content with Peter taking that over. Sad, but now being so overwhelmed by everything, so true.
And finally, six, because I am no better or no worse than anyone else, anyone else could have this instead of me.
I know. All my reasons are totally unfair. Yet, it’s totally unfair to live in grief that is constant one day, and then hits me in surges like a blast from a tidal wave the next. It’s totally unfair not to feel the happiness, the contentment, the joys anymore. It’s totally unfair to move on and experience something near good, only to be swept back into despair by a rush of grief. It’s totally unfair to be unable to get excited about a new book coming out, or a move wanted for so long because your person is not experiencing it too. And It is the most unfair not get to say a final good-bye, or I love you, or hold your person one last time, or even know his end was nearing.
Yes, others have lost their persons, some as suddenly as me, and probably, most likely, feel or have felt the same. I’m not alone in any of this. I’m writing about me right now, and my emotions, my feelings, my selfish thoughts. I mean, of course I know I’m being selfish and self-absorbed, and I’m also being real. Let me make this clear. I don’t like any feeling any of this, but here it is…another thing Death handed to me. When It stripped away Peter from me, Death stripped away my empathy and decency, leaving me bitter, and egocentric, and broken.
I don’t need answers. I’m not in the right mindset or openness to receive them. And, honestly, I don’t really want someone who has not walked this walk to give me answers. My bitterness may just strike back at them. I hope no one thinks bad of me. I know this is a very self-centered post about me. I don’t need anyone to remind me. Sigh. I guess I don’t know what I really want, other than to move forward, keep moving forward, and hope for good days. I do have those. As promised by people who have walked on this reluctant path, I do have good days.
And on my good days, I hang onto the shredded rope of optimism as it dangles me over a pit of despair. of self-absorption, of grief. On a bad day, when the longing is all too much, my grip loosens. On most days, I battle between the two with the always unanswered question of Why Me.