Yesterday night, I missed Peter. I missed him bad. It came over me like a sudden gust of wind, chilling my soul. It’s not like I haven’t thought about Peter since I moved into my escape apartment. I never stop thinking about him and his absence in my life. It wasn’t even because it was the eighteenth-week mark without him. That came right before I closed my eyes, which popped them open again, sending my brain into a twenty-minute sleep delay. No, I missed Peter because, lately, I’ve been thinking about our marriage – all of it, including the ugly moles on it.
In the beginning, when Peter first died, I saw only the beauty he had, I had when I was with him. I didn’t push back or forget the blemishes, even the nasties. They just didn’t exist for me, then. And let me tell you, he was a beautiful man with a beautiful soul, a certain parenting magic that can only be described as beautiful and a beautiful friend, lover, and husband to me. Peter had beauty, no doubt and I am forever grateful to have basked in it. Forever.
Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about Peter’s flip side. We all have them right? I mean, I do. My impatience is loud and nasty sometimes with a snap here and a snap there, like an angry alligator. And, sometimes, I can be rude. Oh, I can be, let me tell you. I can have unreasonable expectations, super sensitive, and also I can…wait, let me get back on point. Peter had his flaws too. We all do. We don’t go through life perfect people. And maybe as part of my process to move on, I need to face those as well. Maybe as I start my new life, I have to realize all of what is left behind. Maybe it’s all part of grief no one really talks about.
I think it’s hard to look at the entire being, especially one you can never see again. It has been for me. It’s hard for me to admit Peter wasn’t perfect. I held him in such high esteem, almost idolized him. When he died, that grew for me, in me, like a legend exploding. But then, lately, there came these wait-a-minute moments. They came every now and then in these past eighteen weeks and I batted them away like annoying gnats. It seems this past week, I couldn’t even say “shoo”. I let them come. I needed to let them come.
I am sure this need arrived during a time where I’m trying to figure out my comfort without him. Grief has not let me go, nor will it for a long time. And it throws different things at me depending on where I stand in life at the moment. Right now, I’m standing in an apartment I’ve wanted for so long with a passion I held forever, still missing Peter, so much. Grief is throwing this honest look my way because I’m ready to take a peak. It hurts, sure, because I also am taking a look at my role in all of this. Marriage is not an independent institution. And really, I don’t think less of Peter. What it does do is present more of Peter that I miss.
I know that sounds weird, to miss the flaws of a person. I thought so…until I reread what I wrote in my third book last night. I wrote this before Peter died. I let the book lie for a while, and recently, I started to chip away at it again. I read this one passage where the main character, in her inner dialogue to the reader, says “flaws are part of the whole of a person and you have to love these parts to love the whole”. And she’s right. Flaws are part of the whole. Peter’s flaws were parts of his whole, and I loved him, wholely. Damn, my characters are smart. (NOTE: of course she does not mean abuse. That’s not a flaw, that’s an evil and it’s illegal.)
I won’t go into Peter’s flaw because they’re not the point. Plus it doesn’t really dim any of his beauty, just makes it all the more real. He was real. What we had was real. If I only saw his beauty, if he only saw mine, we would have the phoniest marriage on the earth, with the exception of one of the Kardashian’s. But we didn’t. And seeing his flaws now, front and center, is part of grieving the whole.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence it comes during a time where I am starting to look at my needs and figure out where I am to go from here. This may be another healing point. It could be I’m at a turn in the road of grief and I’m headed to a smooth part…before I’m thrown into another turn again. Maybe, I have time now that things have settled a bit to reflect on everything. I am thinking more and more about Peter, as a whole person our marriage, my role in our marriage. Or possibly, it’s a stage in grief left out, a secret one no one wants to admit to, like a person’s flaws or an imperfect marriage is shameful.
It doesn’t matter. All I know is that it’s happening. And it makes me miss him. It makes me feel new feelings I’m not sure I like as I thought I was getting closer to free. That will take a long time. And, really, this is all a journey, a reluctant one, one I will be on for a long, long time. There will be other things thrown at me that I can’t explain, or don’t want. But this one, this double-take at the wholeness of Peter, our marriage, and my own flaws, this I needed. I needed to see the beauty of the whole. Or so it would seem.