1). …I didn’t have to see couples, especially aging couples. They remind me of what will never be, what can’t be, what I want to be. Their comfort silence, their laughter at inside jokes built on years of togetherness, their squeezes of hands and the worry wrinkling on their faces when the other ones struggles to walk, all remind me growing old with Peter, which will never happen. What I thought, what I took for granted, what I always assumed, just won’t.
2)….I didn’t read posts about and see pictures of couples on Facebook for the same reasons above. And I know, most of my posts in the past were about Peter and me. And I know, none of them will ever be again.
3)….I didn’t have to travel alone. Being in a car for eleven hours these past few days, the empty space next to me serving as a blaring reminder, made it hard to drive as tears stung my eyes. Traveling, taking long road trips in the car, was Peter and my thing. Now, it’s another thing I do alone.
4)…I didn’t have to sleep by myself in a hotel room. Not hearing Peter’s wall-shaking snores is the most deafening silence I know.
5)…songs didn’t remind me so much of him and bring out the emotions I try so hard to tuck inside of me.
6)…I cared more for what was going on with the world, in the US, instead of being so damn wrapped up in my own, and my children’s emotions, sadness, grief. Once upon a time, I would have commented on the on-goings of the election, or politics, even sports, instead of not even realizing NCAA basketball finals are getting to kickoff, the primaries are around the corner and Trump is still an evil person. But I can’t. I just don’t have it in me.
7)….I was not such a one-dimensional friend, always bringing it back to me and my longing for Peter. Instead of the confusing conversations because I am more than confused, or the self-centered conversations because pain has taken center stage in my life, I could engaged, maybe even spark conversations, keep it on them. But I can’t. Not now. And I hate this part of grief the most. More and more lately, I feel my friends are tiring of me. They don’t even seem to know what to say or do anymore, so they stop, or lessen. I feel it and I understand it.
8)…grief wouldn’t tease me, making me feel okay one minute and then so sad, the next. Consistency would be nice.
9)…my head and my heart would be in sync. My mind knows what to do, or should do, and my broken heart just can’t follow. Once, they agreed. Now, they battle leaving me confused and indecisive.
10)…everything was on me because the partnership, my partnership with a kind, gentle man, was killed off.
11)…damn it, I just wish Peter didn’t die and he was still here with me and I was whole again. I was able to move and feel and engage like my once was, instead of the awkward, shaky movements I make as I move, ill-prepared, on this road of suddenness.
12)…Finally, I wish, one day, I look back on all of this and say, “I’ve learned to live with you, Grief, and I am stronger because I did.” And then, things, emotions, my life, will begin to fall into a semblance of order. No, this is not a wish, this is my goal, a goal I keep moving toward.