In This Amount of Time, By Now

gray bicycle chain on orange surface
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on

In this amount of time, I could have the house more ready to sell. In this amount of time, I could have written my third book and promoted the heck out of my second one. In this amount of time, I could have lost weight, gained it back, then lost it again. In this amount of time, I could have completed my census form and been on a political campaign, or at least touted a candidate. In this amount of time, I would have been to see my daughter five hours away a few more times, visited my son regularly and popped in on Mumzy while she lived.  In this amount of time, I would have celebrated two and a half years of working at a Fire Station. In this amount of time, I would have watched another season of This Is Us. And in this amount of time, I would be living rather than surviving.

By now, I wouldn’t have Discovery. By now, I wouldn’t be writing in this blog. By now, I wouldn’t have meltdowns of sorting through stuff and repairing a house in disarray.  By now, I wouldn’t feel pain just from being in my house. By now, I wouldn’t have my own credit cards or credit. By now, I wouldn’t be grieving my mother without special support or living through this pandemic alone. By now, I wouldn’t have only one car, fewer dishes, my own style of furniture, additional cable channel to entertain me, the emptiness at nighttime, and the lackadaisicalness that only comes with persevering rather than feeling alive. By now, I wouldn’t have known the specialness of friends and the disappointment of others. By now, I wouldn’t have the despair, the sadness and the loneliness that are not completely understood or supported by many. And by now, I wouldn’t have resurrected the strength I let petrify.

But, in this amount of time, I do have all of these things and more, by now. I have all of it without ever wanting it and never prepared for any of it. I have cried more than I ever have cried, sometimes knocked down sobbing in defeat. I have felt emotional pain I never thought possible and I am someone who feels EVERYTHING. I have had bipolar reactions to the little and huge things in life. I have the inability to make many decisions. I have anger replacing my norms of contentment. I have lost people in my life over this and gained deeper relationships with others. I have felt selfish for the inability to rejoice with others, revel in their accomplishments, ask questions about their lives and be ‘there’ when needed because of all my own brokenness. I have seen how far I’ve come, yet see so much more ahead and I am frustrated and impatient, and discouraged and sad.  I have been a widow and all that comes with it.

Nine months ago today, I became that widow when Death knocked me on my ass and took Peter from me, from our children. It left me damaged and halved. I am no longer the person I once was, nor will I ever be again. I have lived in hell, pushed by the killing of Peter, and still, on my bad days, I live in its heat, trying to understand it all. Even with nine months passing, I still live in shock. It may not be as often, and that’s a good thing, yet I still scream at God, the Universe, “why” and “how could you”. My faith has not returned to its once was, but I am working it on it and that’s all I can do as exhausting as it most days. Everything is different now and I feel no comfort or pride in my forced change.

The pain I have from ripping my skin away, the skin I wore with Peter, is so great sometimes, I don’t even know what to do with it. Yes, it has lessened, or I’ve got used to it. I’m not sure.  I know he is no longer with me, nor will he ever be. I’ve known this from the start. Denial was never in my thoughts. I wish it were because then perhaps it would shield the bombs of agony that go off in my soul so often. I am amazed I stand some days, let alone move, but move I do.

Nine months ago today, my life shattered. I am still picking up each broken piece. Some, I throw away, the ones I had with Peter, the ones I no longer need. Others, the ones that are me to my core, I try to place back, and sometimes, like a jigsaw piece you try to force in the wrong place, they don’t fit. Not without Peter, they won’t fit. Peter was so much a part of my core. And so, I am growing new ones, and like growing pains, it can be uncomfortable and torturous.  They can also look good, good enough where I say aloud, ‘look at me’.

Today will be a difficult day, as are all the reminders of the day Peter died. Today, I will be angry Peter was taken way too soon. Today, I will try to grapple with the nonexisting reasons as to the why’s gone. Today, I will carry the pit in my stomach which formed nine months ago, and weep in hopes of lessening its feel.  Today, I will try to see all my growth and strength, because both are there, and reflect back on how far I’ve come. Today, I will remember Peter and his crooked smiles, his quiet voice, his gentle touches, his reassurances and his joys in life. Today, I will remember how he lived life to its fullest, doing what he loved, even if this means knowing Death ripped him away from me doing just that. And today, between the tears, maybe even through them, I will smile for he was mine, I was his, until Death did part us, nine months ago today.