The Happening

Photo by Anni Roenkae on

It happened. It wasn’t a surprise. In fact, I expected it to happen. It had been a while since it happened and I wonder when it would happen again. Only, every time it happens, I am left spent and frustrated and in disbelief. Just because you expect something doesn’t mean it’s welcomed or even honored. And it happened. I stood in the backyard, smiling as I watched the two dogs play a game of chase when the feeling started as a fizz in the bottom of my belly and, by the time it came up to my throat, it was a massive bubble I couldn’t expel. I missed him. I longed for him. I wanted him back. It happened. I criced.

It’s strange how deep agony for the loss of Peter will intrude into my moments of even happiness, how it will barge in like an heckler in my life’s performance. I know. I get it. I will always miss him. How can I not miss the man who meant so much to me? Maybe everything to me? How can I miss the person who took up half of me, who my children’s halves are made up of him? If I didn’t miss him, mourn him, feel an emptiness without him, he wouldn’t have meant too much to me, would he? So, it’s not the surprise of missing him, it’s the unpredictability of when the missing him comes. There is no rhyme or reason. The loss of him gushes in me with the unexpected force of a sudden gust of wind, blowing me over into a sea of forgotten emotions. I used to know when it would come. Hell, it once was there all the time. Now, it comes and goes at will.

In the beginning, I lived in the constant state of mourning, of grief. There was no relief. I avoided memories of him thinking they would only make it worse, knowing the pain in them was too much to add to an already heavy load of agony. As my life continued on without him, as I adjusted to the absence of him not embracing it, but accepting it, the memories of him were the times that would bring on the rush of emptiness. I reached a better, more certain point in the last few months, where I talked more openly about Peter, even welcoming more freely the stories from other. I now want to remember. I now want others to remember.

But then these times happen. These times of knowing I am without him, truly feeling I am without him. It’s like staring at one of those drawings or paintings and pictures start to emerge from them. I will get a twinge of longing that builds up in me and builds up in me, until I grab all that comes with it, including the disbelief Peter is no longer here, I am no longer with him. And then, the loneliness comes. And then, the foreboding of not having him for the rest of my life joins in. And then, the stark reality I will never hold him, kiss him, laugh with him, fight with him, talk to him, enjoy us with him again, never again, pushes me back. And then, the tears flow. First formation of clouds in the eyes, then as slides-down on the cheek and finally in body-wrenching sobs. It’s all too much when it happens, these times. All too much.

Afterward, I feel a hangover racking my heart with nausea and pain. I’m tired and spent and all I want to do is veg. I turn the TV on and watch mindlessly as the pixels play out in a pattern I don’t see because all I can do is stare and feel the aftermaths. All I do is wait it out, get to the point where it starts to dissipate, and I can move again, move toward better moments when I am proud of my growth and strength and movement. And those points do eventually come.

I don’t rely on friends anymore to get me past these happenings. My choice. Always my choice. I can’t. I feel burdensome and as if I am on repeat. I feel it’s my time to do this alone. Plus, I know I can get there without them now. I pushed myself to get there without them now. Yet there is a certain loneliness without this reliance on them. A certain freedom too, sure, but also a weighing loneliness. I suppose there is always one when you travel on a road not understood because of the unknowing, or one not mutually experienced.

The other day it happened. In the midst of my joy of watching the silliness of two dogs run around the yard in complete oblivion, it happened. A powerful sense of missing him came and took up residence in my soul. It’s eviction took some time, but it did leave. And when it did, I continued on, living my life, embracing these sudden happenings as part of me, and I feel relief, until the next time which may be tomorrow, a week or two weeks from now. It will happen again.