The pain is there before I open my eyes. I wake up with grief the same way I often wake up with a headache. It seems like a ridiculous use of my brain’s time to wake up with a headache, but perhaps it’s working so hard while I sleep, that by the time I wake up, it’s exhausted. I wish it would rest more, but I suppose there’s only so much I can ask of it. It is responsible for my entire universe after all.
I constantly wonder at the unfairness that my universe still exists. I can type these words and you people out there in your own universes will read them, but his universe is gone. What happens to a universe once the heart and brain that control it no longer exist? I miss that heart and brain so much sometimes that I can hardly breathe. That big thumping heart under my palm is gone.
Besides his intelligence, creativity, his vulnerability that he only showed me, and everything else I loved about him, I miss his humor. He could make me laugh even when I was crying. I miss the fire in his blue eyes when he’d poke fun at me. I miss laughing at his silliness.
I haven’t watched a comedy since he died in March, because I’m afraid I won’t find the humor. I’m terrified that my sense of humor died with him and I don’t want to test it. I miss the way our humor casually intertwined to form a hilarious whole. Nothing is funny anymore.
I avoid movies with any sort of interpersonal drama. War movies, documentaries, action, kung fu. But, human drama sneaks in there anyway. It always does.
I watched a movie the other day, where a woman’s husband died and she still wasn’t over it years later. It was only halfway through that I remembered my husband died, too. I startled as if a dwarf in full battle regalia appeared out of nowhere just to draw a magic marker mustache on my face and disappeared with a “HUZZAH!”
I startled at just how long it took for my addled brain to make that connection. How is it possible that I could forget, even for a second, that fifteen years of a together-life is gone? I wonder if, like the woman in the movie, I won’t be over it years later either. The thought of living with this sluggish awareness of absence forever makes me want to give up now. Hell, half the time these days, I want to give up even without the grief that grinds my soul.
Right after he died, I’d wake up forgetting. A few seconds later, I’d remember that the love of my life was not in this world any more and never would be again. Strangely, I miss those peaceful seconds.
This morning, I felt the hole in my heart before I opened my eyes. I cried as I brushed my teeth. I cried as I walked my dog. Not the heavy sobbing tears where your whole body plays a role in the play acting of grief, but the kind that lazily climb down your face without you even really noticing. They blur my vision as I’m typing. Cloudy tears have replaced humor.
Maybe it’s the holiday season when family is important and mine is gone. Maybe it’s Saturday and I don’t have to rush out the door. Maybe it’s because the year is almost over and I’m not ready to have his death be “last year,” but sometimes grief is unbearable the way that depression is. Sometimes, it smacks you in the gob before you even open your eyes.
Memories come without searching for them. They invade my brain like parasites, forcing me to relive moments that make me sad, happy, annoyed, embarrassed, loved. I don’t know where to put any of them now, so I passively watch them march by through cloudy tears.
Every day, I lose another piece. Every day, another fight. Every night, another memory keeps me awake. Every morning, another stab in the heart.