Life without Mr T consists of waves. They begin in a small way. The sorrows I mean. They trickle in and then fall away again with the minutae of life. The grief appears as pin pricks in the eyes and in the heart. It slowly retreats again as daily tasks and busyness, and joy of life takes over.
Without warning, the grief spikes begin to gather momentum and to close in. It can be in the morning when first awakening, hopefully to be calmed with life’s daily grind. Or it can be an early evening feeling, when the day’s work is done and there’s nothing to fill the mind other than the past. This is when I try to focus on the future and make plans. Life must continue after all, in some form or other.
So I push onwards, onwards and onwards…
Then comes a day like today. The seventh wave. A day when no matter how much the sun is shining, how many birds in the park are entertaining me with their squabbles over left overs from yesterday’s picnics or how many children run around with joy in their hearts, glad to be free of the chains of the classroom. Or even the fact that I am travelling around this beautiful country (France), with all that it has to offer. This day belongs to my husband. I cannot “think of the good times” and “be glad that he didn’t suffer” – how does anyone know this anyway? What happens when the light goes out of someone’s eyes as they look at you? The seventh wave of sorrow will wash over me and there’s not a thing I can do about it. I have to succumb and go under. I have to take a deep breath and just hope that, as for the past 2.5 years, I will resurface. Again.
I’m feeling sorry for myself of course. I’m grieving for the loss of my own life. Of my own present and for our future lives in Spain, which would have begun in a month’s time.
For the loss of the one person in my life (ever, including the shrinks) that truly understood me. That never questioned my sometimes skewed view of the world – because he thought that way too. That shared my love for hardware shops, with all the paraphernalia and the smell of wood, varnish and the opportunities presented in the gadgets (I love gadgets). Stationery shops and the smell of new plastic pencil cases. The potential wrapped up in a brand new pen. For the absence of a love that understood how people can rage and shout and still be in love. For the loss of the recognition that sometimes I need to be alone, I cannot communicate and I cannot cooperate but how, at other times, I cannot abide solitude and need to just cling to him, digging my nose into his womblike armpits; to feel safe.
So I try to be still. I try to let the wave wash over me and feel the emotions. To embrace them as signs of the love that we shared, of the love I still carry. And I weep. In a park. In Grenoble. Full of people eating their baguette lunches on the grass and enjoying the sun. For me, the sun will come out again and the wave will recede. Soon…