You died. That makes no logical sense to me.
Seconds became minutes, minutes became hours, then into days, now weeks and it still makes no sense to my brain. How are you not here with me? Where is your smile? Where is your morning groan? Where is your love?
I’m haunted by the things I did not see. I see the things I cannot know. I wake several times per night thinking of you. I wonder if it hurt. I wonder if you slowly left this world or was it so fast you didn’t feel anything. What is it like to die? Did you know what you were doing to me?
I wonder, how angry did you have to be in those moments to forget my love? How lost? How blind?
You were never a violent man. How could you be so violent toward yourself? What made you hate yourself so in those moments?
I stare out the window at an unusually warm winter’s day, it’s as though spring has forgotten to rest. You always hated winter’s chill. Now you rest while we wander, lost, aimless, heartbroken.
Where did you go?
Is it safe there? Are you happy there? Was it all worth it?
I see in my mind the things I could not have seen. Head lolled to the side. Skin pale and cold. Muscles slack. The gun. Slouched against the seat, you, void of breath, void of life. Happiness, smiles, love all drained from you, seeping into a cold morning’s dew.
Did you feel alone?
You know you never were. I was always there with you in your heart, you just had to look. You chose not to look that morning. I was always there.
So many firsts together that we shared. You filled wondering eyes with joy. You filled a heart so full I was in awe of its capacity. I never imagined this first with us. Not this way. Not ever.
You had a heart that swallowed everything, felt everything and felt it deeply. If it was too big for this life, it was because of the man you were, not because of any flaw in you.
You were my hero, my world, my universe, my one true love. You were my everything and now I have nothing. I’m empty. I’m lost. I’m blank. I don’t know how to think my way out of this one. I can’t wrap my head around it.
Who was that?
He was a person I never knew. Was it really you who asked me a simple question and then made a decision to die? Had that decision already been made? I reach out to you in my thoughts that morning. I touch your hand. I smile lovingly. I feel your pain. I take it all away. I keep you holding on.
But I didn’t.
What happened could never happen to us. It was unfathomable. More so for you. I don’t know how to come to terms with it.
The house creaks. The pipes bang. Each day it sleeps and wakes in the same way it always has…with one less set of feet padding through it. One less echo of laughter. I wonder if it misses you like I do.
Life crawls forward.
I wish it wouldn’t. I would give anything to have gone with you that day. It wasn’t my choice. You didn’t give me a choice. So I sit with a steaming tea, staring out a window at a world I no longer enjoy. A world without you.
What is a widow supposed to be?
Is she supposed to wail and cry and scream and rage at this unfair world? Is she supposed to withdraw into her own mind, the only place left where the love she knew still flourishes and fills her heart, bittersweet.
I am a walking dichotomy now of love and hate. Fear and hope. Pain and joy. Guilt and strength. A maelstrom of emotion. A wild and angry beast. I do not wish to be tamed…not without you.
Each day springs eternal. Each cliche chips away at my still beating heart. The hands on the clock move ever onward. Without you. Without Us.
Author’s note: In memory of my loving husband.