…in no special order:
- Every so often when someone asks how I am doing (and I actually try to briefly describe the pain and horror that is living without your soulmate), that person will nod sagely and murmur, “I know,” Not “I know it must be so very difficult.” Not “I know you must struggle every hour of every day.” Just “I know.” Well, the fact is that unless they have been there done that (as in lost a spouse/life partner/ best friend) they DON’T know. They can’t even begin to imagine.
- Friends–I thought I was prepared for some to surprise and others to disappoint and I was. What I wasn’t prepared for was WHO would surprise and especially WHO would disappoint and the hurt I would feel on top of my grief that those friends were not there.
- The little things can pack the biggest punch–like when I arrived in Anaheim recently for a conference and was given an upgrade to this huge room–that’s something I would have called L about immediately and we would have laughed about it. Or like when the trip home turned into a 14-hour saga and I wanted so much to hear his voice telling me to grin and bear it and sleep on the plane.
- And with great guilt and embarrassment I have to admit that there are times (rare but still there) when I see the up side of being responsible for and to no one but myself–eat when and what I want, go to bed and get up when I want, open the windows and doors when I want (that was always a problem because air quality was such a huge issue for L’s breathing), arrange the house the way I want. (Not that I didn’t do that before–how many times we laughed over L coming home to find the sofa moved to the opposite side of the room!)
- And that’s what I miss most–those moments when we laughed together and cried together and held each other. When I was in the Phoenix airport on my layover between flights home from Anaheim an elderly couple came walking by. He pushed her wheelchair and when they had found a place to sit to wait, he took her hand in his and in that moment I realized that closeness, that simple gesture that says “I am right here” is what I miss the most.