I am not really sure where my husband went off to. He died. Yes. But it never feels that way. It feels as if he were part of some horrible magic trick in some terrible, cheesy Vegas act. One second – here. The next second – gone. POOF! Magic! It feels as though I took a nap, and then woke up and he went missing, never to be seen again. He died while I was asleep. Asleep. Im not sure that I will ever know how to process that. Im not sure that I want to. I am sure that there is no such thing as “closure.”
I am not really sure where I went off to. I’m alive. Yes. But it never feels that way. It feels as if I am part of some horrific magic trick in some awful, cheesy cruiseship act. That same hack trick where they pretend to cut the woman in half, as she lay inside the box. Except it’s not a trick at all. Every second that I’m here, living in this world, I am being severed in half. Over and over and over again. He died while I was asleep, and when I woke up, he was dead. He was already dead. Im not sure that I will ever know how to process that. Im not sure that I want to. I am sure that there is no such thing as “better.”
Where is that girl? That girl that my husband fell in love with. That girl that he believed in. That girl that he kissed for the first time on that NYC ferryboat, when our smiles for each other lit up the nightsky, when our futures were dancing with promise. I once knew that girl who was hopeful and dreamy, quirky and warm, energetic and fun. She laughed with abandon. She loved her birthday. She lived for Christmas, and all things family, and dinner-parties and music and baseball. She had dreams, and after years of heartbreak, she had finally found love. The true, amazing, rare, once-in-a-lifetime kind of love.
But we didnt get the lifetime, and so that girl lost her hope and her dreams. She isnt really much fun anymore. She tries, but she is very tired, because this new life is exhausting and hard and long. Her big brown eyes feel gray and colorless. She feels guilty on her birthday, lonely and empty on Christmas, and baseball games don’t seem to have the same impact without hearing her husband’s ongoing commentary. That girl went to sleep one night, just like any other night. Except it wasn’t. Because on that night, that girl went to sleep, and woke up dead.
Im not really sure where my husband’s remains are, or what remains of my husband. In that gray-looking canister they gave me, all filled with dirt? In the sand and in the water, where I tossed some of him on those meaningful days? In my heart – the way everyone is always telling me? In the universe, the clouds, the air? In the harmonies of a song so beautiful, you can hear your heart skipping? Maybe. But it never feels that way. People will feed you meals made up of the phrase: “He is always with you”, but actually knowing his touch is like trying to hug a butterfly.
Im not really sure where my remains are, or what remains of me. The pieces that were severed, came off little by little, second by second, hurt by mindnumbing hurt. Maybe I lost an arm while running into the ER that morning. Maybe a leg was chopped off when the nurses surrounded me and said “massive heart-attack. He didnt make it.” Maybe my soul disappeared while staring into that casket at my husband’s eyes that were no longer his eyes, or his face that was no longer his face. Perhaps my heart leapt out of my body and fell onto the wet ground, when I got that autopsy report in the mail. When I saw his name on that death certificate. When my 6 foot 4 husband, was handed to me, in a can. Remains.
So what remains of that girl, who died that day, on that day that she woke up? Many things, and nothing at all really. Everything that she was – she is not. Everything that she is – she was not. Her laugh is broken. Her smile is weak. She has no time for petty shit. She feels compassion for those in pain. She feels connected to those who hurt. She feels jealous of those with long lives and long marriages, and angry at the ones who dont ever seem to appreciate what they have. She panics easily, cries effortlessly, and feels deep emotion with abandon. She doesnt sleep enough, she writes too much, and she eats too much. She doesnt know yet how to take care of herself. She doesnt know yet how to care. About life. About being alive. She doesnt understand this new life – this weird future without her husband. This universe where she doesn’t grow old with him or spend decades with him or have children with him or retire with him. She doesnt understand yet, all that there is to understand.
Not yet. Not ever. Not yet.
So much was lost. So much is gone. He is gone. I am gone. Some things stay, but they dont look the same. They arent the same. But they stay anyway. Our love stays. The grief stays. Today stays. All of that stays, and it makes a great big pile of clusterfuck, in the wreckage. The pieces that lie there in that dirt, will somehow form a life. If I keep trying to figure it out, how they all go together, they will mold into my tomorrow. And all of the hope and the loss and the love and the fight and the hurt and the pain and the light – they will crash into one another, if I let them, and they will be the tools that I use to create, whatever the something is that I create.
What remains, is what I create. And what I create, is what remains ….