I still can’t believe that he is gone, and perhaps I never will. And, that’s all right. I never thought that I would be alone, and in my mind, I know that being alone is the hardest thing that I will ever have to do. If you have lost the love of your life, then you know what I am talking about. You confront the same unbearable pain and heartbreak each day as I do, and you too have loneliness as your constant companion.
It has been five years since Eddie died. My friends and family assume that I am moving on. Little do they know that there are days when all I do is think about him, days when all I long for is to see his smile, and feel his touch just one more time. Little do they know that after five years there are nights when I still cry myself to sleep.
They still believe that old saying, “time heals all wounds.” I want to tell them that the wound in my heart remains open, and that time will never heal it. But, they wouldn’t understand. Time for me has only led to a form of acceptance. A form of acceptance that comes and goes as it pleases, because there are days when you cannot accept the loss. Yes, there are days when grief washes over you in uncontrollable waves of sadness.
I can’t help but think back to the day of his funeral. I wanted to know when the pain would stop. I spoke with his aunts who were widows too. They were older than I was but I hoped that they would tell me how they handled their walk alone. They were strangely silent as if it was something that I had to learn on my own. All I wanted from them was for them to tell me how I could possibly get through this. After all, they knew and loved Eddie.
They knew how much we loved each other. They were there on our wedding day. Why wouldn’t they tell me how I could live without him? I wanted them to tell me that I was going to be all right. But, as I said, they were strangely silent.
I could see the sadness in their eyes but they offered no magical means of making everything better. How could they? They knew how hard it would be for me, and when I look back now I know that they were just trying to be kind by not telling me how awfully hard things were going to be for me.
Months later as I struggled with my sadness I finally found an article that told me what I wanted to hear. It was an article that was adapted from Lynn Sherr’s memoir Outside the Box. Lynn had also lost the love of her life. I read the article over and over. I found such comfort in her words, especially the final paragraph which I will share with you now.
“Today the waves of pain are less frequent but no less intense. I cry unexpectedly and then feel better. I’ve learned to live without Larry but not to forget him; to honor the memory of what was, while functioning in the world that is. To welcome the sadness that keeps us connected. And every time I open my lingerie drawer, I realize that his ashes are fine exactly where they are.”
She wrote this several years after her husband’s death. “Our wounds run deep, our undying love is forever, and staying connected beyond the veil brings us comfort.”
After reading her words, I knew that I needed to write about my walk alone, and how I too am staying connected beyond the veil. My hope is that in sharing my journey I will in some small way bring comfort to others who have lost the love of their life. So, I reach out to those who grieve for the love of their life. I reach out in kindness to tell you that you will be all right. You will find your way as I have.
Paula Ezop 2011