Saturday, September 10, 2016

DAY 17

Today, the seventeenth day of being without Craig, was the worst day so far, beyond the first few days of his death. I woke up with so much anxiety and heaviness. It almost feels like my body is slowly filling up with concrete…or maybe this is just what being totally heartbroken feels like. I’m aware that as I type this, my hands are slightly shaking and tingling a bit. I think I am moving out of the stage of shock and into a reality I do not want. I have said this this over and over for seventeen days…I do not want this! But he is gone. The partnership is dissolved. I am alone. This thought hits me over and over and empties my body of all feeling and will. 

I’m constantly reassured by friends and family that I am NOT alone, and it is true on one level. But my life is now untethered from Craig’s and I am moving into a future that has none of the connection, purpose, joy, or love that we shared. Not tangibly anyway. Not in that solid, concrete, flesh and bone way that was so comforting, so healing, so normal. Now it is all contained in my elusive memory, which at this point, hurts to recall.

In one month we were going to be standing on the threshold of a new life. A new adventure. Finding a new purpose. Maybe even a new community of people or place. A Peregrinatio. Then Craig woke me out of a deep sleep that Monday morning and within twenty minutes, that life we so longed to begin together was over. The last thing I said to him as they wheeled him down the sidewalk was, “I love you!” The last thing I heard him say, four times, on the floor of our hallway was, “I can’t breathe.”

Now at times I feel I can’t breathe. Times I catch myself breathing so shallowly I wonder why I haven’t passed out. And times I wish I could pass out and not wake up again because the future looks terrifying. It probably isn’t, but right now, where there was once a shared, beautiful life and an exciting vision, there is only a void. What does one woman who was deeply in love for 32 years do with herself? 

I’ve been told not to think too far into the future, but this is hard to do when prescription drug commercials come on, or when I see an old man or woman alone at the pharmacy, or a young couple passing me on the road, laughing. One day at a time is probably the wisest yet hardest thing to make real. How can I not think about the days ahead when I wake up with a painful and swollen ankle that needs wrapped in ice? And so I wrap it by myself and wonder about my body in the future. Will it betray me, as well? Should I try to stay healthy, or just not give a shit? All the unanswerable questions. All the unknowns. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of grief. 

This morning I read my favorite Psalm...#27. It contains themes for which I've strived for or struggled with all my life...fear, beauty, having courage, seeking God, communing with God, trusting God's guidance...and waiting. But these words burned the brightest on the page for me today:

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living"

Even though I hold them in my heart, I still feel despair. I'm just hoping that the mustard seed of faith contained in that broken heart is enough to experience the goodness of God someday.