Several of my widow friends are feeling shite this time of year. I thought once Christmas was over it would get better. It hasn’t. And I think I know why.
Every new year takes me further away from a world that had Paul in it. A world where I loved and was loved, where I felt safe and protected another, a world where I was part of “Team Johnson” as we used to call it.
I sometimes feel he’s near me – even though I don’t believe in that stuff. I used to fool myself into thinking we were having conversations. Look, there’s no way that’s possible and I know it. I know I didn’t feel his arms slip around my waist and I wasn’t leaning my head back against his chest Tuesday night in the kitchen. I sure the hell wish it were.
Paul stopped existing in 2015. Last year I could say he died last year. This year I have to modify it to say he died in 2015. Almost 15 months ago.
I honestly didn’t think I’d live this long. I feel guilty about it. Debbie Reynolds dying of grief 36 hours after her daughter died – that’s what I wanted. To die of grief. Living has been so much harder than dying would have been.
I miss him. I miss having companionship and love and being touched with adoration and passion with a strong undercurrent of love and affection. I miss the curve of his face against my hand. I miss weekend mornings with the cats and kisses behind my ear with a lascivious laugh.
I also miss having a husband. A trusted, loving other with whom I can share my life, interests, secrets, mind and body. And that makes me feel guilty because I should just miss Paul.
One thing that is interesting about being a widow is all the advice you get from comfortably companioned people about dating and taking it slow and giving oneself time. When you say you’re lonely,they tell you to “be careful”. Or tell you how much they like solitude. Or they invite you over once or twice a year and feel they’ve done their part. The rest of the time I guess we widows with no kids or family should be “relishing the solitude”.
So when others tell me not to rush things – it hurts. I already feel guilty and scared and anxious. I don’t need or want horror stories. I want a life where I have companionship and love and solitude when I choose it.
In the meantime, I miss Paul. I miss the husband he was. And I resent time for continuing to take me further away from a world with Paul in it.