Hey Babe -
Last night I finished reading Me Before You (yup, it’s also a movie) - a story about a quadriplegic who decides to end his life because he can no longer live trapped in his body. At the end of the story, the heroine, who is also his caretaker for the last six months, is laying next to him, crying and hugging him, her face is buried on his chest while he’s taking his last breaths. He asks her to look at him, but she refuses because she doesn’t want the last image he has of her is when she’s crying uncontrollably and scared. (Of course she inevitably looks at him and he tells her how beautiful she looks...it’s a romcom for god’s sake Babe!!) As I was driving down the hill this morning to work, I thought of that last scene from the book and it made me think of our last moment (well, the only difference was that we didn’t know it was going to be the last time we would ever see each other again, we didn’t have that luxury). I flashed back to you standing on your knees, fighting to breathe, gripping both my shoulders, staring at me with your worried and terrified eyes; you were speechless while I was scared out of my mind; I was probably pale from fright, tears were rolling down my cheeks uncontrollably, and I was speechless also. We both just stared at each other, scared, frightened, and speechless. We didn’t know what was going to happen next; I don’t think either of would have ever imagined in our right minds the ending that was awaiting us. (Trust me, the last thing on my mind that day was I was going to be a widow!!) Tears just started rolling down my cheeks; I had to fight back the tears, it’s been a few months since I’ve cried in the car, so it felt a little strange.
You don’t know how many times that image used to play over and over again in my head right after you passed, like a continuous loop that was on an endless repeat, whether I liked it or not. That image tormented me for months. It was like it was haunting and taunting me every time it flashed through my mind – yup, PTSD at its best!! You don’t know how much that image pains me whenever it flashes through my mind. Knowing that the last image you had of me was when I was terrified, scared out of my mind, crying profusely, and unable to utter a single word. That was the last thing you saw and the image you had of me before you died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. I don’t know if you ever saw that side of me in the 14+ years we’ve been together, probably not, because it was even a shocker to me since I never seen myself that way before either in the last 39 years I’ve known myself. Then I would start thinking what was going on in your mind in those last 20 minutes before you passed away. What were you thinking? I can’t even image the thoughts that were racing through your head at that moment. (Well, I hope at least one of the thoughts that crossed your mind was, “Damn!!! She was right again!! I should have listened to my wife and went to the hospital!! She nagged me for like 4 days!!” -- Yeah, you know I couldn’t help myself. It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t say it out loud!!) What were you feeling? How you must have been so scared. How you were all alone in the ambulance when you died. No one to hold your hand or to hug you or tell you how much they love you when you took your last breath. How all alone you must have felt and how I wasn’t there for you, nor did we ever get a chance to say goodbye or tell each other how much we love each other. Not only were we robbed of our future together, but we were also robbed of a proper goodbye.
It’ll be nine months next week, I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. I remember after you passed, I was counting days, then weeks, and now months. In just a few short months, I’ll start counting years. It’s hard to believe how time can just keep on going like nothing happened. Time is heartless, unemotional, and detached. Time and death are the great equalizer in life; they are both unbiased and untainted. They can’t be bribed or subjected. They are merciless and exacting. Sometimes, I want to scream and make time stop and stand still with me, so it can feel the pain and grief that resides deep in my heart. But it never does. It just keeps on going. Time stops for no one. People used to tell me, “Time will heal!” (which as you know, I hated and whatever platitudes that people tell me to try to make me feel better. I hated it all and nothings changed in the last 9+ months, except now I just smile and nod instead of get angry at them. Yes, I’ve gotten better at managing my pain and ignorant people!!) In all honestly, time doesn’t heal or take the pain away or make the “hurt” less, it just helps you “manage” the pain better and become more “comfortable” in your “new normal.” The longer time stretches away from January 7th, 2018, I’ve just gotten better at dealing with my new life because the more you practice something, the better you get at it. Widowhood is a skill that I’ve come to realize, with anything else in life, takes a lot of hard work and practice to master. And that’s what I’ve been doing since January 7th, I’ve been working hard and practicing to live a life without my person, my life partner, my soulmate, my husband. And overtime, like with anything else, the harder you work and the more you practice, the better you become at it. So, let me just reiterate, time does not heal anything, nothing at all. It doesn’t take the pain away nor does it make my heart hurt any less than the day you died. All time has done is that it helped me grow more comfortable in my “new normal” from hard work, practice, and repetition. That’s all it does - nothing more and nothing less.
Screw time and screw death! F*** them both!!
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.