Slices of Life: A letter to my husband
I know you miss me, too, but I also know you are in a good place—a blissful, joyous place where the world’s worries and weights no longer exist.
Hey honey. I sure do miss you. More than you can ever know, but I think you do, because I know you are close. I sense and feel your closeness.
It’s been a year-and-a-half since you left this physical earth, and I’m doing better every day. Well, most days. We’re all allowed to have an off day every so often. But, by and large, I’m doing better.
Today I put on a dress that I hadn’t worn for awhile and found a tissue in the pocket. It made me realize that at some point I quit carrying tissues with me everywhere. It used to be a staple in my wardrobe—pockets and a tissue—because I never knew when I’d break out in spontaneous, uncontrolled and unadulterated tears.
For the most part, I can now contain my crying to private moments. It’s a step forward.
I know you applaud my victories, no matter how small. You are my biggest cheerleader.
Currently, my days pass by. I have new routines. They are becoming comfortable and sometimes it’s hard for me to remember what my days—and life—were like before, when you were here. It’s almost as though they are something I might have dreamed about, like they aren’t real. I wonder, sometimes, if you ever really were here at all. Maybe I made it up in my imagination. Maybe everything we all experience is imagination. Maybe that would be so much better than reality.
Whatever reality is, I know I didn’t make up 33 years of us. Logical me knows that, but when your reality—the life you thought you knew so well—is gone, you wonder if you ever really had it in the first place. Your very definition of what is real feels blurry and untenable. Like a mist, or a cloud, that can’t be grasped or contained—it is there, yet it isn’t. It was there, but maybe it wasn’t. Or maybe it still is, but you just can’t see it anymore.
I miss you every day. Losing you is the first thing I think of each morning. When I awaken I realize—again—that I am alone and being without you leaves me lonely and (dare I say) a bit pitiful. Or at least it feels pitiful. Sometimes I cry. I’m sorry for that; I know you want me to be happy.
I think of you many times each day, and I don’t want that to change. But I would like to find something, eventually, that gives my life enough purpose so that I wake up thinking of all I’ve got to gain versus what I’ve already lost.
It is a lofty goal, and one worth working toward. But it is hard.
I know you miss me, too, but I also know you are in a good place—a blissful, joyous place where the world’s worries and weights no longer exist. I also know you worry about me and want me to do well. You are waiting for me to join you. I appreciate that. I love you for that. Present tense. I always will. To infinity and beyond.
I think you appreciate the person I’ve become. I’ve done things I never would have before. I sold a house and bought a new one. Ditto that for cars. I had to take your name off bank and insurance accounts. (That hurt.) I wrangled with repair people who tried to take advantage of me, and stood up for myself. I changed my hair. I took up a new hobby in painting (not walls, canvas). I unabashedly ask for directions or help wherever I go. I know you’d be proud, and that makes me smile.
Because it makes you smile. I like it when we smile together.
I always have. Always will. Love you.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.