Sunday, October 11, 2009

When Is He Coming Home?

I want to write away the pain. Sometimes I think that's why I write. I know that's why I talk to people, why I spend the energy to explain to them what this process is like. The more I talk the more distance I have from the process. The more distance I have from the process the less like mine it feels. Or the more sense I can try to make of it.

Sense. On a very primal level, his death makes no sense to me. I look at pictures of us in November, when we thought he was healthy, when the cancer was only the tiniest cell in his body and I get confused. How could he not be here? Why hasn't he come home yet? How is it possible I will never hear his voice or know the feeling of his hand on my back or hear him yell at the kids again. I don't understand how this can happen.

And God am I lonely. Admitting that in a country that is built on independence and do-it-yourselfness feels almost shameful. I don't want a companion, not a boy friend, not a relationship, but just someone to touch that female side of me.

Part of my power of being a woman was in being able to make Art laugh, turning him on, having someone sharing my insights, giving me input, turning me on, being held by him, kissed gently with no intention other than to touch his lips to my forehead or hair or hand or shoulder. To smile at him and have it returned as if we held some big secret. I miss all that.

I miss the arguments that were broken often with laughter. I miss hearing his foot steps in the bedroom hall, hearing his closet door open, the muted rustle of the plastic hangers as he hung up his clothes. I miss watching him parent, our tete-a-tetes on how to handle X situation with Z kid.

I miss being mad at him, in my righteousness and in my rightness too. I miss apologizing to him. I miss being swallowed into his chest, his arms completely wrapped around me. I miss sharing the green chair with him when we watched movies. I miss his smell. I miss his chemo smell too. It meant he was alive and he was fighting.

And I miss the wonder of him. His deep blue eyes, his way of bending a conversation to his will without you even noticing. His sincerity.

And the other side is I miss having a man in the house. The deepness that testosterone brings. I
I don't want someone to replace him. I just want like, an on-call guy. Someone I can call and say, "Come over and lie with me in bed till I fall asleep." or "Come watch a movie with me." Or touch my shoulder and say "You're beautiful, you're amazing." Someone to remind me that I am more than just a widow and a mom. that I am more than someone who has lost a spouse or whose life will never, ever, ever be the same. Someone to help pull me out of me.

This on-call guy has to feel the need to be needed, know that his masculinity is in the small moments and thoughts and touches. It would not be about sex (although...mmmm, no complaints if it goes partly in that direction.) It would be about helping each other through this difficult moment, his (whatever it is) and mine. There would be tentativeness and tenderness and hope and laughter and gratitude. It wouldn't last but it would serve its purpose, helping both of us to emerge on the other side more intact.

And in the end, it wouldn't take away the confusion. I still don't get it. I still don't understand. Why am I here and he's not? Why do I talk to the kids about him in past tense now, always. When is he coming home? When is he coming home?


  1. oh thank goodness, someone actually wrote about the loneliness! no one ever talks about it, but we all know it!

  2. this says all I would one else knows these feelings or can understand them. Its comforting to know theres someone like me.Thank you for being able to share.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you a thousand times over.

  4. Thank You I know I'm not alone with these same feelings !!!

  5. Everyday, for over 10 months I have asked that same question, "When is he coming home?" Then I tell him, "This isn't funny any more." But, it never was. Loneliness is hard.