I'm not only mourning the death of my husband; I'm mourning the death of who I was for the last 24 years. Chuck and I always had our separate passions with jobs and friends but our passion for each other ruled above all, especially in the 4 years we spent on the road traveling full time. He loved my spontaneity and sense of fun. I loved teasing him into lightheartedness and silliness. Ours was a very physical relationship; touching, kissing, holding hands and wild and crazy sex and a depth of intimacy that only grew stronger as we drove and adventured around this country.
Why isn't this spoken about more often in the widow/ed community? Why don't we talk about this huge loss that takes place in addition to the death of our husbands or wives? Why don't we talk about the ache of loneliness that comes from the end of not only the emotional intimacy but the tearing loss of the physical? I'm sure that there must be others who think about it-I can't possibly be the only one. Making love. Having sex. Flirting with each other. Having fun. All of the laughter and the teasing that is a cornerstone to a healthy relationship.
How do you go from always being touched to not being touched any longer by the man you love? How do you go from deep, passionate kisses with his hand holding the back of your neck just so, to...nothing? How do you go to sleep by yourself when you spent 24 years with his body wrapped around yours? What do you do with the memory of standing against the wall with his hands on each side of you as he leans in to kiss you and the tearing loneliness that fills your body and mind knowing it will never happen again? What do you do when you know that all you have is memory and you look in the mirror and see your body suddenly aging because what kept you feeling so young and in love, even after 24 years, is gone?
I don't care if it's uncomfortable to talk about this. It's real. I felt so much a woman with my husband. I celebrated being a woman, feminine to his masculine, the yin/yang of our love.
And I deeply mourn the loss of that self. I mourn the death of the woman I was with this man who was the center of my universe, this man who brought sunshine to my life, who made me feel more a woman than I've ever felt.
Grief is a morass that creeps its' tentacles into every area of my life in ways that I never envisioned; I miss the love, I miss the romance of being in love, from him and with him. My body cries out for him and my eyes reflect the loss.
I need to stop looking in the mirror.