I don't mean to go all dramatic on you, but I'm curious. Sometimes I study pictures of me before. Not in the same critical way I used to; oh, look at my bad hair day, oh, I need to lose a few pounds, is that a pimple? Stupid stuff now.
No, now I study pictures of me over the past 24 years with Chuck and marvel at the joy in my eyes, the happiness, the sparkle. I can feel the love between us in those pictures. A friend of mine suggested that if I have any doubts about who he was, or who we were together (brought on by conversations during his time in hospice and the months afterwards and, yes, how seriously stupid of me to give any energy to such a thing), I've only to look at the hundreds of pictures that chronicle our years together. There is love and connection and each of us, individually and together, look joyful. Always.
And then I study the few pictures taken of me since his death almost a year ago and I wonder who is that woman? Where is the joie de vie? Where is the sparkle in her eyes? What happened to the soul light that used to fairly burst from her?
I mourn the loss of that woman. The fact is, she's gone and I don't know who I am now. Yes, under other circumstances I could be excited and think wow, I can be whoever I want to be now! I can create whatever life I want!
Yeah, not so much. I'm not excited about what I can be or who I'll become. I'm not even curious. This new life thrust itself upon me and I want to refuse it but that isn't an option. I loved my life with him. I was a strong, independent woman passionately in love with a strong, handsome, loving, man. I knew how to do anything I needed to do but there was much I didn't have to do because he happily took tasks on as his part of us. I wasn't missing anything in my life, nor feeling as if there was something more for me in life.
This in-between time when who I was is forever gone and the who that I'll be is not yet determined.
Grief singes and burns and changes us in ways both seen and unseen. Loneliness and missing-ness and confusion and shock and dislocation and disorientation rule the day in this transition time to what will be.
I hate transitions.