it used to burn ~ this grief that i still feel.
it used to burn me up inside.
it was as if someone had started a fire inside me to burn all that i was.
the fire ate away my insides for a long time yet it deliberately stopped short of killing me.
that was it's way of torturing me.
it never finished the job.
i continued to live.
and i got used to the heat.
then grief changed tactics.
it showed me loneliness.
it brought me back into the crowded world where no one notices me.
no one sees my pain.
no one accepts you can grieve after a year, after two and a half years,
after four years.
the world is a place where sympathy stops while the pain continues.
that is loneliness;
when your pain goes unrecognized, or unaccepted.
when you are expected to rejoin a world that fundamentally hasn't changed,
but you have.
and i got used to the loneliness.
it is now five years.
five long years.
grief is introducing me to it's next experience.
i am cold.
i feel chilled inside.
so cold i burn.
i feel detached at times, like i am a spectator to the world.
i am there but not included.
i refuse to be what i not and what i am not is this:
i am not through grieving.
i do not feel comfortable away from my tiny home.
but when i am home i still feel cold.
i can vividly recall his laugh. i can conjure up an afternoon spent with him.
i can hear his voice in my head, my heart, deep in my soul.
time has taken nothing from my memory.
nothing has faded.
nothing has dimmed.
it is all still there.
but it is like being on the outside looking in on my own life
during that time we were together.
i remember what it felt like being with him but that is the one thing i cannot get back;
that feeling of safety, that feeling of being loved.
so i feel cold.
so i crawl on.
a mental picture of me is this:
imagine meeting a woman who is kind, funny, genuinely easy to be around.
you can tell she is a heartfelt listener and cares about others.
and you listen to her for a brief moment.
her words are soothing, make you smile, make you feel warm inside.
but there is something a bit off about her.
for all her smiles, her eyes seem sad.
even when she looks at you, you can see that her soul is split.
and her voice.
it sounds as if there is another voice speaking in chorus with her.
two voices from one soul.
that is me and my grief talking.
she and i speak simultaneously.
we are no longer separate.
we are a unit; a team.
we are entwined much like he and i were entwined while he lived.
my grief lives inside me or i live inside her.
it depends upon the day.
we color my existence together.
we share my life.
she is company.
i know her very well.
she lets me ask the hard questions and counsels with her silence.
my one and only consolation ~
the night before he died, we made love.
the night he died, i was lying in his arms in bed.
we had said, "i love you" to each other;
not with that peck on the cheek or a quick press of lips that makes a travesty of passion.
it was as it always was between us.
it was a soft, lingering kiss.
it was shared breath.
it was the silent acknowledgement that
"parting is such sweet sorrow"
even if only for sleep.
ten minutes later his body betrayed him.
it began separating his soul from me.
twenty minutes after that we were severed.
but we had that kiss.