i miss my family
Two days ago should have been S's 36th birthday, but instead it was five months since his sudden death from pneumonia. After having some marginally better days over the past few months, this past week has plunged me back into some of the feelings I was dealing with very early on in my grief.
I loved (love) him with all my heart, but cannot share that love openly because of the circumstances of our relationship. I had known him for 5 years, and loved him for about 4 of those years. I know now that he had feelings for me for at least 2 or 3 of those years. But we didn't talk about it, never did anything physically, and never openly dated because he was a (single) professor at the university I attended. As my graduation got closer and in the year afterwards, we had a series of unofficial dates, the last only a week and a half before his death.
And then I was woken up at 6 am by a phone call from a friend and colleague of his who suspected our relationship, informing me that he had passed away suddenly in the night. I was and am utterly devastated by his absence, and even more by the sudden absence of the future that I'd been waiting so patiently for and that seemed so certain. I'm so angry that doing the ethical thing (waiting until I was no longer a student) robbed me of so much happiness, so many memories. I cherish his picture, sleep with a pillow covered by one of his hoodies, and cry a seemingly unending stream of tears.
My (our) feelings were a fairly poorly-kept secret within the close-knit university community, but it's still an awkward and complicated thing for me to talk about with those who knew him. I also no longer live nearby, and so the support of those few people who actually understand is mainly in the form of occasional facebook messages. I feel selfish asking for more from people who are dealing with their own grief, and jealous that all of them have significant others and families to support them.
Meanwhile, his family has no idea that I'm anything more than one of his former students. My own family doesn't understand what was going on between us either. My mother actually was angry with me when I told her I was visiting his grave on my most recent trip home (we grew up in the same hometown, 13 years apart, though neither of us lived anywhere nearby as adults. He would hate that he's buried there now). She talks of how it's a shame I won't be able to get letters of recommendation from him. It breaks my heart every time.
I know things will eventually get easier, but I so desperately need someone to hold me and let me cry. I need a family, but the one I was born with doesn't understand, and the one I wanted to create is smashed to pieces.