Losing the Love of My Life
Chuck and Me at an Earlier Christmas
Chuck and I had a unique relationship. We ran away together and deserted our respective spouses 14 years ago. Of course it was a reprehensible thing to do, and hard to justify with any words at all. And after we started our life together we both felt so much guilt and shed many tears over the harm we'd done, but not enough to call us back to our responsibilities.
We had a temptestuous few years, Chuck had another affair, but I wouldn't let him go that easily. I confronted the other woman and made her stop seeing Chuck, and I insisted we get therapy to help us deal with our own broken life. Just rewards, some might say, and I'm sure if they knew, many would, especially Chuck's children.
But we healed from that devastating experience and finally, during the last four years of our life together experienced the love and joy we'd always hoped for. Except for the last two years when Chuck was dying. Not that we didn't love each other. We loved each other to the end. I have more to tell at another time.
I didn't know he was dying. Neither did he. He just kept on getting infection after infection and it finally wore his body down so much that he couldn't walk anymore, then he lost his ability to eat normally. Then he fell and broke his hip, and three surgeries later, his body said "Enough!" He came home from the hospital with hospice care, and three days later he was gone.
Gone! I couldn't believe it, even though I sat with him till the crematorium people came to take his body, went with them when they took him downstairs on our elevator and loaded him into a station wagon outfitted for doing what they did.
I followed them to the crematorium where I made all the arrangements we had decided upon years earlier. I then went to my church, where he was to be buried in the church's columbarium, and filled out papers.
The memorial service was the ritual we used to say goodbye and to mourn. Then we all went to the memorial garden where our pastor conducted a burial service.
Three plus months later, my first Christmas without him has just passed. And once again I look for the websites that can help me make sense of all this.