Two months later -- life doesn't fit.
(New York City)
72 days, 19 hours, and 17 minutes. That’s how long it has been since my partner died.
I’ve gone through the initial shock, I’m still in denial, but I seem to be able to navigate the depths of depression with the help of medication.
Now, two-and-a-half months later, I’ve withdrawn from the world. I still go to my day job, but I rush home right after work. I have a really hard time walking the streets of New York City. I have difficulty being around crowds. I don’t even want to see friends. Being around others heightens my sense of isolation. I look at people and they all seem to be with purpose – going about their business, living their lives. I don’t have what they have – at least, that’s how it feels. So I run home to an empty apartment, sit, and stare at the walls. Sometimes, I’ll pick up a book to read, but most of the times, I just sit there. As dysfunctional as that sounds, it’s where I have found the most comfort.
This blog site has been extremely helpful to me. To read about what others have gone through tells me I'm not alone.
It was my birthday last week – the first in 22 years that I had to spend without my partner. I had braced myself for what I knew was going to be a storm of emotions. I managed pretty well. For some reason, I just felt his presence all day, wishing me a happy birthday, and that was comforting. Then my friends took me out for a birthday lunch a couple of days later, and that was very nice. After the lunch, I rushed home again where I experienced a feeling of emptiness.
There was no one to share the moment with, no one with whom I can synthesize and process the experience. Life before he died had been an adventure. Whether together, or separately, we brought back pieces of our experiences to share with the other. It was like bringing together a giant puzzle, each one contributing a piece to complete this image of a shared life. Now, the pieces of what I experience as a single person no longer fit, and if that’s what I have to look forward to, then I question the need to continue.
I’ve gone to very dark places in the last couple of weeks. Taking the easy way out isn’t in my DNA, but I keep thinking about it. I hope to find new relevance in the next few months, or years. I know that grieving can be a protracted process, and I tell myself to keep faith.
Speaking of faith, I’ve been going to church now, every Sunday, for two months -- after being away for over 30 years. I don’t agree with many of the exclusionary policies of the Catholic Church, and I still don’t. But I’ve decided to make an attempt to rediscover my deeper held beliefs – in particular, that there is life after death. I’m doing it for selfish reasons – because it’s the only hope I have of being able to see him again. And for that, I will do anything.