Today is eleven months without my husband.
After today, I have no more months remaining as a barrier between myself and the dreaded “one year” mark.
I will no longer be able to say to myself that it’s not even been a year yet. I will no longer be in the “infancy” of grief.
I will be considered far enough along in my loss to be a veteran. I will have people start to question why I haven’t been able to do this or that yet… after all, it’s been a year.
The world will expect me to pack up all of my sadness in a tiny, little box. To be stored on the shelf of my life indefinitely.
And all I can think is that I cannot do this.
I can’t do it anymore. I don’t know how I’ve done it this long.
Every single day so far this month has included a breakdown of some sort. I think I’ve cried more in the past nine days than I did in the last eleven months combined.
I am tired. I am weak. I have no resolve left.
I. Can. Not. Do. This.
And I don’t need anyone telling me that I can. You don’t know me. You don’t know what this feels like for me.
I have been strong. And I have been encouraging. And I have been bloody inspirational.
But I can’t do it anymore.
I am done.
I am ready to let the darkness consume me. The finality of my loss is sinking in. Maybe in the back of my mind I thought he would come back. Maybe the images of his lifeless body that are burned into my soul were just conjured from a lifetime of watching way too many crime shows on tv. Maybe he was just on deployment or training or a really long adventure trip.
Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
But no. He was not. He is dead. He is not coming back.
Never again will I see those bright, blue eyes…sparkling a little when he was up to something mischievous. Never again will I hold his rough, weathered hand…smaller than mine, but strong enough to pull me through the trials of life. Never again will I wrap my arms around him, cradle his head to my chest (yes, I was a couple inches taller than him and could easily do this) and squeeze as tightly as possible…trying to transfer all of the love that I felt from my heart to his.
I will never get to see his smile. I will never get to hear his goofy laugh. I will never feel the warmth of his arm around me as we drift off to sleep.
What is this life without the person you promised forever to?
I’ll tell you what it is.
It is broken. It is empty. It is painful reminder after painful reminder. It is an aching deep inside your being for the one thing that has ever made you truly feel alive.
It is tears in the shower. It is bawling on the drive to work (a task I do not recommend). It is intrusive thoughts of self harm that you know you would never act on, but they sound so delightfully appealing…an end, however brief, to the incessant pain.
It is knowing people are looking at you out of the corner of their eye when someone says something potentially triggering. It is all the questions you are dying for people to ask…but knowing they won’t be comfortable with the answers. It is being completely alone despite being surrounded by people you love.
It is like nothing you can ever imagine. It is your worst nightmare multiplied by a million.
I would never wish this type of pain upon anybody.
I am but a shell of the person that I once was. I wear a mask. I put on an act to fool you into thinking I’m okay. I am hollow. I am hurting.
I might not survive.
This is what loss does to you. This is what it feels like.
I have 31 days left before I have to say that I have lived a year without my best friend.
I dread the moment that I wake up on day 366. And every second that passes after that.
I have lived eleven months without my person and today, I am not okay.