Death does not magically wipe the slate clean, but it can provide clarity.
In the moment that I knew my husband was never coming back, I cried. These were not gentle tears; no ethereal dew trembling beneath the first shy beams of morning. It was melting gorilla face in a wax museum sobbing.
I won’t pretend that I don’t remember everything that upset me. Every hurt feeling, misspoken word, wrong reaction…it’s all seared in my heart. Every sentiment that I thought I needed, the responses I believed I wanted? Still there. My husband’s passing has been like kerosene upon these flames, but the brightness illuminates not that I was wronged, but that I was being petty. None of those things mattered.
He had, through all the time we had been together, always done his best. He loved me with everything that he had.
Anyone who knows about our situation will probably say, “But you were there at the end. You took care of him” and, yeah, I did. But I’m greedy. I want more days with my toes buried in the sand, raising my nose from the book I’m reading, and asking him in exasperation, “How can you poke fun at people who take a million selfies when you’re asking me to take a picture of you again?” (Answer: “It’s not a selfie, it’s a picture of this amazing scenery, with me in it!”) I want to put on an exaggerated smile and tell him how excited I am over the Habs playing whoever, and I hope he screams extra loud during the game. I want to walk through the mall with him and have him point to an anime cat and ask, with complete sincerity, “Is that Hello Kitty?”
I want the adventures that we thought we’d have, and the time within which to do them.
One of the things he often said, especially in the last few weeks, was, “All you have is today.” I’m working on that, S. I’m working on it…