The day before yesterday was Christmas Eve and yesterday was Christmas. Next week it will be New’s Eve and New Year’s Day and then it will be over. Thank God. I can’t wait.
I spent the entire holiday with family except I left for home around 5pm Christmas Day; and while I love my family, I couldn’t help but think of how much is different since Bill is not here. I didn’t get to spend the entire night Christmas Eve fighting Bill off when he would ask me repeatedly what he got for Christmas. He would even strike up deals with our kids, “if you tell me…..I’ll tell you.” My older child (adult) never fell for his tricks, but the younger child (adult) would occasionally fall for it since he actually would tell her what she got.
On Christmas Day, around 5 o’clock pm I announced that I’d be going home for the rest of the evening. There was a little discussion about how I shouldn’t go home but I just wanted to go home. I wanted to be in a place where I knew Bill lived most of his life. I was told I was selfish to think only of myself because they missed Bill too. I know they do, but my grief is my grief and their grief is their grief. My children grieve their dad but on a whole different level. I don’t minimize their grief but my grief to me is all-consuming. I think about Bill all the time. Even when I smile its just a symbol of what I’m suppose to do; but if you look closely, my smiles do not reach my eyes. My eyes still search for the man who I loved all those 44 years – still love.
I don’t know how to explain it but it’s almost like the day Bill died a part of his DNA that was mixed with mine screamed out to the universe. I ripped in two: one side died and the other side had to carry on. The crazy thing is that I wanted to go with the side that was no longer here but my”normal” side wouldn’t let me. I sometimes think that if it were only Bill and I tied to each other when he died, I would have gone with him; but I have more of Bill’s legacy and my legacy here on this earth.
I have lost a grandmother, a mother and a father and those deaths were hard to take. I remember crying and then laughing when a funny story was told about them. I laughed a real laugh and yes, I cried real tears. I have not lost a sibling so I can’t say how I will react to something as devastating as losing my brother would be and I have not lost a child which has to be the ultimate insult. I don’t know how people can live through that. All I know is that I lost my husband, my love, my live and it is by far the worst pain I have ever experienced. The Bible says”a man shall leave his mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one.” I lost my “oneness” with Bill. I lost not just a piece of me but an integral half of myself. Most of the times, I just feel empty.
I hate when people acknowledge Bill’s life and I exult when people do acknowledge his life. I’m a complete and utter oxymoron. Wanting both sides of an equation that others don’t know how to approach. If I honestly had my druther, I’d rather have those who knew Bill acknowledged that he lived and was a good man; those that did not know him, but knew me and can relate in some way to my pain, I’d love a hug from you just long enough to tell me that “someday” you will remember him with a smile and laughter and exalt in the joy he gave me.
I didn’t realize how much Bill and I were enmeshed in each other. When he died my covering left and I was cold, left alone in the rain to find a path of my own without Bill; but instead I just stood there, crying, waiting to feel his breath against my cheek, praying that I’d feel his soft lips against mine, waiting to hear him say “Carmen, I love you.” He said it all the time. He didn’t call me “baby”, he didn’t call me “honey”, he called me Carmen and I loved to hear my name escape from his lips. Bill, I so love you. I loved you so much that it hurts right now. My pain is unequaled.
Bill touched so many lives. He gave of himself freely, not asking anything in return. He fed the homeless, he helped the widow in her time of need, he taught others until I thought he would have nothing more to give. He was always there to lend a hand however he could; and in turn, when Bill became ill, others did for him without asking anything in return. Bill was one in a million and I know, without a doubt in my mind he is with his Higher Power.
My prayer for me is that Bill’s death is just a nightmare of which I am ready to wake of from; my prayer for Bill is that he stay seated with his Maker in all His glory with Bill’s presence adding to the light in heaven. Bill, you are seated with the Father in all His glory where death and pain can never touch you again.