When my aunt Mary Pat died, the sense of loss was beyond anything I had ever experienced before. The suddenness of that void her death caused still haunts me to this day. Everyone in the family misses her in their own way, each of us wishing for her in our own way. For me, I just wish I still had a chance to see her, to make plans for lunch, hug her, tell her that I love her. But as we know and suffer with death, those things can't happen. She's gone.
When things got shitty between me and The Man a couple of months ago, that void came back to me in a whole new way. An ugly, horrible, empty void caused by the death of our marriage. A death of who I had thought I was and who I thought we were. There is no question in my mind that I have been mourning so much, regretting so much, wishing things hadn't turned out like they did. There are moments when I feel the void swallowing me whole with doubt and worry, with fear, with the shadows of emptiness that chase me through the hallways of my mind.
But the funny thing with this void is that it isn't just mine. The Man is in it here with me. He feels the pain, he suffers, he regrets. We died as a couple over the last couple of years, of that I am certain. But the funny thing with this death is that he's not gone. Nor am I.
We meet for lunch, we tell jokes, he hugs me, we tell each other that we love each other. We talk about what happened to us and why. We mourn the good times we had and try to understand the bad. We talk about who we were and thank God for the chance to talk about who we can be. When he comes home at night, I tell him how glad I am that he's here. Here with me. Alive and moving on.
He's not gone. He's here in the ashes of our marriage, holding my hand.
We're not gone.