I DO Have a Husband
The girls are back to school this morning. Mixed feelings for the three of us. I want them to get back to some normality but I am afraid to let them go out of my sight, as if I kiss them goodbye at the school gate I may never see them again.
They want to be with their friends but they worry about me being alone for the first time.
I reassure them that I will be fine, but I know that they know that I am lying.
I take a deep breath bracing myself before I walk inside my house, reminding myself that I am not completely helpless. Just five minutes at the time. I can handle that, five minutes at the time.
The dishes from last night need to be clean. I can handle that today. The trash needs to be put out. I can handle that today. The laundry needs to be done. I can handle that today.
The bills need to be paid and I must apply for some government assistance. I start to fill out the forms.
And then it hits me, like a mighty unexpected blow on the top of my stomach. Such a simple question: "Do you have a partner?"
YES! I do have a partner. I have a husband. I have a friend. I have a companion. I have a lover. He is just... he is just not here.
My cursor hovers over the NO box.
If I tick this box, I will be admitting that he is gone. If I tick THIS box I will have to face the truth. The truth that wakes me up in the middle of the night, every night. The truth that stabs my heart before I even open my eyes every morning. The truth that suffocates me several times in the middle of the day.
My husband is gone.
His body buried in a box.
His work belongings packed in a box.
I know that soon or later I will have to tick that box.
As much as I want to fight this truth. As loud as I can scream "IT'S NOT FAIR!"
As hard as I try to remember his smile and his smell, and his touch, I am bereft by the truth that he is gone and grief has arrived.
It breathes it's chilly breath over me, this grief that uninvited and unwanted takes lodge in my home, on my bed, in my chest, in my memories, inside the marrow of my bones.
I am stricken by grief. Beaten down. My mind wandering from the reality of what is to what it wants to be.
I close the forms. The box unticked and my heart, tight inside my chest, asking such a simple question: "Where is my partner?"