Our Eighteenth Wedding Anniversary

We thought that it was so cool we got married on the last year of the last millennium. 2nd of July, 1999. And ever since he would buy me white orchids, because they were my favourite, even though I always told him not to waste money on flowers. 

We used to love life, to have a zest, a passion and a love for life that was full of hope and of a desire to find the best in every circumstance. Even our fights were full of passion. I think we fought because we loved each other so much and we had this love for life that pushed us to strive for a life that was fully alive.

But now that he is gone my love for life is diminishing. Not that we love life itself, we don't. We love people, places, stories. We love art, and music, and films, and food, and colours, and scents. We love animals, nature and flowers. We love dancing, playing, and making love. And some of us are lucky enough to meet a person that requires all the love we have to give, and who loves us with all the love they have to give in return.

We learn to love life together. We learn that our love is broken, full of cracks that sometimes cuts us deeply. But we also learn that this imperfect love and this imperfect life are beautiful and it's ok to be cracked... Everything has a crack and that is how the lights gets in. 

So we dare to pledge our love and commitment to each other, we choose to persevere, to work things out, to forgive, to embrace, and to love the life we build together. 

But when that person is gone, all the love we have seems to dry up. It all sips through the cracks and leaves us empty. 

We think life is is going to stop, but life just keeps on going. For others at least.

While we are left bereft. 

I'm bereft. 

My love for life is diminishing as the emptiness in my heart consumes me. If there is any love left, it's leaking out of me ever so slowly, through my tears, my fears and my nightmares.

To hear that my life is not over brings me no comfort because living is tiring. 

Going to visit his grave and cry an ugly, heart wrenching cry on the day we should celebrate our wedding anniversary is tiring. 

Missing him is tiring. Loving is tiring. 

It's possible to miss one single person, to have a longing for a single human being, even when we are surrounded by countless others. Because the others can never know us so intimately and so profoundly as the one who we learned to love our cracked life together.

But then, when I least expect a friend comes over to visit and hands me a bouquet of white flowers and amongst them, a stem of white orchids... They've always been my favourite, and only he knew that.

And I glimpse the faintest silver lining across the dark skies I'm engulfed by.

So I go on, hoping and whispering a faint prayer to God for strength to put on foot in front of the other each day, and to somehow re-learn to love this new cracked, dried up life I am left with.

I can’t go on. But I will go on.

Tatiana HotereComment