How soon is too soon, when I’m so lonely…?
How long before people can watch me, looking for that elusive ‘someone else’ and be OK with that…?
I’m young, I’m not even thirty yet. I’m not particularly hideous… my husband always told me I was beautiful.
So, how long? Six months? Twelve months? Twelve months might feel ‘proper’… but even is that long enough, when I’m still half in love with a dead man?
And if I did… would that even be fair? How difficult would it be on that someone else? Could I find someone who wouldn’t mind when I mentioned his name, who would hold me while I sob?
I remember having a conversation once with Tony… if you were to die, he asked me, would you want me to move on and find someone else?
Yes, I say, without putting much thought into it, acting on instinct at the thought of someone I loved so dearly hurting like that. Yes, please, as soon as possible, find someone else. Life is not meant to be lived alone.
I ask him the same question, reciprocated, and the answer is hesitant. Yes, I suppose. But not too soon. A few years, at least, to get over me, or I’d be devastated.
That conversation, a memory against the clutter of our garage, the smell of cigarette smoke… it sticks in my head some days like a splinter under skin. I knew, as I heard it, that if the worse did happen- never dreaming then that it would- then my husband’s wishes may not be followed.
Because I get over a broken heart by moving forward, I suppose…. I’ve never been one to dwell.
I realise how far I’ve come when I see I actually have control over some things now.
I can choose not to drown in warm salty flashbacks of my happy Purple Life anymore. I feel them coming on, and I can shut them down.
Most of the time. Occasionally, it’s not that simple; and it’s generally a visual or olfactory sensation that sets it off. Photos- not the ones I see every day, the ones on our walls, but the forgotten moments in time that are frozen on my hard drive; a happy, painful proof of life. Or it’s a smell… Hugo aftershave, engine oil, baby shampoo in a warm, late afternoon bathroom.
These things take me back in a wave of emotion… blissed happiness at the memory, a stinging bite of pain at the truth… and then the disbelief. Always the disbelief.
How did this happen to my life?
And sometimes, these days, the answer is calm and simple.
It doesn’t matter. We’re surviving it anyway.