Without Him

It is strange the things that trigger the grieving. The other day it was a visit to the accountant to prepare my taxes.

Every year for over 26 years we had our ritual at tax time. The annual argument over turbo tax vs. an accountant. I always voted for the accountant; I usually won. Then organizing the receipts as we’d take over the dining room table to decipher little scraps of paper we’d accumulated throughout the year. And then finally, we would take a weekend and sit side by side while he read the receipts out loud, and I would enter them into the computer.

It was my job to meet with the accountant, walking him through the income and expenses. After each appointment, I would sit in the car and call my husband to tell him the good / bad news. Either way, we would go out to celebrate that we were done for another year.

This year I was so aware of his absence. No argument over the accountant, no one to help sort the receipts. No one to sit by my side, coffee in hand, to read me the details. No one to celebrate the refund we would be receiving this year…

Without him.

That is my awareness now.

Everywhere I see his missingness, his absence. Like the crescent moon against a black sky, I am reminded how every little / big thing is now without him.

To bed, I go without him.
To dinner, I go without him.
To celebrate, I do without him.
To shop or nap or dance or walk, I now do without him.

There is no one to scold, no one to hold.
No one to fight, no one to hug.
He is not there to squeeze me in his arms as I beat the floor with missing him.
Even this I must do without him.

There is no one to carry my bags,
Or tease me about my credit cards.
No one to dream with about our travels, our adventures, our future.

The list is endless, the big and little things I must now do without him.

But even as my heart clenches and my sobs rise, I also know this.
I have learned to go to bed without him.
To snuggle up against the pillow and the cat, as I drift off to sleep.

I carry my own bags without him,
Though it sometimes requires several trips to get them all inside.
I have talked to a plumber and climbed a ladder to change a lightbulb without him.

I have even fallen to the floor, and picked myself up, repeatedly, all without him.

I am planning my travels, my adventures, my future … without him.
But I feel him!
I know he is there,
Whispering at my shoulder, slipping into dreams.
Encouraging me to be brave, to imagine.
To travel the world and have my adventures.
To find joy and love and celebration.

I know, know, know,
That even as I move forward in this life without him,
He will always be a part of me.
He is woven into my heart,
Into my bones and sinews and muscles.
He has made me who I am.

He will always be my love.

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