It is strange the things that trigger the grieving. The other day it was my visit to my accountant to prepare our 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 the organizing of receipts as we’d take over the dining room table to decipher the 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.
After the appointment, there was always that time when I would sit in my car and pull out my phone to call him to tell him the good / bad news. And then we would go out to celebrate that we were finished, at least for another year.
This year I was so aware of his absence as I went through the process. No argument over the accountant, no one to help me sort out the receipts. No one to sit by my side, coffee in hand, to read me the details. And there was no one to celebrate with about the refund we would be receiving this year…
* * *
Without him. That is my awareness now.
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 my cat, as I drift 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 dream big.
To travel the world and have my adventures,
To find joy and love and celebration.
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.