Today’s title is sort of the emotional rail I’ve been riding. Like all trains it will pull slowly from the station, and then you may find yourself at the rail crossing watching it zip by you in a blur while you are lost in thought waiting for it to pass and when it comes back to the station, it’s with a screeching halt.
That is what the last month (yes, tomorrow morning not long after midnight will be one month) without Keith has been like for me. The first week or two was a blur with the initial loss and making final preparations and then calling insurance companies, credit card companies, social security (now there’s a misnomer – “security”). In a weird sort of way I felt like a freight train but had started to feel like I was going to derail. As the 3rd week rolled around, I found myself crying more than I had the first two weeks. I just can’t fathom my life without him by my side.
One month. 31 days. 744 hours and I have survived it. I spend a lot of time looking at all of the messages that Keith would send to me over the past year. The love letters written and the pictures we took. I find myself doing some things that are only important to me I guess. Just before I cancelled Keith’s cell phone, I used my phone to take a video recording of Keith’s voice-mail message as I called from my house phone on “speaker”. I have all of these wonderful things to listen to and to read and I have the memories in my heart. I am comforted by all of this and yet I often feel like it could be one misstep that sends me into the grieving abyss. I believe I am strong enough, I want to be strong enough and I promised Keith after all, that I would be strong enough – so I will be.
Imagine this. You have worked all day or shopped or cleaned the house or used so much brain power on something that you are just exhausted. You can’t wait to get home or the clock to roll around to get into your comfy clothes – those pajamas, flannel or yoga pants and you feel great – you can let it all hang out and all is right with the world. That’s what Keith was like to me. The most comfortable, relaxed and right relationship in the universe. It just was and he would always be there. I never had to think I needed to get into something more comfortable because no matter what, after a long day, he was there and he was able to put me into that “yes, this is what it’s all about” mode.
That’s it! Comfort, and now I am a little out of that zone. So where will I find it now? I will find it in his voice recordings; I will find it as I stare at pictures and remember. I will find it when I search my heart and remember, gratefully, that God gave us to each other so that when Keith went to heaven I would be comforted in the knowledge that we will be together again. Statistically (I hate math) I could be here without the physical presence of Keith for another 20-30 years. That seems like an awful long time. If they can go by as quickly as this past month, I will be fine. And maybe as time goes on and the train comes in and out of the station I will just come to realize that I am prepared to meet whatever comes my way.
Loss by definition is deprivation. I am not deprived of anything except a physical body next to me. I still have his spirit, his smile, his guidance and his love. I still have his written word and his video recordings. I still have memories and I have his promise to love me through eternity. I also have the promise that my God has given to me. I can’t ask for anything more.
Today I will end with an excerpt from one of many computer messaging sessions between Keith and me from June 24, 2014:
email@example.com: Do you know how much I Love You! I think I love you more than i ever have in our whole relationship to this point. You mean more to me than anybody ever has in my life except of course for my parents. You for the following reason are a small list of why this is so.
firstname.lastname@example.org: 1. The way you make me feel everyday that we look at each other every morning when we first wake up.
email@example.com: 2. The way we kiss each and every morning when we wake up except for when one of us is sick.
firstname.lastname@example.org: 3. The way you have taken care of me through this whole Cancer issue from the very beginning to this date and everyday since.
email@example.com: 4. The way you look at me with those beautiful eyes of yours.
firstname.lastname@example.org: 5. As much as you have Loved me throughout our entire relationship and beyond.
email@example.com: and for all of the numbers in the numbering system which is 6 through infinity. Every thing else we can think of to fill out each of those numbers. I know that right now you are going to say that you are going to you love me more then I could imagine and you know what YES YOU ARE CORRECT BECAUSE I THINK THAT WE BOTH LOVE EACH OTHER THE SAME AMOUNT AND WILL FOREVER AND EVER!!!!!!!!
firstname.lastname@example.org: Wow. I definitely feel loved. Now let me respond accordingly …
email@example.com: YES MY DEAR YOUR TURN!!!
firstname.lastname@example.org: 1. The way I feel when I wake up next to you is what has kept me going for twenty plus years.
email@example.com: 2. Kissing each other is as important in the morning as it is in the evening when we say good night and is part of what we have done since we met – it keeps us secure.
firstname.lastname@example.org: 3. Taking care of you is easy and a pleasure for me. You have taken care of me all along with my own health issues and this is what people who love each other do – without any thought.
email@example.com: 4. Sometimes when you look at me I feel like you are actually looking deep into my soul. When you search me with those eyes, it melts me.
firstname.lastname@example.org: 5. I have never doubted for a minute how genuine your love is and for that I am eternally grateful – you have always made me the most important person in the room.
email@example.com: 6. Eternity is a long time and I am grateful for the opportunity that we will get once we meet again in heaven. I hope our time apart is met with minor obstacles but I will draw on our love to get me through the difficult times.
firstname.lastname@example.org: 7. I love you equally.