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On the Journey Before Us
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You have finally left us.
I will spend the day attempting to make that idea real for myself.
I will mourn by writing.
I will make it real by writing it down….by putting it all into words…or as much of it as I can do.
Words have been my shelter since I was a teenager, when my mom gave me my first blank journal.

After a year and a half of struggling with the very concept of being ill, you , the healthiest of us all, have gone, leaving me in a world without my oldest friend, my protector, my gentle knight. Fifty years of sharing so much. Marriage, divorce, your coming out of the closet, our games and wars and carings.
I am settled for two decades now with another man I truly love, and in that second marriage, I am happy.
But I shall miss you for the rest of my life, dear first husband.

Paul, the wallpaper and carpeting of my life, that I now must acknowledge is no more.
Only memories will be my wallpaper…..only conjuring by writing will be my foundation, but without the real physical you, I must admit, I feel lost at sea, let loose in space, with no one to tether me to the space ship called home.

Squinting into the shining sun seems an appropriate image, as it hurts me in my eyes, and in my entire body
and as much as I look into that sun, I see only a dark outline of you, not the real you.

It feels like I am squinting into a harsh and demanding sun that rises above to taunt me.
It taunts me because it allows me to sort of see you, though not the genuine you at all…only that dark dark shadow it hurts my eyes to seek. Or maybe that dark form is what you are now…I keep looking for a sign that you completed your journey well.

In my family, when you arrived at a destination on a long trip, you’d call to let it be known you made it safely . My momma did that after she died….an eerie story in itself,to do with a hotel phone light blinking all night long when there was no message to blink for.

Your leaving me taunts me as much as the diamond sharp sun does

How could you?
What good was all that organic eating? All those miles of running and biking? All the gym devotion five times a week for three hours a visit? Your health became your obsession, and look! Now the sneaky son of a bitch that is cancer clawed up onto you and caught you despite all your efforts.

I don’t know who to be enraged at…..god, if there is one? cancer, that seems to have many attributes, but hearing human prayer is not one of them….? well, on the other hand, if it hears human prayer, this dastardly disease, it picks and chooses who to answer yes or no to…..cancer as god…. anger at what and at whom?
You, Paul? Should I be angry at you? Well, I know anger is more than allowed, but it doesn’t seem right to be angry at you now that your are dead….I still cannot believe that I am writing that word in relation to you, my darling: dead. Dead. Dead. Really?

You are not even here for me to rage at! And I used to have so much fun taking my rages out on you withstood them and still loved me is a mystery to me. But somehow you managed to love me through the decades, five of them, despite all my obvious flaws. As unconditional love as we are allowed in this lifetime. Lifetime …..your lifetime is done. Life has a time, and yours is done. Time does have limits. Or maybe it doesn’t and our time together will simply change zones, like we move from daylight savings time each year. Maybe I will meet you in another time…I am pretty sure I will.

But meanwhile:

Another running into the wall of reality: your lifetime is done.
It’s going to take more writing today than this one prompt allows, for me run up against enough walls of reality. Maybe if I can keep typing it, i’ll one day believe it: you are gone. Truly gone.

My Paul, My Panuskhka….my shnookie…my pookie….my burden, and my joy. You are gone.
Each time I write that, it’s like a small spoon is scooping out bits of my vulnerable soul, like ripe melon.
Each time I write that you are gone, I empty and become spacious inch by inch. Too many inches to carve out with one small spoon. My grief is one small spoon.

You are on the journey before us, and, as usual, I expect to learn a lot from you in this experience.
My love for you: timeless.

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