Death does that.
It comes and holds up a mirror, forcing us to confront ourselves.
Is this who I am meant to be?
Am I leading an authentic life?
Am I going deliberately about my life?
It scares me, Love.
Can one love too much, too deeply?
Can you become so bonded with another that life without them is unbearable?
What folly for the one left behind once death has cast it's mantle.
Heavy stuff, this death, this dying.
I feel weary, shoulders knotted, tears a constant under quivering eyelids. I'm not sure who I am mourning more:
A woman ripped away as if the Angel of Death was in haste?
Or a husband left behind wondering, muttering, unfinished?
Or am I mourning for me?
For some strange reason, when reading a novel, I tend to skim over the last page, determined to know the outcome of a story. There's comfort in knowing, I suppose. But not with my own story! Not now, not with this!
I see my love story echoed in that of my in laws. I have seen their final chapter, bared witness to their final hour, and it was like reading the ending of my own love story.
It scared me, left me shaken, withdrawn.
50 Years of togetherness is a lifetime! And we're halfway there having already packed the first 25 years so tight with memories and magic. The depth and richness of this is daunting.
Am I brave enough for love?
I stop for a moment, eyes flooding with tears. I wipe it away delicately, stroking feverish forehead in an attempt to still a foolish mind.
My thoughts turn to him, to us.
We promised forever on our wedding day. The heavens opened up when we said "I do!" washing the world clean, holding us hostage inside a hall bedecked with symbols of love. We sat alone in the wings for a long time. He held my hand in his, palm turned up, running his fingers along my palm in long lines, promising time, promising eternity with each stroke. I looked up at him, my heart racing, my nerves shot. I could see he felt the same, we didn't enter into this lightly; Love is for the brave, not the foolhardy.
Now, after all these years, it seems more courage is required, because the stakes are so much higher. At first it was a gamble, but now ... now we know what we have to lose, and it is invaluable!
Am I brave enough?
The light of the computer screen irks me, the keys taunt me; raising more questions than answers. The whirring of my machine usually so comforting, grates me; chides me into deeper thought than I am ready to address.
Denial not an option.
So I run away.
I get up, step away from the offending machine, walk through the house quietly in mourning. I run to him, seeking him out. He is sleeping soundly drained by the business and formalities of death. I pull back the covers, snuggle in greedy to be close to him. He reaches for me, draws me in, flexes his feet to raise me and lock me in. I hear his breathing, it soothes me, it makes sense of everything. It is the soundtrack to my life. Quickly our breathing becomes in sync and I drift off...
We moved continents to be together. Stood hand-in-hand in shark infested waters and climbed mountains together...
Only death to part.