It’s so easy to smile these days. I used to hate those fuckers who would come up to me and tell me to smile. My face just doesn’t naturally smile, I would say to them. And it still doesn’t. I don’t even know if I’m capable of feeling that joy that comes with a grin – but these days when one of those fuckers says that stupid line to me, I cock my head to the side like a two-faced jerk and I smile.
I’m afraid to feel anything. I miss him. I miss him all the time. I see flashes of his face. I hear his words, his voice, his inflections. I see his eyes. His pupils change as his thoughts change. I remember my life with him, the life we had planned to live, and I long for it. But I have to block it out. I have to push it to the side and pretend those aches are not there or I will never stop crying. It’s the elephant in the room. The thorn in my side. It hangs over me – lurks constantly – nudging me all the time – my personal piece of darkness. As much as I want it to go away at times, I don’t ever want it to leave me. I spend so much energy trying to ignore that Dave’s not here, but it’s not getting any easier. I’m not used to it.
I try to remind myself that I was in love once upon a time and I didn’t always feel this emptiness and contempt. I start drifting into the memories of how I felt when Dave was still here and the walls start closing in, my heart-rate increases and suddenly I can’t breathe. The tears follow within seconds. I am beginning to question if I have dealt with any of my feelings of loss. Shouldn’t I be able to smile when I remember his love? Why do I still choke? Why does my chest hurt? Why isn’t he coming home? Why does the mere thought of him incapacitate me? How come, after nearly 10 months, I am still in so much angst over his death?
And sometimes I can’t even believe this is my life. Is this real? It seems like a million years ago that world existed, like it was someone else’s life, in some other time that I read about in some book somewhere. Then it dawns on me that it is my life, and it’s very real and then I don’t have any clue what anything in this whole world means anymore. How is it possible to so quickly lose the one person you spent your whole life waiting for right after you found them? I mean, where do I go from here? What do I do now? How can anything ever compare to the life and happiness I had with Dave? I don’t think anything can ever top it – which makes me sad. It’s like my life is destined to only ever be mediocre since that day. And I know part of me wants to top it. I mean, I know I should try to make it amazing and impressive and grand and do all the work necessary to have a great existence, but it would be for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes I just want to give up. Settle. Live the zombie life. I mean, who am I kidding?
And then I realize there must be something I’m just not getting about life. I mean, maybe it’s not life that’s confusing me. Maybe it’s my life that I don’t understand. Maybe I need to give myself more time to cope and learn to exist with my personal piece of darkness. I just wish everyday wasn’t so difficult. I wish I could smile and mean it. I wish I wasn’t always going through the motions and enjoying things because I think I should be enjoying them. I wish I could feel something real again – but I know that loving Dave was as real as I have ever felt in my life. And I wish that thought could make me smile, but lately it’s just not natural to smile.