They should tell you…
About the silence. The silence you’ll experience both in your house and your heart when you lose your person. The Hospice nurses, the social workers, the Chaplains provided, your grandmother, (or grandfather!) even shrinks. Even the FedEx guy you spill your heart to…for no reason. You know…anyone.
Many people reading this post probably don’t get “the silence”…yet. And I hope you don’t have to, because it sucks. Yes, the people we love get out on our nerves, and maybe we think about duct taping their mouth shut. But that’s companionship and marriage. Not for me though…because my guy is gone gone. As I write this, I’m tearing up uncontrollably and want to turn to denial instead. This can’t be real. He was just here..and then I remember a month has passed. A month. The days have flown, but every damn moment has dragged. Because…the silence.
Back to the month. A month without hearing “I love you!” or “What’s for breakfast?” And then of course, his asking about lunch or dinner. Plus the snacks, and then more snacks. That man could eat! Although I don’t know where he put it, since he lost 40 pounds in under eight months. Was he stashing it somewhere? I dunno. Maybe he fed it to the dog as he porked up a bit…okay, a lot.
Mark and I used to talk for hours and hours…about nothing really. We knew from the third date we’d probably never run out of things to say. There would always be chatter about our days, family, work, even the jerk who cut us off in traffic earlier that day (RUDE!)
I recall we had a long talk the Friday before he died. He must have known he wasn’t right as he talked about how disappointed he was that he hadn’t seen his friends and family in a while. This isn’t a personal attack either, so calm down snowflakes. I realize some people could handle his decline and some couldn’t. Still, he was sad…so we talked through it, like we did everything.
This unique discussion gave me the opportunity to tell him how much of a positive effect he had on my life. He changed me, and how I look at life, as he did for so many people. He was humbled by his disease, and always forgiving about a person’s flaws. I used to care a lot about money, things, and getting ahead in the world. Maybe that was because I struggled so much when I was younger, I’m not sure. Mark reminded me to appreciate the things that really matter: spending time with family, enjoying laughter, and sharing the most truest of love. The “little” things, otherwise known as the best things.
Mark wasn’t just my husband, he was my very best friend, my ally in life, my confidant. And I was his. I could tell him anything and he’d listen to me. And vice-versa. Now that I think about it…maybe he was deaf? HA, I hope not. That said, I do tend to talk.. a lot. But he loved that about me. He loved that I carried the convo and he’d just listen, occasionally throwing me “the smolder” or a snide comment about being so cantankerous.
But now there’s just silence. A whole lot of silence. Without him here, there’s no daily visits from nurses. No extra cleaning to keep germs at bay. No yelling to my youngest son to help me clean him up or feed him one of his meals. No…now it’s just quiet. So now I talk to myself (I’m not crazy) or to his parakeet, Lou. Lou doesn’t talk back though — he just tells me to shut up in his bird way. When I finally give up on Lou (and Mark) answering me, I kiss Mark’s urn and flop frustrated and sad into bed. God I miss him.
I close my eyes tightly when I talk to his ashes (he’s right next to me on his nightstand) and I imagine what he’d say in response to my talking. Especially about the current heat. It’s so hot, ugh. He loved the heat and humidity (clearly he was borderline wacko) and he was in his personal “hotter-than-hell” Heaven when we were in Haiti, sweating in places we didn’t know we had. I can definitely hear him laughing at me complaining about it right now.
But now it’s silence. All. The. Time.
I used to appreciate silence and now I dread it. It’s a constant reminder Mark is gone…and I’m alone. Yes I have the kids here, but it’s not the same. Nothing screws with your brain more than knowing the one person who provided you so much emotional security is never coming back. It’s overwhelmingly sad. Maybe it gets easier…but I don’t see how. For now, I just have to learn to live with it…no matter how deafening.