You hear all these songs about Good Cheer and Joy and Jingle Bells and all that fun stuff. Images of families all together and gifts being exchanged and churches full of people singing Angels We Have Heard On High are all over the place. Every day there’s a couple of cards in the mail…I guess those may be the last bastion of snail mail. Sometimes, when I hear a Christmas song, I smile and listen to it. Other times I want to throw something and crunch to pieces the CD. How dare they sing about Happy Joy Stuff when I CAN’T EVEN!
Not always, though. Yes, loneliness is a wet rag on my head. Like anything that is constant, I’ve sort of gotten used to it. Only now and then does it dribble something gross down my neck, but when it does, watch out…tears will flow. I hate crying, even when completely alone. It is embarrassing. I try to choke it back because the end result is a bad headache and good grief, I’m tired. The prudent course of action is to hold it at bay until evening, when going to bed isn’t going to screw things up.
It isn’t a loneliness that can be fixed by a friend or a kid, or a good TV show, a book, or food (bleh food. Nothing tastes good anymore). My best friend of 30 years is GONE. How do you fix that, beyond getting used to it? I know, I’ve gone on about this for 10 months now, and while I am getting used to it, it isn’t getting BETTER. It won’t. He isn’t replaceable. What will happen is a getting used to it, finding a way to fill time with productive stuff rather than tv, book, or food (bleh.)
Not long ago I went to Savannah for a day. We went into a skin care store, and the woman working there spent some time rubbing lotion into my hands and arms. I hadn’t been touched like that in…gosh…10 months. When I started to tear up she asked what was wrong. After explaining the situation she nodded and said she understood, because her husband died when she was 41. That was very comforting, to know someone knew what I meant .I felt a little less lonely the rest of the day. Even though I was with a good friend, and essentially enjoyed the day, there was no one to come home to, who would ask how things went and what was the best part. Funny thing is, if Himself had been around, having the woman touch me like she did would have been weird and unpleasant.
Now, I am not wanting pity, this continues to be a road I am on and have to keep going down. It’s OK, because it’s where God put me and I trust His judgement for my life. But, it is a difficult and uncomfortable road. Nearly every day I discover another thing missing, or something new and different, another thing I can’t tell Himself about, like starting school, or learning how to make sock monkeys.
There’s also new realizations, of things that wouldn’t have happened if Himself were here, like starting school, or managing money, or fixing an appliance, things I didn’t know I knew. Also, curly hair. Yes. It was on the way to being wavy before he died, but since then it has become full-on curly. How about that.
I am on the way to becoming a different person, or maybe becoming the person that was in there but wasn’t fully realized…I’m not sure which. But, being able to DO THINGS, make decisions based on what I want instead of compromising (don’t get me wrong, compromise is a foundation stone of a successful marriage, but I don’t seem to need to do that anymore)…all of this is very new to me and kind of feels like a new skin. With God’s help I can settle into the new life and get used to the fit.The memories of 30 years (28-1/2 of them married, 28 of them with kids…wow…)will shape all of this, as it should. But in the mean time, it is a really lonely road, occasionally dark and rainy,sometimes sunny, but definitely lonely.