I have chronicled the pain of losing love in the first few days of the loss—partly as a means to heal and partly to capture the intensity of the experience. The following recounts my unfolding grief and my mind’s interplay with my heart as I noted every reminder of her absence and my aloneness.
Mere days outside of the dissolution of our relationship, so many things stand to remind me of the loss, the sudden vacancy in my now and my future.
That space was once filled with hope and dreams and pronouns like ‘we.’
These memoirs of love lost are memoirs of brokenness. Memoirs of a life no longer mine, no longer lived. Memoirs of just days ago. Scars of failure and should haves. Scars of remorse and would haves.
The whole right side of the bed sprawls next to me, unclaimed.
My laptop takes her place so that I can fall asleep to DVDs—brain dead. Heart numb. Invested in someone else’s life. Hearing someone else’s voice. Stories go on. Just not mine. At least not this chapter.
I live the painful afterword.
Her pillows stacked on the floor so I do not chance a smell of her in my sleep; they are tempting me to hold them, pull them in…pretend they are her. They mock my loneliness with their loyalty to her, the way that they belong to her.
I want to defy their distance from me and hold them close while breathing the scent of her right out of them. Defiance such as this can happen in a room with no witnesses—when the only breath breathed is yours.
Her closet that I do not dare open for fear of the damning evidence of truth. But when I do dare, and I do, I see her in every shirt that hangs, every pair of pants…memories flood space that tries to be ambivalent. And the silence of that space is palpable. The echoes of the emptiness carry her voice, playing on a loop for every time I saw her dress before this closet—for every time I told her she was beautiful and for every time I did not…but should have.
My toothbrush stands alone on the sink and my body care products swim in the space left behind on the shower rack…no more hair in the drain. No more wet footprints on the mat—a mat that stays in place and never shifts the way it did under her feet.
I used to complain about that…now I wonder if I would take it all back. The recollection of wetness and crookedness seem so small when the loss of this love is so great.
My yoga mat that has returned to the floor of this room instead of the ‘wellness room’ that we created as a place for my practice and meditation. This mat—an island calling me back. Beckoning me from my withdrawal. Longing to hold some of my burden if only I will relinquish. Promising me an anchor in every breath I draw upon its surface, for every bow I surrender.
The absence of anyone to answer when I call out into the night because I forget—I am alone.
Creaks in the floor and sounds in the night outside my window with no one to share the dis-ease with. They fall alone on my ears and unsettle my solo soul as I talk myself back to sleep, knowing I am having an impossible conversation.
The feeling of waking in the middle of the night to absolute confusion that turns to emptiness that turns to devastation because she was just there in the space of my dream. The feeling of trying to coax sleep from that place—negotiating like a desperate beggar.
The floral print duvet that lays in the corner waiting on my new bed for ‘one.’ She would never like this floral print.
Now its presence symbolizes her absence.
The suitcase from our recent cruise to the Bahamas that sits at the end of the bed.
Full still—taunting, looming, reminding me of pronouns like ‘our.’
Author: Tina Vaughn
Editor: Renee Picard
Image: all.consuming at Flickr