People avoid the subject.
They rub their hands awkwardly on their jeans before standing up and saying,
“Whelp, you’re managing marvellously under the circumstances!”
“You’re stronger than I would be.”
I want to whirl around and yell in their faces that I am not managing.
I don’t want to cope.
I am not waving but drowning. (Thanks, Stevie Smith.)
There is no coping, only being dragged along on the bottom of a bumpy river bed,
tossed between one emotion and another. And floundering.
Never gaining purpose because of the weighty anchor of the life that was before.
Desperately trying not to cut loose because you can’t bear to lose her.
But needing to, for the sake of sanity.
Your own sanity, which eats at you.
And then at that moment, that final, earth-shattering moment,
when your tiny world seems to stand still in that deathly-silent room,
as the chaos of life revolves unknowingly around you,
outside and uncaring that one more light has just flickered out,
the weight is released.
And you stop.
You are not pulled back or clawing for purpose.
Unfeeling, untethered, but most definitely not free.
And a gentle nothingness surrounds you in a way it never has before, except maybe at the birth of a child.
If you’ve had one, a new phase begins again because you cannot remember how to function as you did before.
The ghostly anchor that’s tied to old memories makes you mourn the loss of a life
so bright and twined irreversibly with yours.
And you don’t want to cut yourself free from it.
Still, you cannot press on and continue with life in a way others seem to naturally expect.
The world waits for no man! We’ve heard time and again.
And so I wait for it. Longing to be “normal.”
To smile without feeling the hollow widen deep inside me because she is not here to share the moment.
And never will be again.
The shadows creep—mocking and taunting the memories that we will never make.
Soon, the bright lights follow to remind me of those last few painful weeks.
The blazing colours make sure I will never forget that agonised look, the shallow, ragged breath,
and the love drawn from every haggard line that has wasted her.
I will never forget; her love is within me.
It is me.
It is not enough to go through the motions as though it never happened.
Still, I feel like I can’t keep up.
The world needs to remember that when I wave,
I am drowning.