Yes, I'm aware that change is constant, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. This is pretty much me in a nutshell; change in jobs--good (I tend to get bored easily), change in life--bad. It's one of the reasons I've lived in the same home for over 15 years. That and the fact that my husband and I both hated to move.
But now my entire life is in a constant state of change. Unlike many who lose a spouse, I don't hate my husband for leaving me. I hate the circumstances around him leaving, but I don't blame him personally. Although there were times when I found myself really upset at his body for not being able to fight off the disease enough to cure him. You may have noticed that I have never publicly stated what disease he had. It's still really hard for me to write those words. Eric was notoriously private, and announcing it to the world somehow feels like a betrayal to him. And I was fiercely protective of him.
Even though we were young, I very purposefully married Eric. And boy oh boy did he spoil me. I later learned that that had been his plan all along. In short, he would have ruined me for any other man. He didn't just spoil me by letting me indulge in my ridiculous and very specific manner of living, he spoiled me with his love, time, attention, and care.
Here's just one quick example: Even after being together more than 25 years, he would do this thing when we were out for meals. If we were sitting across from each other, he would move the obstacles on the table to the side so we could hold hands. Pretty sweet, right? It didn't matter if we were alone or with with my family, he pretty much always did this. He claims that I started this ritual years ago, but I don't really have a strong recollection of it. Only that it was something we've always done. I seriously can't imagine me doing that with anyone else in the world.
Change has now forced me to try to envision a life without Eric. All I keep thinking is that I loved the way my life had turned out, I had found someone who was perfect for me, and we were living a life that was better than I thought was possible. Now some new, unknown entity of a life is what I have to look forward to, and I fucking don't want it. I don't want any of it.
I don't want that I will likely move to the San Diego/La Jolla area in the early spring. I don't want to have to sort through, donate/sell, and give away 15 years of things we accumulated together living in this same location as a couple. Hell, I don't even want to acknowledge that I no longer have my "happy place", which was me cuddling Eric, my head on his chest, and his arm around me. I mean, what the fuck. I have to find a new happy place....pardon my French, but that is some straight up bullshit!
I begin grief therapy in a few weeks. I believe it will help me as I begin to navigate my new normal. In the interim I have been reading some books on grief and grieving. One of the things they stress is to not make any rash decisions while you are still engulfed in grief. Intellectually I get that, but what does it really mean? I'm going to have to move from my home because I have no incoming income and the rent is ridiculously high. My lease is up in the early spring, but is 6 months too soon to make a big decision like moving to a completely new and mostly unknown area? I guess that's a good question for a grief counselor, and at least I would be moving to be closer to my middle sister, her husband, and my niece and 2 nephews. Besides, I find that there is something so calming and centering about being near water. I think a lot of that has to do with growing up outside of Chicago and being able to see Lake Michigan from my bedroom window.
There's no doubt about it, I have what you would call a strong personality. Most people would be surprised that I didn't wear the pants in my marriage. While I made many day to day decisions, I always left the big decisions up to Eric. He brought in the money, I did the finances, and he decided the big stuff. I'm not sure I want that kind of responsibility. Scratch that. I KNOW I don't want that kind of responsibility. They say that when it comes to grief, people can be there to guide you, but it is that person who is walking through the abyss of grief who is ultimately responsible to their decisions--both good and bad. I've already made some not so rash decisions like replacing some of our living room furniture. And then there are the other choices like spending way too much money on jewelry and a vacation. I can always rationalize it in my head as saying the jewelry is something I've wanted for years and the vacation was exactly what I needed at the exact time I needed it.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I'll leave you with one of my most favorite pictures of me and Eric. It was taken just before he got sick. I adore this photo because of the look on his face. To me, all I see is someone who is beyond happy and posing in a way that promises to take care of me. It's almost a protective look, but without looking at all menacing.
Yep, no doubt about it. Change can suck it.