Red and I met via AOL, talked on the phone several times and were intrigued enough to arrange to meet — the three of us including Son of Red — on Aug. 2, 1997. Coincidentally, we moved into the house we built together on Aug. 2, 2012. So this is a big day on the calendar.

It’s very weird, not having her in this world. I had no idea that emptiness could be so vast or emotion so thick.

“Go ahead, let it all out,” they coo as they try to comfort us. But I wonder if it ever gets “all out.” I suspect the grief just becomes a part of who we are, until one day it’s time for us to go, too. I think someone who bonded with you for so many years is going to be a part of you forever and, every so often, a memory is going to wreck you all over again, and you will be overwhelmed all over again.

The best we can hope for is what happened to me as I wrote that last paragraph: Something shifted in me, and I smiled, and I said, “Yeah, but —”

Yeah, she’s gone, but she fit me like a glove. Our personalities meshed; oh, we liked different things, but we liked enough of the same things to enjoy them together. We liked driving along the water by the bay and watching the geese and whoever else was down there. We liked watching the sunset from the park down the road from us.

Yeah, she’s gone, and I’m still adjusting to that reality, but the previous 25 years were the best of my life, and I’m so grateful she found me, and kept me, and let me stay, and I’m so glad we had those last seven weeks when she was in the hospice and rallied enough that we had time to say goodbye and tell each other how much we enjoyed our time together.

Yeah, she’s gone, but — I’m so grateful she was HERE.

Leave a Reply