The anger impels me to run, and so I do.
Underneath the anger, I’m deeply sad. Is anger usually fueled any other way? Is anger a necessary part of grieving? I hate that idea: that my emotions might follow a predictable path; that I’m just like any one else who’s lost someone.
I gnash my teeth until my jaw hurts. I’m angry at being alone. I’m angry there’s no one to take care of me. “Try,” I dare myself. “Try to console me.”
“You have friends and family who care about and for you. You have your wonderful son. You doing the best you can to take care of yourself, and you’ll keep getting better at it.”
My response? I roar:
“I don’t care about any of that.” Well, I suppose I do, but it is not the point. The point is that I don’t want to be alone down there in the depths of my soul.“
When she was alive, it didn’t feel like my parter was my “soulmate.” I don’t believe in “meant to be.” I believe in attraction and commitment, and the hard work that building and maintaining a long-term relationship takes. I don’t believe in one’s “soul” in any religious or eternal sense, thus, logically: there is no such thing as a “soulmate.”
While Susan was sick, I knew that when she died, I would miss her terribly. In my gut, I felt it. Now that she’s gone, I do indeed miss her terribly, not only intensely–
“‘Oh please don’t go, we’ll eat you up we love you so… ‘
The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.”
-Maurice Sendak, Where The Wild Things Are
–but also with the same dread and fright about my future life that I had felt before she died. My soul, something deep inside me, feels empty without my mate.
I didn’t know it could feel this bad, hurt this deeply, that I could be so alone.
To console myself, I say:
“It will get easier. If the time is ever right, which it may never be, someone might appear who would fill the loneliness, even if she would never, should never, fill Susan’s place.”
When my best friends visit, the special ones who fill a piece of the void, I revel in their companionship. When one leaves, I am a wild thing. My friend, my “Max,” will say “no,” and will travel back to her own home, where a warm supper will be waiting for her.
Now alone again, angry, I will climb to the top of the highest rock, shrouded in dark clouds that obscure my view. I will roar and gnash, rip my claws into the earth . . . and cry. Exhausted, I will crawl back down from the crag, walk down the rock-strewn path to the road that leads to my house. I will go back into the life I have, the life my son and I are building in our home that is filled with memories, with the smell of bittersweet.
Life, despite death, moves on.