Sunday, September 9, 2012

How could I?

Spencer has been on my mind every moment of every day since this last Thursday. Thursday morning I sat down on my computer before work and decided to look through Spencer's facebook profile pictures. This started what has been a very long few days of a deep ache for my husband. I am not overly sad. I am not having awful emotional pain. My heart doesn't constantly hurt with grief. I just feel a heaviness on my heart that hasn't been there for quite awhile. That is up until this very moment. I'm finally expressing some of this heaviness that I feel and it's finally turning into hurt, longing, and sadness.

There is this thought and realization that continues to loom over me that, "Oh. He's really, really not here anymore." and "He really was alive at one point. My faint memories aren't dreams. I was one of the biggest and happiest parts of his life, too." Also creeps into mind. The pictures are my proof that he existed at one point -- because anymore, my memory isn't good enough to convince myself he was truly here. 

But how can I forget? I ask myself this question constantly. How is it possible that I have forgotten so many things. That our past together is such a blur and feels like a dream that I was in, instead of something that I experienced for years. 

How could I possibly forget the way that he looked at me? When he was proud of me. When he was happy with me. The look that showed me how much he loved me. The look when he was in awe.

How could I forget the way he kissed me? So tenderly and with so much meaning. A kiss could say a thousand words that weren't able to be said. How could I forget the touch of his lips on mine? The way he ran his fingers through my hair. The gentle caress and hold to show he cared.

How could I forget his smile? The lines on his face. The way his eyebrows were always in 4 different directions at once. His crooked teeth. His pimples. His eyes. Oh his big, eyes, that I have a hard time even recalling the color of anymore. The little imperfections upon his face that made him unique and perfect in every way. 

How could I forget the fun that we shared? Even on the gloomiest of occasions. The way we tired to make the best out of the worse situations we faced. What other choice did we have? The way we were always joking around. How quick-witted he was to about everything anyone said. He jokes he cracked. 

How could I forget the understanding that we had between each other without even saying a single word? The comfort level we had with each other. The sympathy, and empathy, we both had. How could I forget the way we were so easily able to express feelings to one another without worry what the other would think?

How is it possible to forget the way that he made me laugh? The things he would say. The looks he would give. How could I forget the way we laughed together. The way his laugh sounded. 

How could I forget how much he loved being an uncle. How much he loved his little nieces to pieces. How much he talked about them and wanted to see them. Even though they annoyed him at times, he still enjoyed their company. He loved being an uncle yet I have forgotten just how much.

And how could I forget how much he LOVED his family. His brothers. His sisters. His parents. He was so proud of his siblings. They meant the world to him, truly. How could I forget the love that he had for each and every one of them?

And how could I possibly forget how much I meant to Spencer? How in the hell have I forgotten how much he loved me???!

How could I allow these memories to slip away? To fade from my mind? With time the ability to recall his name. His face. His quirks. His love. His EVERYTHING is slowly fading away. I can no longer think of Spencer and have a perfectly, pristine, and flawless picture painted in my mind. It's hazy and so many details have been lost. I have to rely on photos and accept that they are the closest way I can get to recalling his appearance and the memories that I have of him, and that we shared. And it's only been 9 months since I was last able to took at his face.

This terrifies me. I am trying SO hard to hold onto every little ounce of Spencer I have left in my mind, but no matter how hard I try, it all just slips away. New memories fill old ones. New experiences push back the ones that I want to keep closest. How much am I going to lose with everything that I gain? I only spent 3 years with him in person, and I have 70 or 80 more to live. I don't want to lose anymore of him. I've already lost the most important and significant part. What if pieces continue to slip away and I'm left with nothing? I don't want that to happen. That can't happen. 

I want to be able to recall memories and moments like they were just yesterday. But I can't anymore and that's because the big fat truth is that they weren't. They were over a year ago. Can you believe that? OVER A GOSH DARNED YEAR AGO! It was over a year ago that I was able to spend any time with him outside of the hospital. A year ago this month he got critically ill and I wouldn't ever get the opportunity to walk out of that hospital with him ever, ever again. Last September my life changed in ways I never thought imaginable. My world stopped turning and I was living on autopilot trying to save my husbands life. Last September I started grieving because deep down I knew things were serious and I wasn't ever going to get him back. 

I knew this month would be hard. I was doing okay.... It wasn't up until I stopped to look at him... to study his pictures that I realized what I have truly lost. I realized that I haven't looked at pictures of Spencer in over a month. I haven't been able to talk about him in over a month. Ever since I moved out here he's been a distant part of my mind. (aside from moments when people tell me how sorry they are and pity me for my loss). I have no one to talk to about Spencer. No one knows him like I did. No one knows him, period. Only my closest friends here (2) and his family know how much he meant to me and know the relationship that we had. I can't talk about him to my co-workers. To my new friends. They didn't know me when Spencer was part of my life and so I can't talk about him like I wish to. 

I would love for someone to sit down with me and be completely open about Spencer. To be able to remember him and talk about him like he was still here. But I haven't been given that opportunity.

I wish that someone would be willing to go to Spencer's grave with me and share stories about him. Remember him. Keep his spirit alive. Someone who I feel close enough to to be able to cry around. To be able to let it all out around. Perhaps someday I will ask someone. But it would be nice if someone would approach me about it instead. So I can know that he still gets visits from those who cared about him most. 

I just miss him. And it's so hard to express how much. I have so many people tell me that they miss him too, but it's all on a different level. Only the ones who were truly so close to him really know what it's like to miss him like I do. I wish he could be here with me. I wish we could still travel the journey of life together instead of me having to navigate it alone. 

I love him with all of my heart. He left a huge hole when he died. I can only hope that one day this hole will be filled with the good and the joys of life and that one day I will be OKAY with this hole getting filled instead of being scared of it being filled and erasing the past......

1 comment:

  1. A heart wrenching post, Nikki.

    I won't tell you that I know how you feel, because no one does. I haven't lost a spouse, certainly not at such a young age. But, I will tell you of my own closest loss, which was my mother.

    I do know what it's like to suddenly panic when I realize I can't close my eyes and recall her face perfectly. I know what it's like to realize that days have gone by without a specific thought about her crossing my mind, and wonder if I should feel guilty about that. And I know what it's like to agonize over the possibility that the memories will fade more and more as years go by. And, to some extent, they do.

    But, while your loss is just approaching its first anniversary, mine has had 20, so I want to assure you that your past will never be fully erased. While you may not be able to conjure up Spencer's face on command, there will be other times when it will suddenly fill your mind for no reason, and his smile and loving expressions will brighten your day. The same with the memories of your time together: they may not come when you wish them to, but they will come, popping up seemingly out of nowhere, and they will be perfectly preserved, just as if it *was* only yesterday that you were together.

    One day, the aching hole in your heart will be filled with all the joy that you allow, but never worry that it will be a replacement for the parts of your life that were filled with Spencer. It isn't an either/or proposition, because your past with Spencer was built with love, and love is never fully gone.