Breathing through the pain

{repost from 6/2021}

My husband is dead.

Words that flash in my mind at seemingly random moments, bearing the weight of saying something like “eternity never ends…its forever and ever and ever.” And having the chill run up and down my spine and reality hit me square in the face.

I am not strong any more. I never really was but at least I could brace myself against emotion if I wanted to.

Not now.

Someone cutting me off on the road, a text that came through wrong, not finding my pen, the beauty of the sung Gloria at Mass, anything and everything triggering the tears that have once again become my bread.

Be gentle with people for you never know the battle they are facing. And kids, stop taking my pens.

And side note…why is it that I now cry at every sung Creed? Have you heard the Creed sung at a TLM? Have you really heard it sung?? It is the beauty of angels. It is what I believe. It is what I am offering my very life for, Michael and my kids and all this suffering, for. (Sorry, I tried to keep God out of this one but I guess He’s woven into my words whether I want it or not.)

My (amazing…Catholic) therapist said my body thinks Michael is dying again as we approach summer, the time he was put on hospice. That I need to talk to it and remind it that these things already happened to help quell some of the breaching anxiety.

But then I look over at where he used to sleep and I see him. I see him laying there and needing my hand as a pillow. I smell him.

He was so broken and yet so beautiful. Suffering so much…silently, with patience and grace. And that made him more beautiful and it was so hard.

Oddly enough I stare at this picture and my body calms. I remember taking it. Turning off the sound so it wouldn’t wake him, he was snuggled within the covers he spent so much of his last weeks and months under. Those sheets that still smell like him. That still hold the form of his body. The body that gave me children. The body that was betrothed to me until it’s last breath.

And then the calm turns back to longing and my heart starts racing and I breathe through the pain. Laboring, washing over me like birth pains. Wishing I could just reach over, once again, and be his pillow.

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