I was thinking recently about how, when I was a teenager and growing into an adult, I would observe couples together at social events or in our house when my parents had company. I would think how nice it was that at the end of the evening, each couple got to go home together, that they would have each other to share stories of the day with, to cuddle up close at bedtime, that they each had someone special who was their own. And I looked forward to having that experience when it was my turn.
When I got to live life as part of a married couple, those evenings were as I imagined they would be: the comfort, the companionship, the sharing of stories of the day.
Now, I have moments when I recall certain memories that only he and I shared, certain things that only the two of us experienced together. Those live now only in my own mind. I can talk about them, but no one actually shares them. He was THERE. No one can actually remember with me now, or fill in the blanks as my own memory fades. It’s a simple thing that we don’t really appreciate fully until it’s gone … like many simple little things.
And now, like others I’ve spoken to who find themselves in similar situations, I don’t really fit into groups of couples anymore, and they’re everywhere! Couples who were friends are still friends, of course, but socially it’s difficult for me to join in on occasions where couples are the norm. It just hurts to be there. A lot.
I observe the random loving glances, the shared smiles or laughs, the small physical encounters as they brush past each other. And it’s still beautiful to see – I will always appreciate it – but I’m not a teenager anymore, imagining what it will be like to have it one day. I know what it’s like. I know what I’m missing.
That special someone. The one who could finish my sentences, the one who knew me inside and out, better than anyone else in the world and sometimes better than I knew myself. The one who was the other half of me.
No matter how true my brain knows it is, there are sometimes moments when I cannot grasp how he can actually be gone and how I can be here. Alone. Still breathing.