Sharing a life with someone might shroud the basic aloneness for a while, but after the person dies, it eventually becomes apparent that your destiny belongs only to you. (Because, obviously, if it belonged to both of you, he would still be here.)
Surviving a mate is hard on many counts. The sheer agony of his being ripped from your life leaving you feeling amputated. The bewilderment and angst that come with confronting death. The collateral losses that go along with losing a mate, such as the loss of one’s connection to the world, the loss of one’s best friend, the loss of someone to share the burden of decisions and chores. But beyond the obvious hardships are the more subtle problems of loving someone who is no longer alive, of continuing to worry about their wellbeing, of feeling bad for them that their life was cut short. (Much of my grief was for him, a posthumous empathy for his suffering and for his dreams that never came to fruition.)
I do not know the truth of his death — perhaps he is sunning himself on some cosmic beach or playing with a couple of galactic cats. Perhaps he is glad to be dead, assuming he even knows that he is. The corollary to this being my life and my life alone is that his life is his alone. Despite all that we did together, all that we shared, all that we were together, I am no longer part of his life.
In some ways, his death set me free. Our lives had become so constrained because of his illness and our financial concerns, that it trapped both of us in a world that was barely tolerable. (I was going to say that it was unbearable, but we did bear it.) His death brought an end to that world for both of us, though losing him catapulted me into the world of grief.
I am not over my grief — I never will be — but my sorrow is being assimilated into my life, and I am coming closer to an acceptance of the gift of freedom he gave me. I am still prone to tears and fears, but finally, after all these months, I am able to think of him and smile, and be grateful that he shared his life with me.