Grief: Feeling The Absence

I must be getting a grip on my grief despite the recurring upsurges of sadness because more and more I’m seeing the bizarreness of the process rather than simply experiencing it. On Friday, it will be twenty-two months since my life mate/soul mate died and though I’ve never felt his presence the way some people sense a connection with their dead mates, sometimes I feel his absence as if it’s a living entity.

I was sitting in the dentist chair yesterday, waiting alone for the verdict on my gum infection, when all of a sudden I started crying. We’d always gone together to the dentist, doctors, optometrists, etc, and yesterday, sitting alone, I could feel that he wasn’t waiting for me. I could actually sense that he wasn’t in the reception area, could feel the substance of his absence like a white hole (as opposed to a black hole). Just one more bizarre aspect of grief.

Oddly, I didn’t realize what a comfort his presence was at such times until it was gone. I took his presence for granted (not him — I never took him for granted), but it was as if his presence were part of the very air I breathed, and now that he has disappeared from my life, I’m stuck breathing the standard nitrogen/oxygen mix. And it’s not enough.

I don’t mind that I don’t feel his presence. If he still exists somewhere, I hope he has something more thrilling to do than watch over me, and I certainly hope he has something more thrilling to do than wait at the dentist’s office for me. But . . . I truly don’t understand how he can be dead. Don’t understand where he has gone. Don’t understand what death is. Don’t understand what life is, either, to be honest.

All I know is that he is gone from my life, and never again will I feel the comfort of his presence.

But it makes me wonder: did he feel the comfort of my presence? I was there at the end of his life. I was there when he took his last breaths. I hope he felt my presence the way I used to feel his. I hope it gave him comfort. Hope it still does.

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