In a week, it will be twenty-two months since my life mate/soul mate died. Sometimes it seems like he slipped out of my life just yesterday; sometimes it seems as if he’s been dead forever. And I still cannot fathom his goneness. It makes no sense that he is no longer here on this earth.
The worst trauma I am facing now is his continued absence. I don’t have the totally mind-numbing pain that I did in the beginning, nor do I head to another room in search of him a dozen times a day. I do, however, still desperately yearn to talk to him, and the longer I go without talking to him, the more the yearning builds up with no way to relieve it. (Yearning sounds so mild for the longing that claws at me, but it’s still the best word to describe what I feel.)
My own experiences and the experiences of my fellow bereft have shown that it is not anger or any of the other Kübler-Ross stages that fuels our grief, but yearning to see our mates once more, to have one more conversation, one more word, one more smile. I do talk to him, especially when I’m walking in the desert. (Though why there I don’t know. He didn’t like the desert, didn’t like the heat.) But he never answers back. One-sided conversations do little to satisfy the yearning, though sometimes they bring a bit of comfort.
I am lucky in that we had a chance to say everything we needed to say before he died, so there are no lingering issues or questions I have to discuss with him but, for me, need is not the issue. I want to talk to him. He had a great grasp on the intricacies of life and on modern history, he had a well-researched historical perspective on current events, and he loved books and movies. We could talk about anything and everything, and not once in our thirty-four shared years did he filter my words through his prejudices or beliefs. That is such a rare quality in a world where it’s so easy to bang one’s verbal shins on the rocks in other people’s heads.
We all have rocks in our heads — the rocks being our opinions, prejudices, beliefs, stubbornly held viewpoints, preconceived notions, assumptions, attitudes, falsehoods we hold to be true. Sometimes the rocks are soft and fall apart under the touch of reason. Other times the rocks are boulders that take up all available space, leaving no room for a new idea. If my mate had any rocks, they were more like a few shifting grains of sand that could take into account anyone’s truths, and that made him easy to talk to.
I should be glad I had him for all those years since so few people find someone they can truly talk to, someone who will listen, and I am glad. But . . . how can the earth survive without him? After he died, the planet felt tilted, and I had a hard time keeping my balance, but now I’m growing used to living on the slant. But I still yearn for a world that makes sense the way it used to, and I still yearn to talk to him.