It’s been almost 3 weeks. I’m back to work, his house is almost cleaned up, and I’m rarely getting surprised anymore that he isn’t here. I’m starting – slowly – to think about the fact that my life will be going on.
I’m starting to remember what wasn’t so good, and what I didn’t like. We didn’t have an A+ marriage. A big part of our problems, I now realize, were due to the undiagnosed disease that ultimately killed him. The lack of energy, inability to get things done, periods of depression, the times when he’d completely zone out; these were all symptoms. I feel bad thinking about how hard it must have been for him to have be feeling poorly and not knowing what was going on. I hope he knew that, even when I was irritated at his behavior, I still loved him with all my heart and soul. I sincerely hope that his last times with me were happy ones for him.
However, not everything was because of his disease. There were some substantive issues that were there for years. They got worse as he become sick, but even without the illness they would have been there. We didn’t communicate well. His gut instinct was to run from conflict and pretend it wasn’t happening; mine was to run towards it. He didn’t like facing unpleasant things, and that meant he hid a number of things from me that shouldn’t have been hidden.
During our marriage it was impossible to fix any of our problems because he refused to discuss or even to acknowledge them as issues. Generally I’d get a well-written email that laid things out in his terms and them presented me with a solution that always laid the blame at my feet and proposed what I needed to change. It was infuriating. Instead of working through problems, they ended up being becoming worse. I held on to them as grudges, and took it out on him by being irritable. He backed further and further away from me.
A big part of my mourning is for the marriage we started with but lost along the way. I am mourning the wonderful man I have lost, but I am also mourning the promise we started with and never achieved, and the fact that we’ll never get a chance to make things better. Perhaps, more than anything, I’m mourning the loss of the marriage we never had.