Evening falling –
a soft lamenting
sounds in the bird calls I have summoned. Greyish walls
My own hands
find themselves again. What I have loved
I cannot hold.
What lies around me I cannot leave Everything declines while darkness rises.
Nothing overcomes me –
this must be life’s way.
~ “Weariness” by Hannah Arendt
What I have loved I cannot hold. I would give anything to be able to once again nuzzle my face into Kirsten’s soft neck and inhale deeply her familiar scent, that smell that says everything in the world is okay. I want to wrap my arms around her tiny frame, tightly, and to make her know that everything will be alright.
A few days ago in the grocery store an older gentleman gently patted his partner’s butt to affectionately encourage her to move on, but also to remind her that he still cherishes her and finds her old body sexy. No doubt she appreciated his touch and cheeky, youthful fondle. It was obvious in her smile.
It was sweet to witness this couple’s love in plain sight. It was, however, bittersweet. I always expected that Kirsten and I would grow old together in that way, loving each other privately and in public in ways others rarely know themselves.
The realization that I will have to live the rest of my life without my princess fills me with immense sorrow. The inane expression too-often said to me that she is somehow still with me—either “in spirit” or in my daughters—gives me no solace. She isn’t with me. I have her memories, sure, but she isn’t running around the loft in a t-shirt and panties or making me her delicious pumpkin griddle cakes. I can’t make love to her and she’s not planning the celebration of our first daughter getting into college. Nor is she researching fresh new jokes to play on me and the girls on April Fool’s Day, which was something she liked to do each year.
Kirsten lives only in my mind. Those memories, which are all I have left, will surely fade with time. This eventuality is frightening.
The sorrow I now feel will subside as I surround my emptiness with abundance. The hole Kirsten left in me is an impenetrable vacuum; my soul will never achieve equilibrium. The void will always be there, empty. I will not “move on,” but I will also not live my life in perpetual sadness. I will persue and attract people who will satisfy my need to be loved and nourished. I will eventually allow myself to embrace someone new, and to do so with all I have and without guilt or feelings of betrayal. This is, I think, the natural and healthy course. It does seem like a long way off, though. And I’m okay with that.