It’s been thirty years to the day. I rarely speak of that day, though you’d think after so much time the pain and despair would have eased.
But it doesn’t.
Death is for the living to bear, to reconcile, to move on from that point going forward. The words switch from present to past tense. You can chose what and how to remember, how to speak of those no longer with you. You can choose anger, remorse, or a dozen other ways to confront loss, harsh undeserving loss.
I choose stoicism and silence for many reasons that are my own. It’s served me well for thirty long years, but today seems different. Perhaps because those years would have marked an achievement, a milestone of commitment and enduring affection, had we stayed the course.
Thirty years would have been a long time to be married; fifty is a triumph of the human spirit. I had twenty. Death cheated me of companionship, of caregiving, of providing for normalcy when normal was nothing like what most would understand.
Just six weeks before, I’d had an accident. My back was in pieces, a disk blown apart, bone fragments embedded in the nerve. My body was broken. He broke my spirit.
He chose to leave, this day, thirty long years ago. It wasn’t the first time, it was just the last.
They said I was lucky. I never saw the notes, the stray bits of screams and torment. Others did. They looked at me with pity in their eyes.
And then they left me alone.
So today is an anniversary of sorts. I’ll have one more—next June. That would make it the fiftieth, officially.
Perhaps then I can shut a door that’s stubbornly refused to close.
Tomorrow will be a better day. As will the one after that.
Just… don’t tell the gods of plumbing, or naughty horses or the Hens from Hell. I weary of bad luck paying us so many visits. This time I think we’ve earned the right to say… we gave at the office.
You’ve had the most appalling run of “luck” lately, you and Ro both, but I’m sure you’ll get through it. This extra anniversary just adds to the burden. It’s hard to know what to say because no-one can ever truly understand another’s position. But the thing about the past is that you can’t change it. And that’s all I’ll say.
My heart goes out to you both. Any kind of loss can be devastating but you have successfully survived and flourished. And we will only call out the lucky elves to bring you a pot o’gold!