It was on this exact date six months ago that I lost the love of my life.
Lots of people refer to their partners as “the love of their life.” But I need to make it clear that J wasn’t just the love of my life — he was my everything, to an almost unhealthy degree. We were exceptionally bonded to one another for 28 years. We were a genuine team and we were stronger together than we were apart.
It’s not just that J and I were close; the lines between who we were as people often blurred. If you saw me, you usually saw him, too, and vice versa. Our names were almost always mentioned together like we were a combined unit. On two separate occasions, we even worked together in the same office — which we enjoyed and we frequently went to lunch together. Working in the same place was just like more bonus time that we got to be with each other.
He once said that to lose me would be like losing a limb. And indeed, he was so much a part of me that it truly does feel like a massive amount of who I was has been amputated.
At six months out, I still feel the phantom pains of my missing limb quite often, but I’m surviving. I guess that’s something.
Learning how to go on
Losing my husband was my absolute greatest fear, even though I always knew on some subconscious level that it would eventually happen.
I’d never done an embarrassing number of things that many women routinely do for themselves, like getting my car inspected and getting new tires. J always did it for me, not because I asked him to or I couldn’t, but because he wanted to.
There’s a T-shirt I’ve seen several times that has the slogan “self-rescuing princess” on it. I loved that shirt in principle because it embodied everything I wanted to be. But I knew that I was no self-rescuing princess because J always, always had my back.
I was too comfortable being dependent on him for those things that I was fully capable of doing by myself but I let him do them anyway. Now that I’m doing them, of course, they’re things I can handle; I always knew they were. I once fixed my car when my window got stuck halfway down (back when cars had manual windows) even though I was 7 months pregnant and huge because it was 100 degrees in Texas…