He loved me to the end of his days. And I love him still; every single day of my life for the last nine years has been affected by him: by his presence, by his love, and for nearly seven years now, by his death and absence. It kills me that the years I loved a living man are already so dwarfed by the years I've been in love with a dead man. But the love is the same, if not deeper.
An anniversary remembered, and marked, by one alone, is one of the saddest things in the world.
I watched an HBO movie, Mary and Martha, while I ironed yesterday. In it (spoiler alert!), two mothers, both of whom lose their sons to malaria while in Africa, meet. There were all kinds of sad in the movie, but I didn't start crying until Martha comes to the school where her son worked and meets his African girlfriend, and takes the young woman in her arms. I have never been a mother, so while I sympathized with the mothers, it was the young widow that I empathized with. I always do.
I was reading a magazine tonight, an article that quoted a woman named Lillian Smith, who said, "The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making."
And here I am.
When I let myself really miss him...when I really look at the photos hard...god, it hurts.