“How are you, Geoff?”
It’s the question everybody asks. Of course they do. They want to know.
“I’m good,” I reply. “If good includes bad.”
I work. I exercise (not enough). I eat and drink (a bit too much). I sit at the keyboard writing and re-writing the story of the past two years to make my sorrow bearable. I pour my energy into creating a celebration of Chris’s life. I fill my days. I numb myself in the evenings with good wine and old movies. I sleep. I worry that two houses, an office, a sports car, a saloon car, and a camper van are not sustainable on one rather dented income but can’t bring myself to let anything go. I laugh sometimes. I cry often. I love my dog.
“How are you, Geoff?”
There are a million ways to answer that one.
The real question is much more difficult. It’s not how it’s who?
“Who are you, Geoff? Who are you now?”
And the truth is that I don’t know who I am. I knew who I was when I was Chris’s lover, then partner, then husband. I have no idea who I am now that she’s gone. In some ways I’m still her husband: we’re still “married” on FaceBook; I still wear my wedding ring; I still love her. That she loved me, I have no doubt. But how can I be her beloved when she isn’t here?
Is this what it is to be widowed? To live in a world where time’s arrow no longer flies true? To know oneself by who one used to be? To bask in the afterglow of having been loved whilst aching for the one who is lost, like a beached whale trying to ease its suffering with memories of the ocean?
Helen and I miss the years we had with Chris as well. Sister and daughter that can never be replaced. It’s a cruel world. See you soon Geoff. – J x
What you write is so true. So courageous to find the words
One thing you are is an extraordinary writer. I have such gratitude and appreciation of each and every one of your posts. Thank you, Geoff. Thank you.
Thank you Tor… from one writer to another.
Geoff – beautiful words and courageous confessions and questions. When you have shared a life or part of it with one special person (as I have) even the notion of the future with them not on the world is a haunting puzzle. And yet life itself goes on all around us. I wish for you a settlement that gives life to the living and love for the departed and a place for yourself in both.
Thank you for your generous and thoughtful response, Tim.