Thursday, December 23, 2010

Grief: Living With Silence

One of the hardest things for me since Artie died is the silence.  There is the obvious silence.  When someone dies they don't talk to you with their voice any more.  You can't call them on the phone. You can watch DVDs of them or listen to recordings.  You can speak to them and hear or feel a response but it's a differnt kind of response than one from a living human being.  If you believe in it you can talk to them through a medium.  It's not the same.  I miss the sound of Artie's voice whispering in my ear.  I miss him singing to me.  I even miss him yelling at me during a fight.  I even miss the sound of a sneeze or a cough or a groan.

There are other sounds.  I miss the sound of the water running when he was taking a shower or brushing his teeth.  I miss the sound of his feet coming downstairs from his man cave.  I miss the unidentified rustling moving around sounds you hear when someone is in the house with you.  I miss the sound of the door opening and closing.  I miss him calling my name.  I especially miss him saying, "Hi honey, I love you."  or my favorite, "I love you. You're my heart."

I miss the rattling of dishes if he was getting something to eat or the beep of the microwave if he was making tea.  I miss his side of the conversation.  When I write something I don't know what he thinks of it.  When I hear a funny joke I don't know if he'll think it's funny. I miss his laughter.  I even miss the sound of his television set which I was always yelling at him to turn down. I miss the sound of the music he would play.  I miss him making a rat a tat tat noise like he was playing a drum.  Even a kiss and a hug have a certain sound.

I miss the sound of sports on televsion.  He loved tennis.  I was angry they continued Wimbledon after he died. It seemed rude.  I miss the sound of him cheering for a team or a boxer.

I miss his snoring.  What I especially miss is that the only breath in my bed now is mine.  I have a zillion stuffed animals and they are very cozy but they don't breathe.  Breathing.  We don't even think of it unless we are meditating or doing breath work.  How strange that the sound of someone's breathing should stop.  Forever.

When Artie first died sometimes I would walk in the house and say, "Hi honey.  I'm home.  Oh, I must have missed you.  Catch you later."  I knew it was a lie but I wanted to pretend.  I have his old phone with his answering machine message on it.  I used to call it for the illusion that he would get the message and call me back.  It's in a cupboard now and I think of taking it out but I don't.

I went out today and walked down 5th Ave. to look at some of the beautiful Christmas decorations.  Even bought some sparkly earrings.  I miss him telling me I am beautiful or that oh my goodness I am spending too much money again,

I miss him telling me the same story over and over again.  It's odd how the things that irritated me when he was alive I would give anything to have again.

I do listen for and hear his spirit.  When I was in my last therapy session I could hear him saying "Let this man help you."  I don't know how to describe it.  It is like a thought in my brain that has come from outside of me.  Am I imagining it?  I won't ever know.  I think he's always with me.  I think his spirit watches over me but it doesn't have his voice.

I first met Artie in a book shop I owned in Phoenix, Arizona.  He said he liked me and asked for my business card.  I think that we fell in love that day.  But he didn't call for a month. When he called I recognized his voice.  With all the customers I had during that month - his voice was unique to me even after hearing it one time and I knew who he was.  23 years together - married for 13.  All those words.  All those sounds. Gone.

Now.  Silence.  The silence is very loud.

I hope this holiday season you have a lot of other sound surrounding you  - happy sounds - so that you don't notice the silence so much. Like the empty chair is filled with love - the silence is filled with love as well.  xo

No comments:

Post a Comment