After my husband died, I began to become familiar with old things which had to be made new again. For example, any time one of us would come into the house we would say: “Honey, I’m home”. I had actually thought of this as he was dying here, at the end of his life. I would still come in the house and yell out our mutual greeting and know that his ears would hear it and think of me. My words would land on a listening ear.
The first time I came into the house after his death, the memory of “honey, I’m home” threatened to break my heart. I went ahead and yelled it out – big mistake. No answer – only the silence, the absence, the distinct emptiness——
That made being alone even more lonely. Crying out to someone who could no longer answer was charged with the challenge of wanting to change fate – to have him alive again, to enjoy one more “honey, I’m home”; and it invited grief to out itself yet again and rise out of my chest as a horrible ,gutteral moan, in a wave of remorse, of pain, of helplessness.
I got to the point that coming home became so painful, I would sit in parking lots in my car and avoid it like the plague. I did not want to miss him anymore and I did not want to hurt so badly.
I changed that this year. Three months after the death of my love, I got a cat, then six months later, I got another cat, then three months after that, I got a puppy. They have given me a family once again to come home to. I have discovered that I am a nurturer – a caregiver. I need someone to love and to take care of in my space. They have been wonderful and I am creating a new little group of “home friends”. I never would have predicted this about me. I thought I was so independent. I guess not. I wonder what else I will discover about myself as my solitary life continues.