I spent last weekend with her in the beautiful home they built together on top of a hill overlooking a river. A home they dreamed of, worked toward and loved. It was the realization of a lifetime of hard work and planning… truly their dream home. They shared it for three years, and it made them so happy. There is so much joy everywhere in that house.. in every tile, fixture, deck chair. I’m happy I visited a year ago, with him proudly showing off every bell and every whistle.
When people have been a part of your life for, well, your whole life, it’s hard to measure their importance. This woman is not my mother, this man was not my father. They occupy a different, separate space in my heart that’s hard to define. I have so much love for them that I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about or been fully aware of. His death has hit me hard; not the same as the loss of my own Dad, but still a powerful hurt.
Sitting with her last week, holding her while she cried, listening to her try and make sense of this bleak new universe, I realized I had nothing wise to say. I have no words to make it better. I can’t fix anything. When she turned to me with a panicked and confused look on her face and asked “when will I remember? I keep thinking I can’t wait to tell him about our visit”, I felt helpless. I want so badly to mend something for her, to answer even one of her millions of unanswerable questions.
So I will do what I can… tiny, inconsequential and impotent as I feel. I will send her random texts reminding her that I love her, I will phone her, send her beautiful pictures and powerful stories. I will send her music… all her music is so deeply entwined with his memory that it hurts her to listen right now.
I know I will do so much less than I want to for her. What I truly want to do just can’t be done.