I thought I was making progress. I attended my former company picnic for a couple hours. There were hugs. On my way there, I had a panic attack and almost turned my car around to go back home, but then I heard a voice tell me "You can do it." I kept saying it over and over for 10 minutes. Afterwards, I drove straight to Ray's grave and broke down. I needed to talk to him; I needed to touch him; I needed to feel his arms around me. But that wasn't to be.
Moving forward, I was making progress once again. I was on my way home from shopping when the song "One is the Loneliest Number" came on the radio. I cried all the way home. Ray introduced me to different genres of music and I in turn, introduced him to different genres. We always shared our likes & dislikes. We had a comraderie that was special. Maybe it was because we did not have children, just each other. I don't know.
Today, I took his CPAP equipment to an organization that was seeking donations for home health. I also took in his mother's walker and cane. I knew Ray would approve of me giving his things to an organization that would help others. The woman helping me unload my car noticed my dog tag with our 24th anniversary picture on it and asked about it. I told her about Ray and she read the info on the back with his name, dates of birth and death. She thanked me for the equipment and wished me well. I burst out crying. I felt the loss again. The tags I got from The Grief Toolbox help me. Each day, I wear one that also has his wedding band on the chain. It makes me feel as if he is with me and gives me comfort. Sometimes when I am feeling anxiety, I touch the dog tag, sometimes I hold it to my heart, sometimes I just look at it looking into his eyes.
I see things that remind me of our vacations and the memories come washing over me; filling me with so much love and joy but then the pain of his absence cuts in like a knife and my tears flow leaving me feeling so very lonely. I talk to him constantly. There are times I feel that he has been here.
I have a few friends who are understanding about my loss and pain. They have been very supportive and also talk about Ray, saying his name and not being put off by my tears. They give me hugs. These are my family of friends. Others have distanced themselves because they are uncomfortable when tears appear.
Ray used to tell me that I was a sensitive person and that was one of the things he fell in love with. He said I had a childlike innocense that was rare in an adult. When he first told me that, I was upset (childlike?) but he explained what he meant and I did not take offense at that when he would say it thereafter. It was interesting, there were many times when I would be wrestling with myself and out of the blue, he would put his hands on my shoulders, look into my eyes and tell me he could sense something was bothering me and to talk to him. Afterwards, he would envelop me in a big hug and then ask me if everything was alright now. I miss that so much. I miss his comfort. I miss his advice, his observations, his love. Two days before he passed, he put his hands on my shoulders looked into my eyes and said "everything is going to be okay." Then he hugged me tightly. About 2 hours later we received the information on his health and from there he started to prepare me in his own way of his upcoming passing. I just didn't realize it at that time or didn't want to accept it.
How do I move on without that kind of love? Without that kind of support? Without him?
I know at this moment, a lot of this pain is from dreading the month of July. We always did things together on the 4th, whether barbecuing, setting off fireworks or just watching a movie together. The 16th would be his 67th birthday and the 20th would have been our 37th wedding anniversary. I intend to take balloons to his grave on his birthday and our anniversary and write messages on them before releasing them to him in Heaven. I've gotten cards already for both dates which I will read them to him.
This hallowness from losing him is such a hard thing to handle. I had always taken it for granted that we would grow old together, sitting on our back patio and enjoying the birds, squirrels and our pets. Now, I have to accept that I may be growing old without him here in body, but in spirit. Yes, One is the Loneliest Number I wish I never knew.