I rolled over this morning in a sleepy haze to snuggle up to Paul, sure he would be there lying next to me. But he wasn’t there – I was merely fooled by that moment in between sleep and awake; that moment when your realities merge into a peaceful memory of what once was.
I cherish those moments because they’re stolen moments of joy. But at the same time, I dread them because I know that I will spend the rest of the day feeling a longing emptiness.
And as tomorrow is the anniversary of my beloved Paul’s death, I am even more aware of his absence from my waking moments. This means that those feelings of sadness have been felt even more strongly today.
I wish I could find a way to preserve those feelings of joy I experience before fully waking and realising my husband isn’t lying next to me. I wish I could find a way to hold that joy with me all day long, banishing the feelings of sadness.
But I can’t. So I have to accept that the price I pay for those few wonderful moments of joy is the knowledge that there will be tears to follow. But I wouldn’t trade those moments of believing Paul is lying next to me because the pain is worth the temporary elation.
If I’m lucky, he’ll be lying next to me for a brief moment when I begin to wake up tomorrow. And maybe I’ll be able to hold on to just enough of the joy that feeling will bring to help me through the annual journey to his grave.
Yes, no matter how many years pass by, the grief of widowhood never seems to fully take leave. (But, thankfully, I’m blessed with many happy days, too.)