I am both alive and dead…moving through life with a purpose as well as lost. I am married and I am a widower. My life is balanced yet I am off balance….

 Friday was payday, so it was time to pay the bills. I have been doing so alone for the past month now. Usually I’d work out my check and Sharol, my wife; would do hers and I’d text her what was being paid or put away on my end. We would come together and agree who got what. But I worked until 9pm that day and then worked on Saturday.

Saturday, after getting off work I instinctively walked into the wine shop to find something new that caught our eye or an old favorite, like the Chocolate Shop’s 

Chocolate Lover’s wine” one of my wife’s instant favorites. Someone recommended it to us. It took about 8 months before I bought it though. And it freaked me out!! How is it possible, for wine to taste like chocolate. We swirled our glasses around then sniffed. Sharol’s eyes lit up! My entire body dance with delight! Then we sipped… oh, snap! It taste like chocolate candy…or even chocolate cake. I sipped again in disbelief. Then remarked again about the taste. After the first glass we started the movie, I poured our second as final glasses…still surprised at the taste. And teased all night by Sharol. Of course, the next time she asked if I was getting the Chocolate lover’s wine. Lol, silly woman.

Anyway, this had been our ritual for about the past year and a half. It started with her shopping for something for our anniversary…she stopped in a wine shop, tasted a few selections, chose two and surprised me in our hotel room on the Jersey Shore. An Italian Moscato

 and Cabernet 

The acidity of the Moscato bothered her stomach(she didn’t drink soda either) the Cab was, and still is my favorite. 

   So, I walked into the store. I know Sharol won’t be at the other end of the phone call or at home. But this felt familiar, natural and real. I grabbed the bottle off the shelf and thought it’s been a while, Sharol really likes this one.  Then I moved to the Port wines…I chose something from NY State. From Brotherhood Winery

 *side note: after watching Downton Abbey I got interested in what Ports and Sherry were. I went to the counter…paid and went home. All the while excited about sharing the new one with Sharol, at the same time, extremely sad that she wouldn’t be sitting next to me, holding my hand and sipping with me. When I got home there was no dinner cooked. Since I didn’t, the kids didn’t either. I was instantly angry, if my wife was here she would have made dinner. But she’s not! Two of daughters came in from seeing a movie. I’d just finished dinner at nearly 8 pm…put in the movie…and then…nothing! The joy of our weekly ritual was over. Yet at it continued. It was still present but it was missing my wife, the joy, the giggles and laughter, the annoyance of her trying to figure out the murder before the movie even starting, it was missing her arm on my side of the arm rest and me looking in her eyes or staring at her beautiful grey hair and her saying “I love you..” followed by a kiss or caress of my beard. It wasn’t real anymore. But it’s all I know to do… 19 years is a long time.

Before her, dear reader, I was a single parent and I hated being single and alone. I was alone for 3 years. Before that in a relationship that lasted just under 3 years, before that…nothing. I never had a girlfriend throughout my school years, never walked a girl home from school or carried her bag. All of my girlfriends were from the group I hung out with and I was always a one woman/girl kinda guy. So, my wife had my full attention and my whole heart. I am eternally in love with her, at the same time “death” has “do us part..” I sense her answers to me when I’m thinking of something I would normally ask her about. It’s a habit, because of our intimate relationship for so long. I’ll hear her voice in my mind. But…I can’t feel the heat from her breath in my ear. Life and doing what we would normally do everyday or week has become less enjoyable. The emptiness is thicker than mud. But if I don’t do what we’ve done or what comes naturally to me then I have nothing. No life at all. No wife…and no social life. That’s an expanse of emptiness I wouldn’t wish on my enemy. I am in love with someone who is incapable of returning that love. It’s a really weird place to be. Like, things are the same yet they are vastly different. I don’t know how this story ends for me…but not laughing in the presence of a lady, is a horrible ending.

I haven’t been on the ocean in nearly two years. We were looking forward to it at the end of the summer, when she’d be up to the walk and before our weekend getaway in October. So, I went with my kids this weekend…

it was awesome being on the water again! It was all so familiar, the dizziness, I have slight vertigo and sometimes it leads to a panic attack, Sharol knew this. After many years she knew what signs to look for. We’d hold hands till I got my sea legs  then off to the front of the boat! Hugging, taking pictures etc. Always an enjoyable time. Neither of us could swim but if I believed in reincarnation, I’d swear I was a Seaman. Hmm…maybe a navy captain. Everything was fine until I turned to talk to her…dag,why did you leave me Sharol?  I thought. I looked over at my kids, they were in their own world. Again, it was almost the same…but my rib  wasn’t there with me to make it as enjoyable as it once was… 

   So, dear reader, I’m stuck with a question. Is it going to be like this forever? Cause this sucks! Of course, I have no alternative but to live life. And to help my children, Young and old, live life. It’s just that life looks so weird now…

    As a person, a private citizen, I am a very private person. I speak little unless I know you.  But as a writer, a public person, I have to sometimes lay myself bare, naked, to be seen and ridiculed by the masses. So, these past few writing’s have very personal in nature. Why? Because I am both a private citizen and a public figure. And one of you reading this, needs to hear it and feel it and find a way to heal from it. Me too. I don’t know who that person is but we are in the same weird position. For me it’s been 34 days, for some of you it’s been years since your husband/wife or lover as died. Some are grieving over there parents and siblings…

    I’m no expert. But grieving is normal. Some find help in groups and therapy, I’m a writer, though I haven’t gone back to working on my book; I find as many have told me, that writing helps. Grieve, but don’t get stuck in that deep dark hole. That’s not, good grief…

Feel free to leave comments and let me know how you’re dealing with it.   Until next time…

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