I'm so incredibly lonely.
Being with other people makes me want to be alone. Being alone inside my house makes me want to be with other people. As I described myself to someone today, "I'm a lose/lose situation."
So I do it all in moderation. I spend time with people. I spend time alone. Either way, I'm still lonely.
I need my solitude. I love my solitude. I haven't often been the lonely type. Being with myself isn't what's hard. It's the being without Rick that makes everything feel so empty.
I realized two things today. The first is that it makes me really sad when people spare me their own sadness or tears or memories of Rick in an attempt to keep me from being upset. It might feel wrong to tell me that you just saw something that reminded you of Rick, because you don't want to make me sadder... but I'd really rather know. Otherwise, it feels like I'm living with a big empty hole in my life, missing a man I spent time with every day, but everyone else is back to their normal laughter, routines, and happiness with no hole at all. It feels like I'm the only one who misses him. Like everyone is sad only for MY sake, not because they miss Rick too.
My mom told me she cried the first time she went to Wegmans, because Rick always used to have "Loretta sightings" there. Yes. Tell me. My brother stood up at the funeral and told everyone that he dreaded family Christmas gatherings now that Rick wouldn't be there with him. Yes. Tell me.
I have an empty hole in my heart. And your warm thoughts of Rick, your fond, sad, and silly memories, and especially your funny stories all fill that hole a little bit.
The second thing I realized today is that I miss masculinity. I have been surrounded by wonderful people, but most of them women. I was used to Rick's manly wit, his deep laughter, his strong arms. I was used to a masculine energy as part of my every day. There is a distinct lack of it now. I couldn't put my finger on what felt so different - besides the obvious lack of my husband - until today. I'm a woman, with a slew of women friends. The energy is different now.
If you're a man in my life, maybe you can tell me a joke or a funny story. Maybe you can use kind words that somehow always feel different than when a woman says them. Maybe you can send me a little strength. Maybe you can give me advice. Maybe you can be firm or stern. Maybe you can kill my spiders.
When I got my job 8 months ago, Rick gave me this card. It's on my desk at work and since it's been there for a while, it kind of eventually blended into the surroundings and my eyes stopped picking it up. It became part of the scenery and part of the clutter. I knocked it over today and it jarred my box of grief, but I re-read it and silently thanked my husband for his words and the message within them:
I feel like I have so much to share... and no one with whom to share it. That's what's missing.