I am participating in a "Writing Your Grief" workshop, and, each day, we are given a prompt to reflect upon and write about. This is my response to one of them.
"I am not me. I have no name."
I don't know who I am, or who I was, with him. The three and a half years I spent with him seem like a dream, now.
Before I met Stan, I was the person I had always been--alone, for the most part. I was not happy, necessarily, but I knew how to negotiate that world, and I was comfortable in it, and sometimes content.
I interacted with people when I chose, which was not often. I spent my days (when not at work) in solitude, reading and writing and watching telly. I ventured out, into the centre of London, to take in a play or an art exhibit, or to watch a show at the cinema, on my own. I attended meditations and yoga at my Buddhist Centre. I went for walks in my neighbourhood. I rode the buses on the top deck and watched the world unfold around me. I didn't feel desperate for companionship. This quiet, solitary life was the life I knew.
Then I met this wild, passionate man from the north. He threw me into his world--a world of people, relationships, both casual and intimate, a world of pub gatherings and music festivals and long drives and Sunday dinners and popping 'round to people's houses for cups of tea. A world of celebrations at anniversaries and birthdays. A calendar that was almost always full.
I used to crave my silence and space. I was not comfortable with all that interaction and activity. I used to beg him to let me stay home. But we were partners, and he wanted me at his side.
We were together three and a half years. And now, he's gone. He brought me into his colourful, vibrant, world, and left me in it.
Now, I have all the silence and space I could ever want. But I know how to enter into the world of people, too. He taught me how to do it. Today, I can ring someone, and invite them for dinner. I have learned how to pop 'round for a cup of tea.
It was a wonderful three and a half years. And despite the pain of losing him, I would not trade that old world for the one I have now. My world is so much richer, having had him in it.
I don't know, yet, who the new me will be. But it will be a fuller, bigger, more interesting me. Once I can find my way through this sorrow.