It’s been almost four months since Robert’s been gone. And I really don’t feel any better about it. I seem to be suffering some kind of delayed grief reaction. By this I mean that I seem to be crying more lately than I did in the beginning, and that may be due to all the myriad things that were going on at that time. Now, I have time to sit and actually think about things and feel them, the way I wasn’t able to back in December.
At first, I could fool myself and pretend he was just in the hospital, where he’d spent so much of the time these past few years — and especially in 2011. But that didn’t work for long. Because even in the hospital, we had daily calls and almost daily visits. I’d generally head up to the hospital after work each night or spend most of the weekend up there, dragging my laptop and snacks with me.
And of course there are reminders of him everywhere I go. He was my life. Every grocery store, every drive I take anywhere, TV shows, all my routines, were all tied up in Robert. And even though I know I shouldn’t, part of me still feels a twinge of guilt when I catch myself feeling happy about something. I’ll stop, and I’ll remember Robo, and then get sad all over again. I guess this is normal. When my mother died, which is the only other yardstick for grief that I have, I remember crying for months it seemed. And it was five years before I could even drive past the cemetery where she was buried, let alone go in and visit the grave site. But when I finally did go, with a friend, I was expecting to be socked by a gut-full of emotion, but I wasn’t. There was just a sense of calmness and well being.
On the way to get my dinner last night, across town at Wilcrest and Westheimer, I ended up on the Katy Freeway, and the cemetery is just right off the Antoine exit. So I pulled off, and pulled into the cemetery, drove to the grave site and walked around it a bit. I didn’t cry then either. I just felt that same calmness and peacefulness I felt when I finally visited my mother’s grave. It was as if he was there, and that comforted me. I told him I was going to go get burek from Cafe Pita and had to stop since I was so close. Right about the time I said that, a breeze started up. I took that to be Robert laughing at my, as he called it, “maddening practicality.” And he always knew that when he was hospitalized at Heartland, it was our chance to scarf burek, since the facility was just around the corner.
That still doesn’t keep the house from seeming lonely at times, from causing me to wonder what my purpose in life is now. Now that I don’t have Robo. I just go through the motions of daily living, going to work, taking care of Duncan, cooking, cleaning, etc. I guess it will just take a little more time for me to get back into my groove and figure out how to be happy without someone who was the center of my world for the last 30 years. Any way you look at it, that’s a tall order.