IT’S BEEN EIGHT LONG YEARS
I remember how you told me
I should trust you for a year
It would just be for a year
But it’s eight years, Albert!
Eight long years, Albert!
– Charles Strouse Bye Bye Birdie
Peter, you left this world eight years ago this coming August. There is not a day that goes by, that I don’t think about your kindness and caring. There is not a day that goes by, that I don’t miss your laughter. There is not a day that goes by, that I don’t ache for your loving embrace. Grief is the price I am paying for love.
Sometimes I muse on how we would have hunkered down together during Covid. It gives me great pleasure to know we would have had a ball in our togetherness. We would be just the two of us, cooking and ordering in, and being together. But you left before Covid which is a blessing for you, not so much for me. Covid aggravated my grief and amped it up to a fever pitch. It moved to a 10+ on the Richter scale. I didn’t want to go out. I had angst every morning. I became more and more frightened, not in a good way. But you, my sweet husband, were lucky. You got out before experiencing the pandemic. That is a good thing. That is a very good thing.
And you didn’t have to see all the violence in the world. You didn’t have to witness the mass shootings or the obstructionist behavior of politicians who jockey to be self-important.
You would have loved the last episode of Succession. It brought me so many memories of your own death when you couldn’t breathe and were dying in front of me. But I did love the shock of this episode and the shock waves it produced in the media arena. My tears came down in the layers of missing you watching this episode, and how much you would have reveled in the surprise.
OMG, and you would have laughed at my pathetic attempts to date. The one guy who said to me “your roots are a little dark, when are you having your color done?” Or better yet, when he said “aren’t you too busty to have been a model?” I told him: “the editor has left the building and so am I.” I found an Uber and went home. Or how about the guy who took me to an exhibit at the Science Center and then took me home without a beverage? I kept hearing Larry David saying “you have to drink a beverage on a date.”
When I moved to a condo, I kept thinking of how you would have been the mayor here. You would have greeted the staff and the neighbors and would have remembered all their names. You would have loved to go the pool or the gym (the gym not so much), and make new friends.
But this was not to be. You died too soon, my sweet Peter, and my longing and yearning for you is ever present. You would have been so proud of me. I wrote a book The Joke’s Over You Can Come Back Now: How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived. Not only did I write the book, but I sold it as a romantic comedy to a movie studio and the writer is working on her second draft. How cool is that?
I have survived, Peter. Life is a dim without you but I have managed to forge friendships and serve on the board of OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center. You would have said “color me so proud.” I will end with a quote from Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive.
“I’ve got all my life to live
And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive
I will survive.”