It's a quieter life now. I still have, very slightly, the habit of being alert for his needs. I stood washing the dishes tonight with half an ear cocked, and the memory of there always being so many things to do and be aware of. Yet already I am moving on from that, too. It is only the remnant of an old habit. In the act of remembering, and catching myself doing so, I notice that all that background noise, all that hustle and bustle, is really not there any more. The reality is peace and silence. I am moving away from that other mind-set, and I would not want to move back into it again.
I experience what a friend who has been through it calls 'the phantom sting' — weeping over the ways in which he suffered towards the end. Yet I am also coming to the realisation that, had he not had those health problems which made life so difficult for him, I would never have been able to tolerate losing him. It is only made bearable by the fact that I know he had reached the end of what he could cope with and was ready to leave. In so many ways, no matter how it looked or felt, it all worked out perfectly. I realise this more and more.
And I know he is free now, and fully engaged with life again, as he was here — only now it's life on a different level. Some people remark on my 'great faith'. I don't even see it as faith; it's just knowledge. I couldn't have the experiences I have had, and not know that there is life and consciousness after death. And still he feels so far away.
'We'll never break up,' I told him, 'Even if you go into another dimension.' He was wiser. I see now that it is a kind of break-up, in that he is now having experiences I am not sharing, and cannot share. I too — life is happening to me. I am already making new friends he did not live to know. I am reading books and seeing movies I'll never discuss with him. We are indeed going on separately, and there is no other way it can be. Even if I could tune into him all the time and be in constant communication — and I know that I actually could if I put my mind to it — that would be no life for me. I need to be in the here and now, not half in some other dimension.
It is an adjustment, a gradual adjustment. And it is happening, inevitably, whether I like it or not. Even the cats are developing new routines for the new circumstances. The days and weeks and months go by. The most horrifying thing is the realisation that I will change. I won't be able to help it. I can't and shouldn't stand still, static, like a living corpse. I must go with my own evolution. I must allow myself to become whatever I shall become, as the days and weeks and months — and years — go by.