Facing grief, life, cancer with truth, not homilies.
I Will Speak Out
For you with the well-meaning intentions.
I won’t be robbed of my voice.
I will not be told what I’m supposed to feel.
I will not be told what I’m supposed to do.
I will not be told what I should expect.
I will not hide myself to make life easier for you.
Keep your platitudes.
Stop trying to comfort me.
You are afraid.
Or you think you know things that you don’t.
I don’t care what happened to your friend or your sister or your mother or your daughter.
Don’t tell me that whatever happened to them will happen to me.
Stop telling me about what time will do for me.
We, we humans, are not all the same.
You don’t know me as well as you think you do. Or as well you want to.
I know me. I swim inside myself and I have been in here for decades. And I’ve been busy. Figuring me out.
Find the courage to look at the me that I am right now.
You can’t predict anything.
You can’t tell me what will happen.
I am what is, right now.
And right now is all that matters because tomorrow is anyone’s guess.
Right now song lyrics pierce my heart.
Right now I want to show the new best thing to my partner who is gone.
Right now I am brimming with stories that I only want to tell one person who is gone.
Right now when I worry I want to lay my head on the chest of my best friend who is gone.
Right now I remember powerful moments of passion for my absent lover who is gone.
Right now I want to talk about my children and grandchildren with my husband who is gone.
Right now I want to sit in a movie theater or a concert venue with my hand entwined with his as it always was. But he’s gone.
I want to talk about the news with my person who shared my views. He is gone.
Right now I know that I am uninterested in trying to fill the void left by my partner, my best friend, my lover, my husband. Who was all of those in one body.
Stop telling me what might happen.
I don’t care what you think.
I am still in love with the same person I loved for all the life that came after my teens.
And I’m in my mid-sixties. I’ve earned my wisdom.
I don’t care what you think I should want.
More importantly, I don’t care what you hope you’ll want if you become like me – the person whose person is gone.
What you want or need is not what I want or need. I never want to be the person who offers what is my version of your truth.
I’m reading a book called Mad Enchantment, a book about art.
And that title describes what I feel for my person.
Still. An inexplicable magic that lives on unembodied.
And I think it will for always, until I die too. Mad enchantment.
If you’ve never felt this, I’m sorry. But I did. And no one gets to dilute it. Don’t believe it if that’s what you need to do. But this is my reality, not yours.
You don’t get to steal this from me.
With your good intentions. Just be quiet. Or go away.