My husband has been places that I have never been. And most of those places I will never go.
He’s done things that I would never imagine him doing–nothing against his character, but several things that are different than what I would assume my husband would do. They don’t fit the mental boxes I have constructed for husband. They represent a different side of him than the loving and devoted husband and father.
He’s had responsibilities and burdens on his shoulders that I can’t fathom.
He’s been to war–no, not on the front lines–but directly involved in a global conflict. This is something I as a civilian, can never comprehend.
He’s forged bonds with people–from shared experiences, space, living conditions that I can’t touch. I can’t crawl inside of. And he can’t take me there no matter how many pictures I see, or how many stories I hear. I have to admit, when he talks with his buddies about where they’ve been, and what they’ve done, and I hear the comraderie, sometimes I feel jealous.
A very good friend of his, a friend from Husband’s last shop, died this week. It wasn’t a ‘military’ thing, at least not directly. This young man–only 22–was recently discharged from the Navy after a string of bad choices and bad luck. He had JUST returned home to his family, when in a surprising accident, he was hit by a train and died.
My husband aches in ways that I can’t touch. I want to crawl inside of his grief and hold him against it, but despite my own journeys through grieving, I don’t know how to. It’s not an unfamiliar dance for us. He journeyed into the land of parent loss years before I did, and all I could do then was sit with him and be. It’s the same now…. And not the same now…
Again, all I can do is sit with him and be.
But it is hard after five years of marriage to be so separate from this part of him. The ‘away’ parts of his life will always be so foreign to me. There is something very, very lonely about that.
I never met this person who meant so much to my husband. I wanted to. I wanted to adopt him and send care packages to him. But he was always a part of that ‘other’ world. And other circumstances got in the way before I could connect with him as a supporter and package sender on the home front.
I grieve for this man that I never even met. I considered him a friend and part of our network simply because my husband loved him.
I am sad for never having known him–for never having seen him wear one of his silly hats.
I am equally sad for not being able to know this part of my husband. I am sad to not be able to fully walk around with him in this grief. I am sad that out of five years of marriage we share years of separate experiences–and that his are so foreign to me, so vastly different from mine. My life was the same minus him. His life away from us was literally world’s apart in difference.
Most of all, I am sad that a man so full of life and charm and humor and spunk is gone from this earth… Tragically, Senselessly…. Gone. I am stymied at the unfairness of it. And this is another thing that I will never understand.