There were many, many days during our years together, when I desperately wished there was a door I could simply walk through and leave the agony behind. Back and forth I went, between treasuring the many unique and beautiful qualities that made that man who he was, and a very different place of deep sorrow and grief. I never knew how many years, days or minutes we had left together. I never would have guessed we would last thirty years. I was fairly certain that door was going to just appear one day and I would walk through it.
The door didn’t appear. I kept waiting for the moment when that door would not only show up, but open and lead me to a life free of emotional chaos. Unbeknownst to me, I would have to build the door myself using my own resources. I started building the door without even knowing that’s what I was doing. I thought I was working on a plan that would resolve all the issues that created my need for a door. Well into the project, I looked up and Holy Shit! Unmistakably, a door was taking shape. It still needed months and months of work and at times it felt like the door I was working on came with confusing instructions or was booby trapped. But eventually the door was finished and not a day too soon.
I knew that when I crossed the threshold of that door, I would be leaving some things behind and that I would grieve for those things. I knew there was one thing I had no choice but to haul along, for it had fused with my soul. The bond. Our bond. Long had it fed on our love. It was strong and surpisingly heavy. I couldn’t let it stop me from walking through the door, so I heaved it up on my shoulder, swung the door open wide with my free hand and stepped assuredly through it.
A woman greeted me on the other side. Wow – it was me! She welcomed me to a place where I could hear my own voice. She laughed and smiled as together we explored what was on the new side of the door. She united me with friends and cheered for me as I strengthened ties with family members. She gave me her love. She helped me carry the weight of the bond.
But we had both underestimated the power of the bond. We clung to each other and dug in our heels as it dragged us both back to that door.
And that’s where we are now. Standing together at the door, clasping hands and agonizing over the things left behind on the other side. The temptation to walk back through the door is overwhelming, as is our fear that we may not be able to find each other again among the debris that is surely waiting there.