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By my nature, I am eager to live, which includes grieving David’s loss wholeheartedly too. We give greater weight to the ‘good’ stuff, the easy stuff in our relationships. Even though we had an epic love affair, there were lots of ups and downs, and those are part of our story. I notice the temptation to make him a saint, to change the story to one in which we are both perfect, express our love freely, easily forgive our mistakes but that’s not human or real. True love includes the regrets and mistakes and missed opportunities.

When Dave was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in October 2015, we looked for and appreciated more of our moments together as they ran through our fingers. Even still, we sometimes raged and said almost unforgivable things to each other, except this time, we forgave faster because time was running out and there was no time for grudges.

Since he died, there is not that immediacy and urgency of death coming. I notice myself beginning to put off my desires sometimes because I have time. Those essential lessons I learned slip, sliding away.

Passion, simple passion eludes me.
Grief and rage are easy, roar through my body like a cyclone.
Even their pale cousins, sorrow and anger show up.
Longing to breathe in his breath, impossible,
missing the smell of him and touching his textures with fingertips.
Wanting lusty connection and afraid to reconnect,
perhaps I no longer know how.
Still daring, still wanting more.
One day, she’ll take it with both hands and all of her.