Who are you?
I once had a good answer for the idea of who I am and what I want to be.
A journalist. A writer. A mother. A wife. A true friend. A sister. A daughter. A success. A lover.
When the world collapsed in on itself and you left me behind, alone, none of those answers seemed to make sense anymore. Nor did the one everyone else gave me.
A widow. A tragedy. A pillar of strength and resilience.
Perhaps it was because I loved being a we. I loved you. I loved us. More than a year later, I spent an hour talking and trying not to cry about it. I do not know who I am, but I know who we were. And I miss it. I miss you.
I feel like I betray you every step I take. Moving, growing, changing. One step farther from you. Being we was not easy, and I chose to lose myself, no matter how much it would occasionally hurt. But I gained so much in losing. We were good. We were in love.
I am lonely. I am OK. I am many things all at once, but not always by choice. All of me would be worth throwing away for one more minute of we. One more hug. One more kiss.
But the pain is not all of it, not all of me. The pieces I lost in favor of we I am slowly finding again, and I like some of them. I found new creativity and calm hiding somewhere, burrowed in the pain of depression and grief. A strange sense of freedom knowing death, avoided until that day in June, never touching any part of me. It is here now. It is not pretty, but it has gotten comfortable, the ugly plant in the corner that continues to grow.
I find myself telling stories with i and we in the same sentence. We are both past and present tense. Our grammar is horrible, an English teacher's nightmare. Am I us?
I am here. This is all I know. That, and I love you.