“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay
You can miss her the moment she leaves, as you hear the real or metaphorical door close or the phone click even as you know she is coming back, that you will see her again, that you will hold her again and the two of you will sit together at the point of the triangle that the two of you create in 1+1=3; you and her in relationship equals that third, that unit of Us or We who will sit close holding hands, not saying much, simply taking in and enjoying the air the two of you share because you share it together as you have for the past two days, two weeks, two years, 20 years….
You can miss her the moment she leaves, as she takes that breath you did not want to hear her take and you know, know, fucking KNOW she is leaving not just you but everyone and everything but mostly you and you know she is not coming back, that you will not see her again, or talk with her, or feel her, or touch her again or sniff her or hear her, except in pictures and in dreams, or in visions of her that pass through your mind, the mind that tells you it’s okay to say she’s gone even as you don’t believe any of the words you say.
You can miss her when you are away or she is away visiting family, or on a business trip or on a course and you call to talk with her at the start of the day and at the end of the day and think about her as your day moves along and you are in meetings with people who might be nice and who might be interesting if you took the time to notice, if you weren’t thinking of her and the hole that’s constant beside you, the place where she should be and you think this not because you aren’t okay alone because you are; you think this because you are better with her and your heart and mind and body and spirit know it and tell you in a million different ways.
You can miss her when she’s in the hospital and not at home and that place in the bed that’s warm when she’s there beside you isn’t warm right now and won’t be warm until she’s back, and when she’s back and you can wrap yourself around her all through the night and into a time of forever when you think you can stop being afraid of the hospital and that cancer that has changed her. Then and only then will you stop missing her, except you won’t stop missing her because she is not who she was and you couldn’t protect her then and you can’t protect her now and as you join hands to both touch the place on her body where there is a hole where there used to be smooth skin, it’s not that you miss the perfect body of her so much as the blind trust she once had for it.
You can miss her when you don’t see her because it’s not just that she’s away and you are here, but the you that is known with her and known only to her is away too, not because you gave yourself away but because you find new parts of you with her that like her so much that they leave with her when she goes and it’s not that you are lost when that happens, just contained and the world that she opened with you is somehow not as more/ish when she’s not here.
You can miss her the moment you meet her because you know that in meeting her even if you live a thousand years it will never be enough and she will be taken from you or you will be taken from her and you know that you will miss her by the hole in your being across eons and universes.
You can miss her and be surprised that you do because you don’t miss anyone and you don’t need anyone and you won’t say that you do, but you know that you do, you know that you miss her and you know that missing her means that the you who is a whole person who is a solitary and independent and private person, perhaps stubbornly “I can do it for myself person” is now someone who can say, yes that’s true, I am all that, and I can be more me with her.
You can miss her with that ache that wonders why the world goes on, how CAN the world go on when she’s not here until you realize that the world doesn’t matter, and neither does missing because what matters are the shades and gradation and power of good love that lets you be you and her be her. What matters is that the two of you together are/can/could be a world of your own: because what matters is wrapping your arms around her, opening your heart, mind, body and soul to love her for as long as every moment of now.