Can you hear me?

Today I woke up and got ready for work, just like any other day. However, something made me stop and go to the other jewelry box when picking out my accessories for the day. I opened his jewelry box - the one Mike gave me on our anniversary. The one where he hung a silver cross necklace I had been eying for some time and where he tucked a tanzanite and diamond ring into the drawer. I opened each and every drawer, I touched and picked up each pair of earrings, each ring, each necklace... and I felt nothing.

I didn't get the usual feeling of comfort, of joy, or of good memories flooding my brain. It was what I was looking for, but I didn't get it. At that moment my heart just made a thud in my chest and my brain shut itself down, shielding me from the painful emotions. The ones where I realize - time is passing and I'm starting to forget the little things. What does his voice sound like? I remember loving his laugh but I can't hear it anymore. I remember how he liked to hold my hand but I can't feel it anymore. I remember how he styled his hair but I can't touch it. I can't prove my memories and they are not as fresh.

This new feeling of loss is different than when he passed away almost 4 years ago. It comes with fear and doubt. Will I one day forget everything? Did it all really happen? Is all this progress toward moving forward going to just cease?

As I closed up the jewelry box and put on the necklace he bought me for Valentine's day one year, I couldn't help but say to myself, "he loved me, right?" I couldn't believe I even questioned it, but there it was, hanging in the air. I know the answer, but I guess I was just hoping to hear him say yes, just one more time.

RIP Michael R. Eckhoff 5.21.08

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