For those of you close to me you know how much I had been dreading my birthday. I didn't want to 'celebrate', I didn't want any reminders, I didn't want to mark the day at all. I wished nothing more than to pretend it did not exist or have it disappear at once into the past.
The very mention of it was enough to choke me up.
Let me explain why.
For the first time in my life, I am now as old as Craig. By this time next year, I will officially be older than him. The year after that I will be older still. And so on and so forth.
For this reason my birthday grieves me more than his did, more than our anniversary did, more than any other occaision.
I dread aging. Not for the reasons other people do (although I will cling to my youth as long as humanly possible like the rest of us) but because it is a sharp and painful reminder: My life will continue on and Craig's will not.
I will age and grow older without him, while he remains forever frozen in time - the 26 year old husband and lover of my youth.
Time marches forward unforgivingly. My future will barrel onwards, neither slowing nor stopping to align with the abrupt halting of his.
It is a painful and suffocating loss.
I cannot hold onto him forever. I cannot bring him with me. There will only ever be a greater and greater distance between us.
So for those of you who wondered at the strangeness of my requests or disinterest in doing much of anything, this is why. I apologize to the people I didn't see and for my lack of enthusiasm. I greatly appreciate all the cards, gifts, and well wishes. I really do.
Just know that this is why it was a painful day for me.