It's pretty unusual for me to read something these days that makes me tear up. Call it numbness or denial, I'm not really sure which.
But today I came across some widows posting about lies that got to me. They were talking about the lies we tell the ones we love to set them free. Several posted about their spouses losing battles to cancer and other illness, how they sat by their bedsides in those final minutes, holding their hands, watching them suffer and finally whispering in their ears, it's ok, you can go now, I'll be alright. Beautiful, brave, selfless lies.
I wish I had the chance to lie to Craig. To tell him it was ok, that he could go, that I would be alright. It would have taken every ounce of strength I had, but I would have lied to him, for him, in a heartbeat.
I told many other lies after Craig died.
I told family and friends that I was ok.
I told them they could go, that I would be alright.
I faked smiles and put on make-up, lying a thousand times over about how I felt, that I wasn't being eaten alive from the inside out.
I lied about eating so my mother wouldn't know I hadn't kept a single meal down in months.
I lied at work to my bosses about how much sleep I was actually getting and how much work I was pretending to do.
I lied about just how much time I was spending at home, alone, crying on the floor.
I lied about how often I sat on the floor in the closet, smelling Craig's clothes over and over again, until they had lost all traces of scent.
I lied about what I was doing, when I was doing it, why I hadn't answered my phone.
I pretended I was functioning, breathing, okay.
I lied for everyone else but I also lied for me.
I lied to let them go. So they wouldn't have to worry or intervene or do anything at all. I could see it in their faces, that begging look, imploring me to wave them off with a quick smile and an 'everything is ok' to alleviate their conscience.
And truthfully, it was usually so much easier than telling the truth.
We all lie.
All of us.
But sometimes, I think, it's ok.
Because sometimes lies can be beautiful too.