Today, for the first time since you died, I sat with someone in a room and wept and wept for the loss of you.
I know you will understand why it has taken me these whole six months to find the strength to grieve for you. You well know the strength that grieving demands. You thought Freud was firstly a poet, with his “labour of mourning.”
I am trying to imagine which quote you would find for me now, because you always found a quote for me in all my situations and at times, I was less than grateful.
Perhaps it would be Auden: “In the deserts of the heart, let the healing fountain start.”
Perhaps it would be Dylan: “He not busy being born is busy dying.”
Perhaps it would be Blake: “For all eternity I forgive you and you forgive me.”
I am lost without you. I have no idea how to proceed in a world that no longer has you in it.
He asked me, the man in whose room I sat today, a quiet man who well knows the uses of silence, he asked me, what did he do, your husband?
I told him your doctorate was on Shakespeare’s comedies. I told him you loved Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen, and Lenny Bruce, and Seinfeld, and Larry David, and William Blake, and Tony Soprano, and John Donne, and Bach’s concertos, and Mahler, and the list of what you loved was way too long, you were interested in everything, and I told him how sometimes I would tell you that your mind was so open, everything just fell out.
I told him that you fought with me about Foucault, and feminism, and I fought with you about F.R. Leavis and fucking white male privilege and the damn canon. I told him how you were the only man I’d ever known who was confident enough in himself to tell me I was smarter than he was. I told him how you used to look at me and say, “I could die happy right now, just being with you.”
But mostly I just cried, love.