One thing I realized from my night away is that I am' still Jackie'. I am aware that this revelation may sound odd; but after spending years of being ‘Jeff and Jackie’, I am struggling with the ‘new’ identity that has been thrust upon me. I have been labelling myself as Widow. Mother. Emotionally broken. Sad. Angry. Confused. But not ‘Jackie’.
After spending a little bit of time doing things I enjoy, I realized that I am still me. A different me. A me with a whole slew of new ‘baggage’ but I am in there.
Unfortunately, I can never be ‘Jeff and Jackie’ again. I loved our little exclusive team. I loved the umbrella of being a pair. Secret jokes. Memories only the two of us shared. The intimacy. The security.
Now I am just one. It is a huge change. But it is reassuring to find that I didn’t cease to exist when Jeff died. I’m still here….
I look at the photos of me and the reflection of my life before Jeff’s death. I look happy. I look carefree. I am silly and know that I am loved.
Now, I see the bereft emptiness in my eyes. Even when I’m smiling, it doesn’t look genuine. My face is smiling but my eyes look a couple of steps behind. Can other people see it? Is it just me?
But I am me. A new version of me. Maybe one day, I can smile luminous smiles and laugh from my soul. I’ll try to be patient.
The Silencing of a Poet
5 weeks ago