It's a funny thing, grieving for someone who is not dead, but most certainly gone.
I met my soon-to-be-ex husband when we were only 19 years old, and we were together for 14 years. For much of that time, I considered him my best friend.
I have always been a person who hated losing friends. I still think about the best friend I made my way through middle school with who inexplicably dumped me the summer before 9th grade, and who I have barely spoken to since. I still think about the people I worked with at previous jobs and get a twinge remembering the good times we had together.
I guess this grief has been a long time coming. It's been nearly five months since the revelation where it was revealed to me that my husband identified as female. I have gone through stages, for sure. Disbelief & Doubt (Denial). Shock & Anger. One doesn't always end before the next begins. It is not a straight path, it is winding and overlapping, and sometimes surprising.
I have reached a new place in this journey though, with the arrival of depression. That seems like such a strong word for something that comes and goes, it is not so pervasive as some depressions I have experienced. I read this today:
The second type of depression is more subtle and, in a sense, perhaps more private. It is our quiet preparation to separate and to bid our loved one farewell. sourceI sat on a park bench for probably 45 minutes this morning, staring out into the gray windy cold of the Bay and trying to figure out my loss. I cried tears that came from this deep place within me that is so primal sometimes it startles me. In the past two days I have come to realize that the person I married is gone. Forever. With his transition to living as her, with a legal name change and gender change, with the addition of female hormones and the annihilation of testosterone, the man I married almost 11 years ago has vanished.
I cannot find the words for what this is. I look around me some days, disbelieving that the life I am living is really happening, that this is the path I'm on, this is where I stand.