It hit me like a ton of bricks when he told me. I didn’t see it, I wasn’t aware of it, and I was doing it. All. The. Time.
I am still referring to Rupert as my boyfriend. He said it is freaking people – especially guys showing interest- out. Okay, maybe not freaking them out but it can be hard to hear and easy to misunderstand. That makes sense. I am not doing it because I still consider him my boyfriend. I just don’t know what else to call him. He’s not my boyfriend. He’s dead. I know that. I hate it, but I have accepted it. I’ve worked hard to get my head and my heart aligned with this fact. It has only been barely five months, and I forget how recent it was and how fragile I really am. Time is so weird. It is a human construct that doesn’t really exist, and sometimes I just can’t wrap my brain around it.
And yet, time moves on. There was a time when Rupert was my boyfriend, and that time has passed. There is no phrase for dead boyfriend or spouse. The living gets a name – the widow or the bereaved, but the dead? Nothing fits. I can’t call Rupert my ex, because we never broke up. I can’t call him my late boyfriend, because he was so reliable and to call Rupert late just seems ridiculous. Nope. I need to learn to just say Rupert. There will be times when I need to say to someone, “my boyfriend passed away in 2016,” because just saying, “Rupert passed away in 2016” doesn’t make any sense if they don’t know me. Today is Stephen’s deathiversary, and I said my best friend and gay husband. There was nothing former there. Maybe it is the difference between using it descriptively to state the relationship and using it as a way to sound like he is still my boyfriend. I didn’t know my words were coming across that way. What we say matters.
I feel so aware of this right now. I want to sit and absorb this new bit of self awareness and act on it. I want to meet this milestone and not say my boyfriend Rupert all the time. Just Rupert. Its okay.
The timing is interesting because I have been thinking about the name of this blog. The name my housemate gave me when it was too soon, and I rolled my eyes and told him to fuck off. The name I eventually accepted, because that is what you do when your friends give you a name and it sticks. Lots of suggestions came through when I asked for replacement names, the next logical development for the Hot Grieving MILF that doesn’t necessarily involve grieving. Hot Blogging MILF and Hot Healing MILF seem to be my favorites. Since my walk in the labyrinth recently, I realized that I don’t want my story to define me. I don’t want to project into the future, either. I just want to be present. I feel ready to let go of the title hotgrievingmilf. I just want to be. I just want to be present.
Focusing on how I talk about Rupert and the words I use is a good start.