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He was my North, my South, my East and West,My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;I thought that it would last for ever: I was wrong.(Stop the Clocks by W.H. Auden)

The Ecstasy: I thought I wasn't looking for love when I approached him on the beach. I thought I was looking for company, someone to talk to and pass the time. It only took a simple hello and I felt I had known him forever.

Florida is the lightning capital of the world I had heard.I didn't know one could be hit by a lightning strike on a clear morning with not a cloud in the sky. But it did happen and I was happily scarred for life.

In retrospect I must admit I was looking for someone to shake up my life, to disrupt my plans

or lack thereof. I wanted to burn all my bridges and burst out of the closet's door. Yes, I admit it, I was also looking for love. I wanted to be possessed and obsessed by it. I wanted to taste it. And all of a sudden there he was, a big wonderful man with flashing silver blue eyes and a wrap around smile. He made me see clearly when seeing was not quite clear. He pulled my head out of my ass and put something much better in its place. He then gave me his unconditional love and undying friendship.

When you are in love, you do not think about the passing of time. It passes slowly when you are alone, but it goes fast when you are with the one you love. It's as if there were two kinds of time, one of happiness and one of sadness. And of course we never really think about "till death do us part." It's just another cliché' after all.

It is, until it turns into reality and hits you squarely in the face.

The Agony: And now time passes more slowly than I'd ever known possible. Each second is like a single drop of water that you watch falling from a leaking faucet. There are moments when I feel as if I'm able to begin the healing process, at least for a little while. And although he is ever present in my mind, his face burned in my memory, his voice recorded in my brain, I know already it will not always be so. There will be a time when minutes will go by, followed by hours, when I don't think of him, when the words he said to me won't come back. Perhaps there will be a time when I'll be able to say:

"I haven't thought about him at all since this morning".

I'm frozen in time. A friend said to me that it is Mother Nature's "band aid" to protect my wound and initiate the healing process. Still, I can't exorcise the past either by returning to it, or running away from it. I can't put him out of my mind and memory because he is forever part of my mind and memory.

The Anger: I want to stop crying. I have cried enough. I have cried in places where his absence was so obvious and strong I felt he was right next to me. I cry just by looking at the empty spot on the den's couch, at his car sitting quietly in the garage, or the last book he was reading, and cry because he will never know how it ends. I dial his cell phone just to hear his voice telling me:

"Sorry I missed you, I will call you back shortly, leave a message," knowing very well his name will never pop up again on the caller ID of my phone.

They say that time will file away the edges and the corners of pain. Maybe, but for now there is this unexplainable anger at the unfairness of it all. It is just simmering under the surface and in a strange way it is comforting. I want my anger, I need my anger, I crave my anger, leave me alone with my anger, it gives me the strength I don't have.

I also have to think about getting a new life and that makes me even angrier. The one I had was just fine.

So think about this long and hard..

Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
(from "The Dash " by Linda Ellis)