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what i’ve lost

RC Jones

RC Jones

Losing someone who has been an integral part of your life for years or even decades is an enormous loss, of course. But that enormous loss is really an accumulation of many smaller losses you only begin to recognize over time.

In the year after my partner of 30 years died, when I began to notice those small losses accumulating, I completed a long-list journal writing exercise to enumerate them. To acknowledge them. To help me understand.

Chances are you’ve lost someone as important to you as he was to me, and you have your own list of what that looks and feels like.

what i’ve lost

Someone to:

  • Come home to
  • Complain to
  • Hang out, watch TV, and read the Sunday papers with
  • Make scones for
  • Pick me up from work
  • Share my life
  • Share my time
  • Get grumpy with
  • Walk with & hike with
  • Shop with
  • Be indignant with (and about)
  • Share the sunset with
  • Remember 30 years with
  • Do projects with
  • Learn and grow with
  • Care for
  • Talk to
  • Share space with
  • Complain about
  • Figure things out with
  • Make plans with
  • Discover things with
  • Have holidays with
  • Share food with
  • Take care of the car
  • Return my books to the library and take my clothes to the cleaners
  • Make meal plans and grocery lists with
  • Watch DVDs with
  • Watch football games with
  • Have quirky habits with
  • Laugh with
  • Hope for
  • Nag
  • Have serious discussions with
  • Make me birthday cards
  • Play Scrabble with
  • Take for granted
  • Look out the window and watch for
  • Do the messy chores
  • Worry about
  • Buy Valentine’s Day cards for
  • Remember my birthday
  • Watch a fire in the fireplace with

Someone who:

  • Was always there
  • Knew me for better and worse and still stuck around
  • Wanted me to listen to his music
  • Took care of all the plants
  • Supported me 100%
  • Could fix almost anything
  • Would read my writing and give me GOOD feedback
  • Was smarter than me
  • Liked to cook (and was great at it)
  • Was willing to clean up the kitchen, do the dishes, and take out the trash
  • Listened to me, almost anytime
  • I could tell about my day
  • Always told me about his day
  • Was interested in what I was interested in
  • Got along with my mother (!)
  • Moved to Albuquerque with me
  • Offered to tell me bedtime stories
  • Used headphones for TV at night so he wouldn’t disturb me
  • Made the best of the situation
  • Forgave me
  • Always gave me his full attention
  • I could buy little surprises for
  • Remembered more of our past together than I do
  • Loved me unconditionally
  • Missed me when I went away
  • Picked me up at the airport, no matter what time
  • Filled the patio with blooming cactus plants
  • Accepted my shortcomings
  • Subscribed to interesting magazines
  • Was the one to go out to pick up our take-out food
  • Was nice to my friends
  • Made sure my coffee was ground exactly the way I liked it
  • Called me “babe”
  • Grilled the chicken, sliced the avocados, sharpened the knives
  • Apologized after an argument
  • Gave me my space
  • Noticed butterflies
  • Introduced me to so many different things
  • Cast his lot in with mine
  • Put up with my periodic insanity
  • Saved things
  • Was more sentimental than I am
  • Gave more than he got
  • Needed me
  • Trimmed my bangs
  • Took the cat to the vet
  • Worried about how I would get along without him
  • Supported me financially when I needed it
  • Drank way too much Diet Coke
  • Could be really silly
  • Had an eye for beauty
  • Was always writing letters to the editor in his head and then “reading” them to me
  • Watched the 10:00 news religiously
  • Hung all the pictures on the walls
  • Liked to talk…and talk…and talk
  • Tried to tell me jokes disguised as anecdotes because I hate jokes
  • Never liked to take the last of anything
  • Could never purchase just one apple, orange, or head of garlic
  • Loved the smell of roasting chiles in the fall
  • Still appreciated the bathrobe I got for him after wearing it for seven years
  • Said he liked hanging out with me
  • Made really good banana bread
  • Lived with a lot of physical pain but tried not to let it get in the way
  • Wore a hat I crocheted for him back in the 80s
  • Loved to look at the changing light across the Sandias
  • Could see into the center of things
  • Was proud of me
  • Was enchanted by snow and luminarias
  • Had a sparkle in his eye
  • Laughed with abandon
  • Had an amazing book and record collection

He was:

  • A poet
  • A writer
  • An artist
  • A gardener
  • A musician
  • A spiritual companion
  • A partner in life
  • My best friend
  • My heart

And I still miss him.

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6 thoughts on “what i’ve lost

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. This is such a beautiful compilation…and poignant reminder for appreciating those we love — and sometimes take for granted. Thank you for sharing…Hugs and blessings to you.

  2. Rich Jones on said:

    Yeah, seems like every day I’m in the middle of something, and I’ll stop to wonder what Pop might have had to say on the matter, especially now that I’m once again a rudderless vessel and pushing 60.

    My most enduring memory of Pop is him sitting on his beat up adjustable piano stool, the one with one loose leg that had to be kicked in before he could sit on it, the seat of which was held together with black electrician’s tape, practicing Monk and Bill Evans runs on his re-built upright piano, the one with the cheap exterior masking “good guts,” atop which was a little porcelain bust of Bach, a brass sitting Hotai figurine, a small lamp he’d made out of a Saki bottle, and a student copy of a Bach work with the name altered to read “Sam Ibachi,” and him having to chase our rickety old cat Lorenzo away when the ornery old cuss would stare at him, plaintively wail and then very deliberately urinate against the foot board.

    Another life, another time…

    • I remember the bust of Bach. As for the rest, he did like to create assemblages, didn’t he? And riff on whatever was around (Sam Ibachi, indeed). A unique character, for sure.

  3. I echo your sentiments. The loss of a life partner is multi-faceted, multi-layered, and difficult to comprehend, much less endure

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