July is always a difficult month.
It’s both my wedding anniversary and, a few weeks later, the anniversary of my wife’s death. This year is five years, and I’m sorry to say it snuck up on me without realising. Maybe it’s a good thing, that I wasn’t paying as close attention to the calendar as I usually do. Maybe it signifies that I’m moving on, in my own slow-as-molasses way. That’s unlikely though; I know I haven’t gotten over her, not really, and sometimes I wonder if any. I don’t cry as much these days, and the suicidal thoughts have mostly been banished, but the darker impulses still have control over me for brief periods, when they want to.
I finally got around to watching Black Mirror this week, a fantastic show about the darker side of technology in our increasingly connected world. One episode, “Be Right Back”, deals with a young couple. The guy is killed in a car accident, and his wife finds a service that can construct a facsimile of him from his public posts and tweets. At first she just talks to him by text, but later is able to construct a body for him, that looks and sounds like the real him.
I could see where it was going, and thought I’d be ok with it. Just like The Fountain though, it had shredded me by the end. I had to stop it a little before the end because all I could think of was that if this really existed there would be nothing I wouldn’t pay to get it. Things like that are what tell me that I have not moved on, and not only that, I’m not sure if I ever will. I know that I’m lonely, far more lonely than I try to appear to the kids, but I’m not looking for anyone else, not doing online dating, or any other kind for that matter. In six years both of my kids will probably be gone from the house, and I’ll be in my early 40s. Do I really aspire to sit in an empty house surrounded by pictures of her, looking at her face whenever I talk to my kids, and pretend that that’s healthy?
I’m not sure what to do about it.