Invisible Pain
Bev Vines-Haines
I lost Frank on 9/11. Thing is, so did his wife and children. This is not a judgment, I am betting a lot of “other women” and “other men” had to suck it up and play nice when those planes hit the Towers.

I knew he would never leave his family. He was straight up about that. And my permission for him to stay married was unconditionally given. Even now, a year later, I find I have no place to grieve, no license to weep, no pity to seek. Is it sadder his children lost their father? Yes! His wife her husband? Yes! I am not a monster.

We just fell in love. And we laughed. How we laughed. Movies at my place. Popcorn. A sleeping bag bed in front of the fire. Kisses that still feather my lips in haunting dreams.

It sucks you know. If I cry I will look like a pretentious mourner, an interloper standing by his grave. He was my love, my secret man, fulfiller of my dreams. I thought one day when the kids were grown we might dance in the open, hold hands on the beach or shout our feelings out loud.

His wife is entitled to her grief. I know that. It’s just there are days when I feel my heart bleeding out into the streets, my breath tangled up in the wind, and my soul screams, “God bless that broken family. Do! But what oh what about me?”

First published: February, 2015
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