I spent last night at The Inn at Bay Fortune where, in 2015, Catherine and I spent our last weekend away together by ourselves.
What I didn’t know when I booked—I thought I was just getting away for the night—was that there was an important healing aspect to this, a sort of reckoning that she’s gone and not coming back.
This didn’t really hit me until they brought the wine for supper, and I had nobody to wish cheers to. And nobody to share food with. And nobody to while away the evening chatting to. None of this made me sad, per se: it was more like my new baseline was rendered in sharp relief. “It’s just me now.”
On the way into supper I ran into my friends N. and D., a happy couple away for the night together, both of them very much alive. They invited me to join them for the meal, but I thanked them and declined, as I realized I needed to see what “alone” felt like. I did join them for dessert, though, which was very nice. And I didn’t hate them (that much) for being a happy couple.
It turns out that “alone” and “lonely” are different things, and that was helpful to learn.