I remember a number of years ago, when I was still a girl living at home with my parents, my great aunt used to come visit and stay with us on weekends. The reason for her visit wasn’t purely social. She had recently had her leg removed due to diabetes and was allowed out of the rehabilitation centre on weekends under the care of family. I remember her vividly describing to me, at that time, the immense pain she would feel in her absent leg. She said she would often reach out in the night in attempt to make the pain stop, only to discover her leg was no longer there. It was, what the doctors described as, phantom pain. I don’t ever recall anyone asking my aunt how she was doing in getting over the loss of her leg, they simply asked her how she was learning to live without it.
Phantom pain. My heart and soul have been torn from my body and even though they’re not there anymore I still feel myself reaching, crying out in the night for them, only to find them missing. Unlike a leg, it’s not something that can be seen by others. Only felt by me. Being haunted by a phantom. Can I learn to live without my heart and soul, or will I ever find them again?
As predicted, today is a bad day. I feel like I’ve been punched in the throat. I wish I could accurately describe this feeling, this tightness, the raw ache and burn in my throat that’s always there, pain from holding back the tears every minute of every day. She was supposed to be mine today. She was supposed to be safe in my arms, but now all I have is that phantom pain where love should be.