Desire (part 1)

Lately I have been having such intense periods of loneliness that seem to be triggered by my yearning for Susan, as well as a lot of physical desire for her. I am wondering if this is the loneliness speaking. I know we were very aware of the physical intimacy in our relationship, how we expressed our love, how we found our way back to each other from it after short periods of separation, how it soothed our hurts and heartache when one neglected the other in some way. And so I suppose that in my time of heartache, I am missing Susan’s gentle touch and loving embrace.

Desire arose in many ways between us. For me there were two predominant triggers. The first is what I will call a fairly classic male stereotype: visual pleasure. Something in the way Susan would move, or something she was wearing, a dress perhaps, or a ponytail. Watching her walk up stairs, the shape of her body, her curves, her eyes, her smile. They were all physical attributes connected to her that could bring on strong feelings of desire for her. Physical desire, which at times became sexual desire.

And then there was this other thing, something I’d not experienced before knowing Susan. If I disclosed something to her, perhaps something shameful, or something I was embarrassed about, I would become aroused by the trust I was placing in her. My disclosure laid bare my vulnerable side and in doing so I seemed to be saying, here is my heart, flawed, damaged, dark, or just silly. And because I knew she would never judge me, I always felt safe to disclose. This disclosure of my true self caused me to be so attracted to her, to be so in love with her, that I would experience this physical sensation running through my body that I can only describe as physical desire. At times it didn’t even feel like sexual desire, at other times it did. 🙂 And I think, or rather feel, that my body was responding to her deep love, our love, and was asking to be closer to her physically. Other times, it was not so much a disclosure but an apology. If I had done or said something hurtful, even something that didn’t elicit a reaction from her but I felt in my heart had been unkind, I would have the need to apologize. And her gratitude at my thoughtfulness was expressed by a smile or her words, or she’d reach out to touch me. This was also an intimate moment for me, and one that created a flood of physical desire through my whole body, but sometimes just in my loins. It was so incredible that I would often tell her that I had become aroused by the moment, to which she would be amused or touched. Sometimes it was appropriate to act on that physical desire, but most often it was not the right timing or location. And that would wait. And it would find its way into our lovemaking at some later point.

The past few days, I have experienced intense physical desire for Susan. Desire for pre-cancer Susan and cancer Susan. However, my desire is more so fuelled by memories of her before she was diagnosed. I see images of her, remembered or imagined, and her beauty draws me into these waves of physical desire, like the ones I experienced while disclosing truths to her. And I guess the paradox that is now happening is that I am picturing the image of her physical self, but the waves of desire are more similar to the type I experienced through intimate disclosure. It has been quite wonderful.

I haven’t felt the need to take these feelings any further than just my awareness of them, or felt a need for any physical intervention, for lack of a better word. I have been enjoying them as they come and go, much like a memory or an image of her. I suppose the one thing I am happy about is that I am feeling my body again. The last few weeks when Susan was in the hospital and then the days following her death and funeral I was physically numb.

So those visits by Susan as waves through my body have been a catalyst for me to reconnect. I started back at the gym, ever so lightly. I went to my first yoga class in a few months. It has also helped me see where the anxiety that manifested itself last week was residing in my body. And perhaps, oddly enough, it allowed me to immerse myself in the natural wonder of Susan’s yard in Sutton.

I wrote this post a few months ago but only recently published it. I have written further on the subject of desire, physical intimacy, and comfort. I will publish those thoughts a bit later.

About Roy Cross

father, professor, filmmaker, writer, alchemist.
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2 Responses to Desire (part 1)

  1. Dear Roy,
    Thank you for continuing to share your journey through grief. Your writing, including today often moves me to tears. These are healthy tears, a mixture of awe and sadness about the beauty, strength and fragility of life, of living and loving in the midst of change, of loss and death. Your words are connecting me to something good and strong in myself that I don’t have a name for.
    And, I am glad you are feeling and enjoying a reawakening to/with your physicality, or perhaps physical spirituality? Anyway, it is beautiful and beautifully expressed.
    Kind Regards, R.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roy Cross says:

      Thank you, Rowena. I am finding that topics such as desire, sexual bereavement, physical intimacy, are difficult for most people to discuss. Many shy away from it. It is not so surprising since those areas of the human experience are hard for people to talk about even in non grieving situations. I am researching that a bit and have tried to distilled some of that knowledge through my own experience.

      Liked by 1 person

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