Monday, December 15, 2008

Question Number Sixteen

Did you feel his presence in any specific way?

I have to admit that in the early months after Phil's death I ran from place to place (literally and figuratively) hoping to find a definitive sign that he was still with me. Is he in our room? Maybe in his garage amongst the tools? Could he be in the car? Near his bikes? Somewhere in the backyard? Insert in your mind here a vision of me looking under the bed, picking up each and every tool on the shop bench, sitting in his seat in his truck, straddling his bike though my legs were too short, and wandering aimlessly in our backyard...all in search of proof that Phil wasn't really gone. Over the last few years I have heard many stories of people who have felt their loved ones in their presence. They have no doubt that this experience is real, and derive great comfort from being with their lost spouse for just the briefest of moments, but Phil and I haven't been in the same room, for certain, since he died.

I have often wondered if the reason I don't feel him around me has something to do with my belief in the possibility that this could actually happen. Over the past three years I have looked for him in every imaginable spot, and even ordered him to appear when all else failed. I have spent a good amount of time fervently wishing, hoping, praying, or begging that I could find Phil in a particular spot, any place would do. Eventually I realized that if this were possible for me, I would never do anything but sit in that sacred location, and be with him. He knows me well, and I think he knows the truth: I couldn't handle being able to 'visit' him. Each visit would need to be a bit longer, every opportunity to run to him at any sign of trouble would be taken, and over time life would pass me by as I hid my face in his silent presence.

Some spouses are blessed with the certainty of their loved ones presence, some are left to wonder where they have gone; but I believe that love is the place all of us will most certainly find our heart's desire. Our loved ones live best in the hearts of those of us who loved them and lost them...each person who knew Phil holds a little piece of him in their hearts, and it is in our shared memories that I find him--without fail.


  1. This picture took my breath away.
    It looked so much like my husband on one of his bikes. Wow.
    And I have not ever felt Jim's presence, either. It's only been a year and I haven't really looked for him, but I posted about that two days ago, on his birthday. I'd love to think he's with me and our children, but I believe he's waiting for me .... in the most wonderful place ever, where there is no sadness. He can't be with me because he'd be very sad at how broken my heart is.

  2. This post was put here Monday December 15, 2008. My husband died in my arms the night before at 10:20 p.m. On the day when you were posting this, it was pouring rain on Southern CA and I was talking to the organ donation person on the phone, trying to choke down a piece of toast, bawling along with the downpour from the sky, surrounded by family who were caring for me - though I am not sure exactly who was there. My husband's presence is still here in this home we shared... when I can see him in my mind's eye or hear his laugh within these walls. Somehow just looking for December 14th 2008 in this blog was meaningful for me. Thank you for doing something with your grief that reaches me now. You were well on your way when my world collapsed and I entered widowhood.