Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Last week one of my children experienced a tragedy.
This child called me within minutes of the experience.
I listened to him, stunned at what had happened and not believing what he had gone through.
My very first thought, my first instinct .... was that I had to call Jim.
In fact .... I thought that more than one time during the phone call.
In spite of the fact that he's been dead for over 2 years.

I was stunned that that was still my instinct. My mind was numb and that was the only thought I had.
I'm still stunned over that thought.

How long will it be before my brain stops going there?
How long will it seem like my brain is in denial about my reality?
And how long will my heart feel like a knife goes through it when that instinct kicks in and then my mind catches up with the truth?

And while I'm asking questions with no answers ...... how long will it be before I stop having this thought ..... "I can NOT believe that he's really dead."?
I don't have that thought nearly as often as I used to .... but I still have it.
I still have moments when I can't believe that this is my reality.

Thankfully, it doesn't knock me to my knees like it used to.
Although it can still bring me to tears.

Does it ever go away?


  1. I am so relieved to read this, it has been 19 months and I still at times am just stunned that this is my reality, it is comforting to know that others feel this way. The void is as large as the day it happened....

  2. Even at 4 1/2 years out, I'm occasionally struck with those moments of wondering how on earth this happened, how he's still dead after 4 1/2 years. But they don't happen often--maybe every few months--and usually aren't triggered by anything concrete or specific.

    And maybe it was just me, but I can only think of one time where I consciously stopped and thought, "I've got to call Charley and tell him"...and it was about 15-16 months after he died. I'd just heard one of his coworker friends was pregnant with her second child, and I knew he'd be so excited for her. And then a second later, I was mentally slapping myself upside the head over my unconscious reaction. There've been so many, endless times where I've wished he was here, particularly over things with our daughter, but only one or two where I've had those "I gotta call him/Hey, it's Charley on the phone!" moments.

    Who's to say when or if it will totally ever go away? I wouldn't be surprised if you have them randomly even ten years from now, although I'm guessing you'll have a different reaction--surprise, mostly, and not pain. Sending you many hugs, Janine...and I hope everything is okay with your son.

  3. It is so wonderful to know that I'm not the only one that has thoughts like this even though it has been 3 years and 1 month since my husband died. Just the other night for no reason I could not stop thinking "is he really dead?" Thank you for saying this.

  4. Me too, me too! Still happens over four years later...crazy but true. I agree, I think it will keep happening, because they just aren't fully gone to our brains and our hearts - and never will be.

  5. I am sitting here, reading these posts in tears. I think mainly tears of relief to know that someone else experiences and feels the same things. It has been 23 months since Tim died in the accident and even at this very minute I still have a hard time believing it...

  6. It has been 2 yeas since my husband died. I also have a knee jerk thought process that is triggered when something funny, sad or important happens. I want to call Mark and tell him, ask him about... It happens less often, but it still happens. It is comforting to read that other widows do this too. I called his work voice mail a few times after he died, just to hear his out going message. I can not bear to do it again. His work may have deleted it by now. I'm scared to to call it and find out. I'm not sure why it even matters. It is painful to see the rest of the world moving forward, but of course it has to. Some days I feel I am moving forward, and it feels like the right thing to do too... Some days I feel stuck.