Monday, August 23, 2010

When the Heartache Ends

I have been wondering lately if being happy limits the freedom I feel to still mourn Phil's death. I have the feeling that "others" expect that my current happiness will cancel out the residual sadness that still exists in my heart over the loss of a man I loved so much. Yes, I realize this is MY issue.

The thing is, I am happy. And yet, I am also still sometimes sad. I have come to a place in my life where I would no longer trade in every person, experience, friend, family member, or new found love for the opportunity to have just one more minute with Phil. You know what I mean. There was a time when I would have swapped every single moment of my life for the chance to be held in Phil's arms just one more time. Today, I have moved past that point. But not so far past that secret desire to be who I used to be for just one minute that my heart has stopped aching all together.

When I see someone at the gym who looks like Phil, I still take in my breath too quickly. When there is a job to be done that he would do effortlessly, I still curse the fates that he is not available to complete the task. As time marches on and our families grow, the world changes, and life moves forward I still wonder what he would think of it all. Every once in awhile I still feel him somewhere very near by, and my heart aches.

I have often wondered what would happen if my heart stopped aching. In my current state of happiness the poor beaten down organ has taken a much needed break from sadness. My life is filled with amazing people. I am loved by a generous and understanding man. My kids are happy and healthy. I am blessed to be surrounded by an exceptional circle of family and friends. Given all of these facts, I wonder when the reality of Phil's death will stop knocking me over, if only every so often, with the proverbial waves of grief. Will there be a time when his absence will lose the power to stop me in my tracks? And what will I feel if that day comes.

I don't have the answers to these rhetorical questions, but deep in my soul I believe that Phillip Hernandez will still be with me when the heartache ends.


  1. This post is just what I needed today. I lost my husband about a year ago and this is the question I keep asking myself. Maybe the heartache never ends, but takes a back seat to your happiness. It is good to know that it should not be what keeps me from dating again and finding love. This was the question I had as I thought about what my next step would be. I guess it is OK to still feel this way, and that it doesn't mean that I will not love again.

  2. Wow - that spoke to me today. As always, thanks, Michele.

  3. I don't think that it ever loses the power but the incentive we have for allowing it to intrude fades until it provokes a different reaction all together.

    I am not knocked down as much as I am simply amazed at how my life is so different and not at all where I ever imagined it would be ... and I don't mind. It's good.

  4. This seems a right time to say that this blog has been a very good resource for my family and widowed mother. I have read the "readible" posts to her, translated in Romanian, and I am quite sure she felt a bit "better" knowing other youne people are going through similar feelings. Moreover, inspired by the communities that are created by such blogs, I have initiated a Romanian-speaking blog about the topic of mourning and I hope to help as many people as possible (although emotional intelligence is not something people really understand in Romania). So thank you very much for your work!