Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Wall

“But mostly, I cried because my life had been going full speed for so long and now it had just stopped, like running right into a big brick wall, knocking the wind and the fight right out of me. And I didn’t know if I’d ever even wanted to get up and start breathing again.”

- Sarah Dessen

This quote embodies the day I was notified and the months and years to follow (and even random moments in my day-to-day life).

I never thought I’d be here.


Living….thriving…without my love by my side.

At first I held back from a smile or a good time, in fear that it would be dishonoring him. But with time and introspection, I realized that by doing so…holding back..I was dishonoring him.

Our loves don’t die for us to shrivel up into a ball, to live in a cave, and become Gallum-like. But in the beginning I couldn’t grasp that.

But the winds of time and his love blew away those mis-conceptions, and with that came the realization that I was going to get up…I was going to start breathing once again.

Man, do I love him, with every ounce of my being.

I still have those choke-up moments in realizing how far I’ve come…how much I’ve lived…
Those moments where I’m shocked at my soul’s capacity to survive…
My face’s ability to smile…
My arm’s ability to embrace…

But even in that astonishment,
I am never,
astonished by my heart’s capacity to pump our love through my veins.

And with that knowledge, nearly four years later, I am able to live.
I am living.

I hit the wall…
But I stood up.
I’m standing.


  1. Beautifully said! Love this!!

  2. Taryn,
    Thank you so much for this entry.
    I am only six months out but I have had that thought so much - I can't go there, do that, smile, laugh, try to move forward.
    In the first months it was easy I was just trying to keep breathing ~ really.
    Now I go, I still find it surreal as if I am living someone else's life - one that I picked up at the side of the road when mine ended. So, I do things and it is the after that still makes me cry. The other night I agreed to go to a friends for a glass of wine and there were two other couples there. I was okay but from the time I got in the car until I opened my front door - I could feel that familiar heaviness of grief and the "what am I doing, pretending life goes on when it stopped" coming in an empty house is my brick wall - there is no avoiding the truth.
    But, I am reminded of what a friend said once when I had to give a presentation and I was nervous, she said "fake it- fake that your brave and neither the audience or your body will be able to tell the difference" and I used that for years and realized somewhere in there I was brave, I was not nervous anymore. With grief I feel it is like my body has forgotten how to be happy or wont let me dream, or be optimistic but maybe if I stop holding back, maybe if I just fake it for awhile, just maybe I will convince myself it is true.

    I know in my heart it doesn't honor my husband not to live - he told me in the last months of his life to be happy, to travel, to fall in love again. Right now, I am just trying to survive but I know what I would have wanted his life to look life if it had been me that died. Grief will come no matter what i do and so I must keep trying to find this new life with the "love of us" running through my veins.

    Thank you for the reminder

  3. FABULOUS POST!! The brick wall analogy is so accurate. Because my husband was ill for a long time, and I was his caregiver as well as holding a full time job, the words "full speed ahead" are an understatement. The last couple of years I had hired aides to come in and care for him while I was at work, which requires constant organization and keeping a hundred balls in the air. I went from doing numerous jobs on little sleep to slamming right into that wall at a hundred miles an hour. Suddenly my house was quiet and I had no one to take care of. The impact was emotional, physical, spiritual, every part of me was affected. I just reached the 18 month mark, and coming back is a very long road of two steps forward, three steps back. Also, as an FYI to those in the early stages, I realize how premature it was for people (including my grief therapist) to try to push me toward a "new life" and to do things I was not able or ready to do. I resisted their suggestions and am glad I did, because as the total fog of the first year continues to lift, I am now starting to motivate a bit more and little by little I'm seeking out things to do. This post resonates with me in a big way, and I look forward to four years from now in the hope that I will feel fully human again. Thanks!

  4. Thank you for this beautiful post.
    The wall - the standup
    At six months and im still at that wall maybe on my knees trying to get up.
    This life is not what we had planned.

  5. so the "winds of time and his love blew away those misconceptions" the wind is still working with me, but has cleared out many misconceptions and helps me become who I am to be.

  6. Thank you Taryn, for these beautiful and hopeful thoughts. I am always sobered when I read these heartfelt entries from writers who are several years out from their loss. After only [!] 9 months, I appreciate that I have a long way to go and just hope I can be as positive and optimistic about my future as you have been and feel like a whole person again, not a half.

  7. I love, LOVE this post.

    Thank you Taryn.


  8. Thank you Taryn for the beautiful and meaningful words of support. Your courage and gift to share with others is greatly appreciated.

  9. Thank you all for taking the time to read.

    Cheers to each one of us standing again...and doing it with each others support <3