Monday, October 17, 2011

Expressions of Love

still can't sleep

So High. So Low.

My week has been different than what I'm normally familiar with. I'm experiencing such high moments. Moments of feeling the excitement of new love. I look forward to his calls. I smile from ear to ear whenever we are together. I feel so excited with each plan we make.

I also come home each late afternoon, and as I close the door to my bedroom the tears fall down my face. I wrap my arms around myself, and hold on tight. I lay on my bed, and feel such sorrow.

One wanted me to be happy. Another is making me happy.

One gave me all of his love. Another looks forward to sharing more days together, with hopes of a love that can signal a future together.

For two years I slept with his pillows taking up the space he used to occupy. I held onto these soft objects that no longer carry his scent. For two years my arms and legs clung to a form that served to remind me that yes, he was here, but now he is gone.

This weekend someone new occupied his space. My arms were wrapped around this new person. The space he takes up is different. He is not the same person. His form feels different.

There is comfort. There is affection. There is warmth.

Tonight the pillows will be back. Tonight I will grieve the one that is gone. Tonight I will miss the new one that is absent. Tonight I have a longing that is less clear. Tonight there are two that occupy my mind. Tonight there are two that fill my heart.

Wednesday is, was, our wedding anniversary. It's a very odd day. Yes, it is the day we wed. Yes, it is the anniversary of a wonderful love filled day. Yet, it is also an occasion we never celebrated together. Michael died one month shy of our first wedding anniversary. The wedding came later in the relationship. It was a day we never expected would be possible. We seized the opportunity to stand before our loved ones and pledge our love to each other. With all that happened in the year after we wed, few ever remember the day. His death eclipsed any type of celebrated remembrance.

Perhaps this year I will simply celebrate love. I will celebrate that I stood before a man, and pledged my love. I will celebrate that I made a vow, a promise, that I kept. I will celebrate that while I have yet to say those words to someone new, those words have been on my mind. I will celebrate that one day soon, those words will be spoken again. I will celebrate that my heart is filled with love.

I will celebrate that there is room enough for the love of both of them.


  1. Our hearts expand exponentially to encompass each individual with whom we fall in love: babies, lovers, friends, brothers...

  2. "The space he takes up is different."

    How odd is that, right? I've talked to other widows who have the tendency to compare their new love with the one they lost. That's never been an issue for me and here's why: "The space he takes up is different." Not just the physical space but who he is in the world.

    The heart has an infinite capacity for love. No matter what happens in the future, Ken’s wife and ultimately ‘widow’ will always be part of my identity. I haven’t stopped loving him and I don’t have to.

    Neither do you.

  3. Thanks Dan, Just ended the first relationship I have had since Rick died 2 years ago, what an amazing high and so much sadness too. You always know what to say and I feel!

  4. Dan - so understand this.
    Someone said to me " your heart can carry both sorrow and joy" - in the beginning i never thought of it this way. But now I know, it is possible.
    Your description of that elation of new attraction contrasted with the deep grief that is always waiting to be faced.
    May this new man gift to you all the love Michael would most certainly have given you were he still alive. Not the same love, different love - but love all the same.