Tuesday, March 11, 2014

That Which Is Not Here~

We spend our lives with an awareness of our physical bodies.  We dress our bodies, we move our bodies.  Our hands hold other's hands.  Our arms hug.  Our lips meet in exquisite kisses.  Our lips smile and laugh.  Our eyes sparkle as we gaze upon life and our loves.  Our feet dance, in rhythm or not.

Physical presence is a big deal.  It was very much a big deal with me and my husband.  We touched often.  My husband's physical body and presence was measurable in my life.

His absence from my life is just as palpable and I'm uncertain how that might translate scientifically but his absence is, to me, as strong as his presence ever was.  In fact, now that he's gone, his absence is almost stronger than his presence ever was, which causes anxiety in me.  It has seemed, since he died, that he's so gone that its as if he never existed.  Chuck died forever ago, or 10 months.  Long ago and no time at all ago.  

Presence and absence.  My external life has changed drastically since last April 21.  I've changed drastically.  Nothing is the same, either in my external world or my internal soul world.  He disappeared the night he died and my life did too.

And yet.

Weirdly,though, his absence from my life is as tangible and measurable as his presence ever was. An entity that breathes and walks and moves with me as I stumble along.

As the months have passed, because he is so very gone, I've held onto, and purposefully courted, the love he left me.  I cherish his last message to me, left on my phone at my request the week before he died.  I still listen to it with a sense of disbelief that I'm not seeing him say he loves me, that I'll never see him say that to me again.

Those words though.  That love he had for me.  That love I had for him that beats as strongly today as it did for all of the past 24 years.  The love is a physical presence to me now, and co-exists with his absence.

I can't explain how presence and absence can both be real.  It just is.  He is here with me in his absence. 

He loved me.  I loved him.  That is still real.

It was our blessed gift to each other.  

With Chuck for me, for me with him, it was always, always, always, nothin' but Love~


  1. So so touching and exactly express how I feel over past 11 months until tomorrow. My love one passed away on April 13th last year, a week after yours. Yes, "they are here with us in their absence, day and night, through our every breath". No one be able to explain how presence and absence can both be real, but they are exactly how I feel, 24x7 hours..... painful, lonely and empty feelings like a big big hole in our soul, in our heart.....

    1. My heart reaches out to yours as you remember your husband, FANDL CY. That hole in the heart is filled with emptiness~

  2. You are so brave to use those words "its as if he never existed". I have felt that so often and beaten myself up so badly because I could not believe my mind could let me think that the man who created such a beautiful existence for me never existed at times in my after mind. Thank you for saying it. Maureen

    1. And thank you for saying it in return, Maureen, letting me know that I'm not the only one. Why is it, do you suppose, that it feels like that?

    2. My reference to "it's as if he never existed" relates more to those who no longer can say his name, or talk to me about him. It's like he wasn't even here, and I can't fathom how they can no longer speak of him. do they think I don't want to hear his name? I think of him constantly, every day, even after 4 years. Today especially, which would have been our 42nd year together. One friend acknowledged the date, one of those "soul sisters" that Cassie talked about.

      "Chuck died forever ago, or 10 months. Long ago and no time at all ago."
      Time has a way of playing with us, I so understand. Some days it seems like he left me yesterday, other days the 4 years he's been gone seem like 40. I don't know how I've made it this far, I don't think I can go on. But somehow the sun comes up and I get out of bed, and continue. I'm hoping it gets easier, but so far not finding that it does.
      Love it: nothin' but Love.

  3. A friend gave me this quote and it touched my soul early in my grief and still does today. I too had a love beyond the depths of my dreams. This seems to summarize what you are describing as it did for me:
    “This is love, she thought, isn't it? When you notice someone's absence and hate that absence more than anything? More, even, than you love his presence?”
    ― Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

    1. Beautifully spoken, Mjay. I'm touched at the responses to this particular blog. It makes me feel less alone in this thinking~

  4. "It's as if he never existed"....I was shocked when I felt the depth of his "gone-ness"....like a black hole in the space of my existence. It was like our life together was all a dream, it vanished in that moment he died. It has been almost 4 years for me, and that feeling still comes up at times. And it shocks me each time I think that, because he LIVED and he lived happily and fully. Thank you for putting into words what I feel.

  5. This post brings tears to my eyes. But then I've been so weepy anyway these past few days. The life cycle is renewing all around me. Birds are starting to build nests in the backyard. Butterflies are flitting around. Deciduous trees are budding. And my one true love is not coming back in renewal. It's been a little more than 2 years now, and the emptiness and loneliness does not seem to get easier to live with, much less to understand and accept. Yes, it's as if he never existed, and worse, it's hard to talk about him in the past tense.

  6. Carol,
    Its horrifying to me to speak of him in the past tense. My mind can't grasp that its so and the words, when spoken aloud, send a jolt through me like an earthquake~