Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Its Only Love. Or Grief. Or Love.

I'm near the end of the first month in the second year since my husband Chuck died.  The nights and the days blend one into the other.  When people ask me how I'm doing, I ask them in return if they want to hear the polite answer or the real answer.  That's pretty polite of me to ask that of them, isn't it?

I've run out of words to describe how much I miss my husband and how little investment I have in this new life I'm necessarily creating without him.

Whatever.

I'd like to cultivate the mind-set of Walter Mitty, that well-known dreamer.  At any given time during the day or night, I wish I could just let my mind wander to a scenario where I can pretend that Chuck is still with me here.  Just drift away on those thoughts....and live there.

At which point I'd likely be locked up in the psych ward and heavily medicated.  Our culture is very unforgiving of zoning out without medicalizing the situation.  I wonder what the medical term is for I'mlonlierthanI'veeverbeeninmylifeEVERandImissmyhusbandsomuchIcan'tstandit?

I'd so love to be in a world where Chuck is alive with me.  The fact that he isn't, that he and I are separated from one another forever, makes my breath catch and my pulse race and my heart pound.  Which is, interestingly enough, the way I'd feel whenever he walked into a room and I'd feel his presence.  Or when he'd put his hand behind my neck and pull me in for a knockmysocksoff kiss.

Being in love and being in grief produces the same physical symptoms?  Now there's a new thought that just popped into my head.  I wonder if any studies have been done about this possible phenomena?

Oh my dear husband, my heart, my lover, my travel buddy, I miss you.



22 comments:

  1. Alison. ...What you have written is where I am, as well. ...to the "t". My 2 year mark was May 8th.
    Those of us here know that your medical label is real...very real.
    I was caught off guard in the comparison of the sameness of feelings of him walking into a room and the missing him...yet it is so true!
    When you describe your relationship with your husband it is so like the one I had with my husband. ..filled with love. ..passion.......everything. ....
    Gosh...how I miss my everything with my everything.

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    1. The missing-ness is so absolute, isn't it, Linda?

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  2. Alison, you hit on something. There is no medical term for LONELY. There's depression, and the medical establishment is trying to shove grief into that diagnosis. There is Autism spectrum disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, which can make it very difficult for a person to socialize. And there are more terms and categories, but... professionals seem to ignore the spiritual. They treat us all as widgets, as impersonal as lamps and tables ("Just drop it into a new house and it will blend".) People FEEL things when they are around special people; there was even evidence that your soul mate affects your heartbeat whether you know they are near or not. I know nothing I can say or do will make it easier for you, but you are helping make it easier for some of us. Thank you. -Snowygirl

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    1. Snowygirl,
      We all just need to walk through this together and reach out to one another, don't we? What else CAN we do, really?

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  3. I know most who ask mean well, but I hate that question "how are you doing?". I usually respond "I'm doing". They really don't want to know the truth, they cannot comprehend the state I'm in anyway.

    The foreverness of separation hit me the other night while watching the meteor shower. I truly believe his atoms are out there among the stars, so gazing at then often gives me peace. But that night the thought occurred that what if my soul/atoms/being cannot find his soul/atoms/being when I die? I'm trying not let those thoughts dominate.

    The missing will go on, I still say it to him every day. You can't spend more than half your life with someone and then expect to forget them in just over a year or two or five. Take care, Allison, you are not alone in these thoughts and feelings.


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    1. Cathy,
      Sometimes knowing I'm not alone in this is the only thing that keeps me from losing my mind~
      alison

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  4. Alison, I'm adding my Amen to your comment list. June 21 will mark the third anniversary of my husband's death. I'm sick of the hearing "How are you?" "You look so good!" from the occasional friend from my life before my husband's death. We used to be very socially active in a car club and camping group. Our couple friends ran for the hills after about a month after my husband died. I guess they're afraid that death is catching or they just don't want to go there thinking that this horror could happen to them. How do these clueless people really think I feel? My heart was ripped out of my body and my life is empty without my husband. It takes all my effort to go forward a day at a time. Then there's the occasional suggestion of grief counseling, therapy, bla, bla, bla. My response is "will the grief counseling bring my husband back?" If not, screw that. My husband and I were together sixteen years. We didn't date, we were a couple from the beginning. How do I go on without him in my life, without him touching me and looking at me with such love in his eyes for me, just me? This isn't living, it's an empty existence.

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    1. You just wrote what I have said for 5 years...I exist. I was with my husband over half of my life. I remember thinking in the beginning there was no way I could continue without him. How come nobody could understand the sheer devastation of what happened to me? At the year mark, I guess I, like everyone else, thought I would magically be better. Well, year 2 was worse than the first. Now, having passed 5 years still with no one but my fur babies in my life (and I just had to have my 13 yr old put down yesterday, he was my husband's dog!!!) I know the term "exist" is the way I will most likely go through the rest of my life. We were together 30 years, married 20 when he died. He was only 62. Yes, married friends let go of me too, although, to be honest, I probably was not the most "graceful" widow there was. I don't put up with BS. Going through this makes it clearer how much of it is out there. I have no desire to date as he was my one and only, my forever friend, my partner, lover, "fixer" of many things. How does one explain how just grocery shopping is so much harder without someone to help unload them? That EVERYTHING that gets done at your house is done by one now where there used to be two? They are the DGI's....don't get its. And they don't want to!!! I will never be that happy again. Good luck to everyone. It's not for sissies.

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  5. Yes. Yes to all of this. Hi Allison - Im Kelley. I write on Fridays. I love this post. Its very similar to how I feel. Some days the only word for it is, as you said, "whatever."

    xoxo

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  6. Oh Alison! I am coming up for my one year since losing my beloved husband in June and all of what you just expressed is me too! Thank you so much for sharing and letting me know that one year will not be some magical point for change ( as many people seem to think! ) I hear you and wish for that place too - where I am with my Darling once again. I really actually wouldn't mind if it was in that psych ward either at this point!!! LOL. Honestly though, thank you for your words which are so real. Hugs to you x

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  7. Couldn't have said all of this better…soooo agree with ALL OF IT!!! and Every single one of you. I am almost to 2 1/2 years without my husband that I had known since I was 15. It was suppose to be a special year of me turning 60 and being married 40 years, and then my dad passed away and 3 months later my husband was in a tragic car accident….so instead of 2 celebrations we had 2 funeral. Yes, the couple friends are long gone…just glad that a few girlfriends have hung on. I have never worked so hard to hold on to a friend…that at the end of the day I just want to say "too much work…I will just be more alone" And I answer "just doing" now…because you know they really don't want to hear. YES…Good luck to all of us, as we take it "a day at a time"…and YES, it surely isn't for sissies!

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  8. Margaret BirdsongMay 28, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    Reading this, I just wanted to respond to reach out and touch those who know. How I wish I had a real physical community like this. It will be three years in September.....and I too, thought one year, I'll be better...two years...then I realized I won't ever be "better" whatever that is. I was 16 and he was 18 when we married and he was killed in an accident just after our 49th anniversary. I never learned to be alone. Now I am half a person. My kids don't even understand. I just wanted to "talk" to someone who might. Thanks for being here.

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    1. Hi Margaret…I am the anonymous above your post…(because I don't know how to fill this out differently) It will be 3 years Dec.16th for me. I was 15 and my husband was 16 (almost 17) when we met, and he was killed in an accident right after our 40th anniversary. You are right, my kids don't understand either. I will NEVER be better…I just miss him so much and yes, I am half a person without him, or more. My friends keep waiting for me to be "back to myself? " and I half laugh and half cry over that….I will never be my old self.

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  9. Allison,
    It gets less difficult to live with the empty space. Really. I'm nearing 3 years come August, and I only cry a couple times a day. The other day I went grocery shopping, and in the barbecue sauce aisle, I smelled his cologne. He used to be a pit boss, so it was hard not to look for him. I STILL look at every F350 dually that goes by, looking for him. I KNOW he's not going to be there, really...but if I don't look to be sure, what if he's there and sees me not looking? Yeah, you aren't the only one who'd be on her way to the Funny Farm if her thoughts were known, Promise. Last week I went on vacation to Eureka Springs, Ar, and all I could think of was how much I wished he could see it. I'm living two parallel lives...one in my head where I have a running monologue going for him, and one that other people get to see that is (relatively) normal. Maybe it always will be this way. For now, it's working, Hang in there.

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  10. yesterday I heard a friend say she understood how I'd lost the other half of myself. it's a common notion, one even I have dabbled in. but after thinking about it for a long while, I now believe it's much more complex.

    my Beloved and I were not the other halves of one another. we were the wholes of our entire existence, we imprinted ourselves upon one another, and the imprint was not one that was etched - no! it was a beautiful fluidity, that gorgeous love, that seeped into the pores of all of the essence of each another like golden, flowing honey we savored with such happiness and joy, that permeated through every molecule of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. we shared it, and often licked our fingers, grinning at each other like Cheshire cats, completely fulfilled and glowing with that sheen, that vibrance, that fueled us, nourished us, sent us on such jags of abandon in love, and seemed an unending source to our being at one, comforted and contented even on the most ordinary of days. One.

    now what's to be thought of, or felt, or done when there is no more One? what happens when the separation of death, so cruel and abrupt, begins it's searing and tearing away of the deepest regions within us bound and threaded so tenderly and completely, and there is no more sustenance to afford us that beautiful rhythm of life?

    the tortuous ripping away - I can feel it in my heart, in my body that often feels assaulted. but in my soul, when the ravenger of death would have a final and excruciating parting, I say NO. it is too unspeakable, and I cannot let go of the vestiges of that sweet and abundant and abiding love which keeps my Beloved and I safe and intact and in love.

    I am not my body, but I am my soul, just as my Beloved is. i have a body, and it is broken, and i must pay witness to the brokenness and mend and gather it's parts together to be up on my hind legs, albeit in anguish and pain, when my heart is tilted the wrong way and doesn't wish to beat another beat upon it's faulty axis, or my arms and hands feel withered and empty of His presence, when even my voice no longer sounds that same without the sweet refrains spoken so often and lovingly - oh i could even tell you stories of unkissed lips, and cheeks that have sunk below board, and a once quite lovely neck and shoulders that glowed and were strong from His caresses. and eyes! oh, the eyes...aching and blinking and growing a veil to shield me from glances and glimpses of His personage, mapped out like old wallpaper all over this empty place that once held His sweet face and body reflected all around me. my ears have strained all these many long days and months just to catch a sound, even a syllable of his voice, once always there to give voice to his love for me, and my answers echoing with joy.

    so i leave this body alone - let it moulder or heal as it wishes. let me fly away into the reaches of my soul where my rights are recognized and brooks no power of Love's injustice, it is where i find my love, our love that never, ever dies, it is where we can meet again and not be lost, where we are the whole of ourselves, where the light shines the brightest, blessed by moons and stars assistance, on holy and sacred ground that shimmers and holds us in each other's arms. One.

    much love and comfort to all,

    Karen xoxo

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    1. Karen,
      You write poetically and lyrically. Thank you for the beauty~
      alison

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  11. Alison, you speak what I feel. Thank you.

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  12. Karen (tccomments2013) I am without adequate words. Wow! What you wrote is not only beautiful, so lyrical and lush, but accurate and real. You gave my mind a mini-vacation and allowed me to "swim in the universe" , as I am wont to do. That last verse NAILED IT for me! And now I have a snappy retort to those who ask why I have gained back my weight: "Leave me alone! I'm mouldering"! -Snowygirl

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  13. dear Snowygirl,

    thank you so much for the lovely words about what I wrote. it means the world to me that it resonated for you. it surprised me, picking up my cyber pen and feeling my fingers tippy-tapping and flying over the keyboard. I think the idea of only being half after losing our beloveds was somehow stuck in my brain (and my heart) because it just felt not quite an adequate description for how I feel. I hope we can meet again...somewhere in the ether, somewhere on the W path.

    gratefully, and with love,

    Karen Sutherland

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    1. Karen, with your permission, I'd like to write this up in calligraphy and frame it, just for my own enjoyment. I would put you as the author and give you full credit of course. You can find me on Facebook as Doretta Johnson.

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  14. dear Alison,

    thank you for your most kind response to the comment I left. lately, I have been on a journey of what I call, "writing for my life", and when I go to that place sometimes things I am not aware of consciously emerge, and I can feel some measure of both accomplishment and peacefulness. so I really am so grateful if any of it rings true to others. I loved what you said about wondering if being in love and being in grief that feels so similar is something to contemplate. maybe broken heart syndrome? maybe the heart, together with mind body and soul,, because our hearts seem to be the repositories for such awful pain? grief is so confusing!

    I am so grateful for what you have written, with such candor and raw emotion. I am so very sorry for the loss of your Beloved Chuck. I hope you know how much you are helping others when you write with such authenticity and allow us to be able to know we are not alone.

    much gratitude and love to you, Alison

    Karen

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  15. So well said for all of us, Alison.

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