Monday, August 11, 2014


(Two posts in a row about song lyrics!)

In the car the other day an Iron and Wine song came on.

I've never paid attention to the lyrics before but suddenly, they penetrated and I heard them for the first time.

It's not a new topic for a song: a soldier at war, missing his wife and kid and finally coming home.

However, I wasn't expecting the twist at the end...

And I want to see my family
My wife and child are waiting for me
I've got to go home
I've been so alone, you see

When I walked through the door my wife she laid upon the floor
And with tears her eyes did soar, I did not know why
Then I looked into her hand and I saw the telegram
Said that I was a brave, brave man but that I was dead

I want to see my family
My wife and child are waiting for me
Got to go home
I've been so alone, you see

I was in tears, like a switch had been turned on. No stopping it. Waves and waves of pain. 

I realized I'd been, again and again in days and months and years after Dave died, all this time, imagining him beyond mourning as a dead person. Either death meant no more experiences anyway because there is no afterlife, or it meant your soul went on somehow, somewhere, but you were elevated to a place where you were at peace with everything. Either way, at least he wasn't hurting like I was. 

Honestly, the thought of Dave somewhere else, some different plane, also grieving his loss, was too much to consider. My sadness took up my whole being. Imagining him somewhere, suffering just as much or more than I was too much to bear and I never allowed the thought. 

But now that I'm no longer acutely grieving, this perversely painful thought took hold thanks to these lyrics. 

What if he was or is in pain, too? And he's beyond my help and I'm beyond his help? In a world unfair enough to take him from me like this, who was I to believe the universe was somehow fair enough to allow at least him to have some peace as a soul? Come on. How ridiculous. I've been fooling myself. Who's to say a spirit, if it exists, can't mourn too?

It doesn't really matter though. It's beyond my ability to know, either way. It's not my job to know. It's my job to heal. I will not torture myself unnecessarily

Grief still arises in me like a fever. I don't see it coming and I can't do anything but let it rise in me and then pass through me. I will let it but I won't allow myself to compound it with imaginary pain. 

Whether it's true or not, I'll go on imagining him free from pain, whatever state he is or isn't in now.

I've suffered enough.


  1. Thanks for posting on this Cassie. This is one of my fears also, and one I, too, work to let go when it arrives.

  2. I have to believe that wherever my husband is, if he is, is beyond the pain, or I'll simply stop. The whole "logic" that keeps me alive is that it's"cheating" to off myself and go where he is, so I wouldn't get there. If I thought he was hurting half as much as I do, I'd say to hell with it being a cheat, and do everything I could to go and comfort him. So, yeah, for what passes as my (marginal) sanity I have to believe he is where there isn't any pain or sorrow.

  3. I am going to say this anonymously because it is terrible but I thought I should share in case someone else feels this way. After my husband was killed everyone told me he was in a better place. This bothered me, I wanted him to want to be here with us, with me. There were a lot of circumstances surrounding his death that were suspect. I wanted to think he would be outraged like I was, not floating up there all peaceful. I wanted him to be up there being my husband and feeling for us. I am selfish I guess. I did want to believe he did not suffer when the car hit him, that haunts me still. I am haunted by the fact he probably saw the car barreling down at him. It makes me sick to know he ever could have felt a second of that tragedy. But as for him up there after the fact, I want to believe he is who he was, working his way through this like I am. Like I said, selfish of me.

    1. Just want to say that are not alone to think like that. The thought of my husband having a peaceful existence somewhere makes me jealous too. I want him to miss me as much as I am missing him. He promised we will fight the battles of life together.

    2. I also feel the same.. a counselor that I went to once asked me well if it was you that died what do u think your husband would want? I looked at her like she had 6 heads and said of course he would want to be with me where ever that was. Why would he be wishing for anything else.