Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cadence Count~

Moving through grief is similar to moving through deep, dark mud and muck.

Lifting your feet to take another step forward takes every bit of determination and strength.

Sometimes you look down and you can't even see your feet, never mind lift them to take that step.

When you do lift them, they are covered with mud to the point of not being seen.

Nothing but a pit of mud surrounds you, as far as your eyes can see.  The tears in your eyes fall into the mud beneath you and muddy it more.

You know you have to move but it's exhausting to even contemplate.  But you do anyways.  Because you have to.  Because you're still here.

It all sounds pathetic even to my ears.  Particularly to my ears in relation to myself.  I hate being here.  I'm doing every damn thing I can to keep moving so that I won't always be here.  And part of being able to have the energy to move one more step requires allowing myself to be right where I am, rather than using the energy in resisting or fighting where I am.

My husband was fond of saying just look right down and see where your feet are and be there.

He didn't mean to stay there and make no effort.  He meant that it is necessary to allow yourself to be right where you are so that you will have the energy to move yourself forward.

But I hate this heaviness that is my constant companion.  I hate that I have to remind myself to breathe.  I hate all of this grief.  It's exhausting in the most elemental way and it's exhausting again when I have to lift first one foot and then the other from the clinging mud that surrounds me.  One step.  Another.  Cadence count one after the other.  The rhythm of death and grief and life.

Just get to the shore.  Keep walking, I tell myself.  There is firmer footing ahead, so I've been told.

I hope so.  God, I miss him.


  1. The pictures say it all: here one day, gone the next. How did that happen??? After more than 2 and 1/2 years on this journey, I am still asking myself that. How can this be my life? Marianne

  2. Alison, your words and the visual resonate with me even after three years without the love of my life. Grief is my constant companion. Will it ever go away?

  3. I know this feeling. I am just three months past losing my partner. I miss him every second of the day. I miss him holding me, stroking my hair, talking to him, hearing about his day. I don't feel like I will ever lose this grief and loss :-(

  4. Your picture says it all. A long, empty expanse, a slog every day.
    And the blank vista that says 'I miss him" more than words can say.

  5. There's so much I miss about my before life. What I miss most about myself from then is the ability to breathe without reminding myself to do so. I find moments when I realize I've forgotten to breathe - again. I much preferred those breathless moments with him, caused by a smile, a simple caress, or hearing him say I love you.
    You're writing often resonates some thing that's pounding in my brain. Thank you for sharing, and reminding that we're not alone in this hell.

  6. Hello, Allison, it does feel like mud and muck, for sure..stuck can't move.. Emptiness. Such a VOID..but we r still alive.. And hv to go on..the one thing that I do think of, is how men move on way quicker than women..So I ask myself if table was turned and had Ben me, would he have moved on to someone else by now.. The answer is yes.. And I told him too, should something happen to me.., but he never said ok from him for me?? Never did.. Statistically men move within year an half.. I was still in mud and muck at that timeline..I told him I wanted him to hv a companion not to be alone.. Not marriage but companion.. I knew he would need a female in his life..he would be like Iam now, was a topic we often spoke of.., but here Iam at 6 yrs 2 months..stuck ...

  7. Allison,
    I have to say I admire your courage in traveling alone. My husband of 35 years, and a retired Marine, and I traveled almost full time for the last 10 year.
    He died 4 months ago suddenly, the morning after getting me back to our "homestead" ...the place we bought for "just in case" we had to come off the road. It was our last trip.
    I so identify with the Cadence Count....some days it feels like all I am able to foot in front of the other..and breathe.
    Thank you for your sharing of your thoughts.