Thursday, May 28, 2015

Where are you?

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, because it never changes: Mike is ALWAYS on my mind. He doesn’t go away when I’m working, when I’m busy, when I’m cleaning or shopping, when I’m hanging out with friends old or new, when I’m listening to music or watching a movie…he doesn’t go away even when I’m thinking of my future that cannot include him. It’s like this little corner of my heart is, and always will be, reserved for him, and only him, and that awareness is constant, and eternal, at least as long as I shall live. 

BUT - at the same time - he is not here. He is never here. He is GONE. He is NEVER coming back. Sometimes I sit and concentrate on him - I call up my memory of him, how he looked, how he walked, what he wore, what it was like to be around him…I try and place him in my now, maybe as some kind of comfort, or maybe as some sort of reminder, hoping I will never forget all the little details. Trying somehow to keep him alive somewhere inside of me. In that sense I know he is truly gone, and over time it gets harder and harder to bring it all back.

Yesterday driving around town running errands I suddenly heard myself cry out loud, Mike, where are you?? as I pounded my hands on the steering wheel. No tears; just something more like frustrated disbelief. I just haven’t felt him around; I haven’t dreamed of him or seen any of the silly little signs I convince myself could be him poking me from beyond. (I am lucky I’ve had quite a few very incredible dreams of him since he died but none for a long time.) And I truly did wonder where he really WAS. Is he out there somewhere? Is he just gone? Despite my faith, I still wonder about it all.

So last night I had a dream and lo and behold, there he was. It was a silly dream; nothing earth-shaking. Just a silly little vignette that included him. He and I were in a parking lot of a local shopping area here in Kona; I could clearly see him standing there beside me, dressed in his favorite camouflage cap and t-shirt, holding a cup of Starbucks. He was clean shaven and not quite a gray as he was when he died; he looked somehow a little younger…very alive, and vibrant, and happy. He was going into the store and I was going to wait at the car for him. While he was gone I saw people coming out of a door behind the building so I went to investigate; sure enough I discovered a new little marketplace back there I hadn’t known existed before. A little drug store, a fruit market, and various food stands with various ethnic cuisines we simply don’t have here in our little town. I got really excited about my discovery and proceeded to try and call Mike to tell him.

My phone had no contact information for him, but I remembered his number so punched in the digits. When I connected it wasn’t him live; it was like I was listening in on a call or maybe a voicemail where he was talking to some friend of his about martial arts training, assuring him he could teach him what he wanted to learn. When I got back out to the parking lot he was also not to be found again. Then I woke up.

I lay there thinking - ok well thank you, THERE you are, Mike. It was good to see you. Then at the very same time - where the heck ARE you REALLY?? And the sad, sinking realization, for the millionth time, that I will never, ever see him again. At least, maybe, until I go where he is, wherever that is, if it is. Until then, I have only memories, pictures…a few of his camo caps…and the haunting embers of my dreamtime visions.


Sigh.

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for this today. Its nearly three years and still that man is in my head all the time. I thought maybe it was me. Ive dreamed of him once but thought there were signs every now and then. They seemed to have stopped until I went out with a new male friend. Then the chain I kept my wedding ring on snapped. Is he mad or letting me go. Or was it just a coincidence.

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    1. Nope - not just you. And personally I don't believe in coincidence! Hard to learn to live with it all some days. Thank you for sharing this.

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  2. I really loved this. Those dreams can be so hard, especially the part where you realize yet AGAIN they are gone. So biting. But it did make me feel like he was saying that his absence is going to take you to new, grand, exciting places... there was something so so beautiful about that. It reminds me of a similar dream I had last year.

    His cap you shared in the picture really caught my eye. Just last night I had a bit of an epiphany about a new photo series I want to do with other widows involving relics/items left behind. Hmmm! I may just be getting in touch with you about this idea down the road a bit <3

    Thank you so much for sharing this one. xoxo

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    1. Thank you Sarah. Hey I like that idea. And I like your way of seeing him tell me about grand places to come. xoxo

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  3. Stephanie I just was shocked to read this post from you today. Yesterday while driving to work I was hitting the steering wheel saying the very same thing....where ARE you? I'm taking our son on a trip this summer and I was telling Tony (my late husband) how I wanted him to come with us. Just then a song came on that was our favorite and something in me just smiled as I thought "oh THERE you are". So reading this gave me goose bumps. I also wonder if we'll see each other again. I have only dreamt of him once in these past 4 years, but like you and others he is always occupying space in my mind. It seems as if everything I do is influenced by him to some degree. How I wish I knew where he was, if he's happy, and if he really can see us and know how we are. Such a journey. Hugs to you from Seattle.

    P.S. And Sarah I love your idea for that photo series

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    1. Hm well I guess great minds think alike. ha! Thank you Lisa, I'm so happy you shared this common experience, it makes all the difference. Blessings to you.

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  4. Stephanie, I do the same thing as you. I look up and say "Rich where are you? Please let me know you're still here with me." My husband will be gone four years in June. I dream of him often but the dreams are vague and hard to remember. Then, there were the four "visits" from my husband that are nothing like dreams. My husband felt real; I touched his arm and I felt his flesh. I kept thinking, but you're gone, how can you feel warm? Without speaking, mind to mind, I kept saying "I Love You." Two weeks after he died, I laid down on the couch out of exhaustion after not sleeping for two weeks. Almost immediately after putting my head down on the cushion, I felt three or four light touches to my lips. I knew it was him. I called his name and then started to cry. A psychic told me to immediately get up and write the details down because I would forget them. I've done just that. I'm not overly religious, but I now believe that there is something else after we die. I know my husband is watching over me. Even knowing that, grief is my constant companion. Having him visit is wonderful, but no substitute for having him with me.

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    1. I am glad you had this experience. It can be powerful...and yet, I agree it's no substitute to having them here with us. Thank you for writing and sharing this.

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    2. Stephanie, early on after my husband's death, I was given the book "Widow to Widow" by Genevieve Davis Ginsburg M.S.. Here is an excerpt from her book that I think relates to our discussion:

      "...It Seems So Real

      “I’ll be sitting at the desk, and suddenly I know he’s in the room. I can feel his presence.” I know I wasn’t asleep, because I suddenly woke up and I could feel him sitting on the bed. I could smell his after-shave lotion. I touched his hand and said “Your hand isn’t cold, but I know you’re dead.” He just smiled and said good-bye. I didn’t feel the least bit afraid.”

      No, these women are not crazy or even unusual. When asked, a high percentage of widows—as high as 48 percent in one survey—say they have experienced the presence of their husband during the early months of bereavement. The presence may be just a feeling that he is there watching, encouraging and approving or may be clearly seen and heard. They don’t bring up the subject in mixed company, of course, but when asked, and in the company of other widows, they report all kinds of paranatural and psychic episodes..." Karen

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    3. I believe it. For SURE. Thank you for sharing that.

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  5. Stephanie. ..Wow.. Just this week I was telling my son that even though it's just been 3 years since the love of my life, his step dad, passed away, I still think about John all the time.. & I mean all the time.. And like you said it makes no difference how busy I am or what I'm doing he is always right there in my head.

    For me, I believe that he is in heaven in the most wonderful place it could be.. Yet I miss him so very much.. And often think how wonderful would be if we had our life back.

    Even though I have now reached the point that I have found a new man in my life that may leads to another marriage, my John still remains constantly in my head...for while this bothered me as I took it that maybe it was a sign that I wasn't ready to have a new person in my life.. Yet I knew deep down in my heart that John will always be in my head.. It will never go away..

    You putting your thoughts into words has me thinking that I need to share this with my new man.. He is a widower....I'm going to ask him if he's having the same experience.

    I have only had one dream of my late husband.. It was so long ago I can't remember it or when it was.. About a year and a half ago I had a sensation that he touched my cheek...like he used to do..

    It has bothered me that I have had not had more dreams and that I have not had more experiences and feeling his presence.. And I guess I've taken that to mean that he is letting me know that it is ok for me to live my life.

    And I am trying to do that and thoughts of him in my brain will continue to be there forever.

    Sarah... I love the idea of photos of things left behind by our loved ones that is so precious to us.. I can think of so many things that I would show.. So just recently I finally donated all of almost all of my husband's clothing except for a few items.. Keep us posted on the progress of your idea.. I think many people would like to see it.. Or buy it if you have it in a book format.

    Thank you both for sharing your thoughts in this heartfelt topic... Linda

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    1. I like that you think of his presence getting rarer that he is letting you know it's ok to live your life. It's a nice way to look at it. I will remember that, thank you Linda.

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    2. I hv been a widow myself for 3 yrs and that first yr my. Trailer I heard him call my name many times it about drove me crazy god only knows that I run and everything else for the first 2 yrs I think I searched the world over I don't know if I was trying to find him or quite what but it did finally stop now I hv major issues and I'm so lost I'm hvin to give up our home its almost more than I can bare I don't know what I am doing I hv no family other then our children I am so lost o see others heading for the same fate I even try to warn them even not liking them I still would not wish it on anyone ever

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  6. Stephanie--as always thank you for your post.
    Sarah--what a wonderful idea.

    One thing that a friend of mine has offered to do is create a memory quilt out of his clothes. I would like to do this for me and my daughter, but I am having such a hard time going through them and its been 2.5 years. --Tracy

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    1. Yes - a memory quilt is a wonderful thing to do, a friend is helping me with one to use all his aloha shirts. It is taking a long time but that's ok. I feel good about it. Thank you Tracy.

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  7. Cherish those dreams, they are a gift. I see Kara in my kids all the time and it makes me smile - even the stuff about her that annoyed me.

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  8. Our Widow's Voice blogs have moved to the Soaring Spirits web site. You can find them here: http://www.soaringspirits.org/blog

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  9. I just lost my love, my soulmate and husband a few weeks ago ...I am hurt and lost ! This was sudden and unexpected...

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    1. Our Widow's Voice blogs have moved to the Soaring Spirits web site. You can find them here: http://www.soaringspirits.org/blog

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