Sunday, July 31, 2011

Two Years Ago....

Two years ago, less than three months after he died, I went looking for him.
I remembered this today, as I made a to-do list. Things that need to happen before two of my three kids fly back east, without me.

Even now, the notion of looking for him makes sense.

So, I went back to the post I wrote on August 4, 2009.


The chair where he always sat by the water in Maine.

This place is saturated with him.

I awake from a bad dream and prefer to go back to it rather than acknowledge that the other half of the bed is empty.

It feels like it did in the beginning, raw and suffocating. I am steeped in disbelief. I am not here without him, I think. He’s in the kitchen.

And when he’s not there, I think he’s stretching in the living room.

And when I check and see the floor empty I think, he’s down by the water.

I walk down expecting to find his long legs stretched out, his head back, eyes closed, hands intertwined and resting on his flat belly, dressed in his red fleece to protect from the dewy morning.

And when I don’t see him there,
I sink into his chair
and sob.

This is that wave that my friend spoke about. The grief wave. It comes, up over my head and with magnificent force shoves me down to the bottom, smashing me. It lifts and tosses me until I don’t know which way is up. I am afraid to breath.

So I don't breath, I cry until I magically float to the top, where this time, there is not another wave waiting for me.

12:10, three hours after
looking for him.

Looking for him?
Searching for him. Like he might just be in this one other place, this one place I forgot to look. Against logic. I saw his dead body. Against common sense, why would he be here?

But I just had to check, to see, to make sure that he really wasn't there or here or maybe at the store. The chair by the water was the last place I knew he would be if he were still alive.

Now I sit on the porch of Blue Hill Books, unwrap my new journal and begin writing. My lungs fill with air that is filled with him.

I'm still breathing.

I remember that day. I remember the sadness and the surprise of my action. What I find so amazing now is that, just like my friend said it would, the pain is not sharp or forceful or even scary. There is a sense of loss, dull, like someone gently putting pressure on my back. Noticeable, but not distracting or overwhelming. I am surprised to find myself here.

In this place of acceptance and dare I say...okness?

I am relieved to find myself here.
Finally, a place where it doesn't hurt as much.


  1. Wow! I caught myself back in the disbelief again last night. I could swear he was just here, but it's been over a year since he died.
    I hear a V8 engine or a dirtbike and think "FINALLY he's home" before realising that that is not going to happen.

  2. I think the place you describe is a place of acceptance, where you still miss them and hold them in your heart, but it doesn't hurt all the time, and you find yourself finally moving on with your life in ways that feel right and peaceful. It does finally happen!

  3. I am still looking for my guy. I look for him in our children. I look for him in the cab of his empty pickup in the driveway. I look for him in the faces and actions of strangers because some well-meaning friend suggested that maybe people come back in other people's bodies that don't want to be in them anymore (crazy I know - but when you are thrown into this existence you don't always think logically). It has been a year and a half, and I still search. I look for signs he may be sending me. I look for ways to keep his memory alive for our children. And then my five year old says, "Is it ok that I can't really remember what Daddy looks like? Is it ok that I don't really cry about Daddy? Momma, why don't you just not think about Daddy and then you won't be so sad?" And then, I see. I need to stay focused on the people I can find. My kids are right here in front of me, begging me to be happy, trying so hard to find the mom they had before. Looking for my guy takes me away from where I am right now. Looking is not good for me. It's not good for my kids. And if I'm honest with myself, I don't really think my husband is going to mind if I miss a sign or two he may be sending. So now, I am looking for me. I just hope in the end that when I do finally find me again that I will find some peace.

  4. I've been having these moments a lot lately. The 10th anniversary of LH's death is approaching in Oct. and I'm often transported back there, for some reason surprised that it still grabs me like it does 10 years later.

  5. wonderful to hear Kim thanks for sharing that the feeling change and become less intense as time passes. one of the cards i received suggested that time may heal what reason cannot explain; i’m finding that to be true on several levels.

  6. I still look for Keith everyday and everynight. Today is a bad day. I miss him everyday but today I not only miss him, I ache for him. I am so scared without him. I am scared because I have no money, I have no one to talk to who "gets it", no one-I have no one. I have our 3 daughters but they have their own lives and their own problems and I don't feel really comfortable talking to them about these issues. I have a hard time sleeping but when I do I have these nightmares that are so real. I dream that Keith has left me to be with someone else and he is so mad at me but I don't know about what. All I know is that I need him right now. I feel like a little kid because I want to throw a temper tantrum. I want to throw things and break things. I cry all of the time. I have decisions that I have to make because I don't think I can afford to stay in my house but I am not sure what I can afford. I feel like I am just frozen in place by fear. I am scared because I am starting to not remember how he felt against me or his smell or his arms around me and it has only been 15 months. On the other hand, the people around me keep telling that it has been 15 months-you have to get over it. How do I get over it when I hurt so much that I just want to scream? I fake it through the 5 days of work but at night and on weekends I just so exhausted from faking it that I just want to stay in bed in a fetal position. I know none of this probably makes sense and I am rambling. I just miss him so much. I want just one more day; one more hour.

  7. To nllauer - just hang on.
    No matter how dark it is. No matter how alone you feel.
    Hang on.
    Come back here.
    Express your grief and deep sadness and your unending desire to see him just one more time.
    We have all been there.
    We understand that feeling of despair. The wanting of one more day and one more hour.

    I am so sorry you have lost the one you love.
    But trust there are others in your life who love you, even if they don't get it they still love you.
    Turn to them now and tell them what you need.
    How you need help. How you feel overwhelmed and that yes, you are still grieving.
    And you want them to know, so you don't feel so alone.
    It is okay to tell the truth. But until we say it clearly and we do stop faking it (sometimes it is survival but we can't do it all the time) we won't get the support we need.

    Sending you peace.