Beginning with a popular quote,
“Sometimes the strongest people are the ones who cry behind closed doors and fight battles that nobody knows about.”
Unknown to most, this is a glimpse of my battle. A glimpse of a widow’s battle.
I search for him as though he’s just lost somewhere waiting to be found.
Late night walks alone on the beach calling his name, yelling out “where are you?” My search is unending because my love is unending.
Visiting the special intimate places where we used to go. Longing to lay under the stars once again in his embrace. The stars don’t seem to shine as brightly now. The trees whisper in the wind but the sound is not as beautiful as his voice. I long to hear his voice. His whisper saying, “I love you”.
How much longer until he comes home?
Silence surrounds me in this prison, but my mind is screaming so loudly that surely he can hear my thoughts. The sand under my feet is cool, damp and grounding. I think to myself just breathe. I look to the waves rolling with force in front of me and try to refocus my mind. How beautiful they look tonight with the crescent moons reflection hanging overhead.
Even in the rain it’s a spectacular sight.
Continuously wiping tears from my cheeks. Tonight, as much as I try to hold them back they won’t stop. I cry out to him “please come back, please find a way” the silent reply is heart wrenching. With each unanswered question and demand my tears become heavier. Like the rain on my skin I feel them overwhelm and saturate me.
If there was a way back he would find it.
Why do I search for him in the physical, I know his spirit, his soul will never leave me. I crave his gentle touch, his strong arms around me, his lips pressed to mine. With the tears, I feel the deep, sharp cutting of my broken heart. Agonising pain bowls me over and drags me to the sand. I pull at my hair, grit my teeth, scream at the stars and look desperately to the ocean for help. In this moment I feel helpless and vulnerable. How peaceful it would be to let the waves carry me away.
Searching endlessly for a way to fix things but there is nothing I can do.
Within myself a constant battle rages. Like my shadow, grief stalks me. I can run but it always catches up. Like a lion it hunt’s me. Standing staunch and unrelenting it stare’s me down. It questions me, seeing straight through to the depths of my mind. It roars from within, forcing me to face it, to face reality.
No matter how fast I run, grief is impossible to escape.
It prowls and attacks unexpectedly, not concerned that I would appreciate a warning. A warning would allow me to put my Armor on and that would defeat the purpose of its ambush. In grief I am forced to feel raw emotions that scare me. The lion claws at my skin. Trying to let the light into my raw flesh, trying to heal me. Each gash is excruciating.
I strike back with every ounce of strength that I have, its exhausting. Eventually the lion leaves me, grief leaves me, but never for very long. Like my shadow, it’s a part of me now. It destroys my delusions but I know it means well. It forces me to feel what I need to feel but also what I try to avoid.
For me, letting my tears flow makes it real.
Not only searching for him, I am in search of a miracle. I call out to him “I need you, I miss you, I love you” but it changes nothing. The ocean sounds are the only reply I am given, so I let go of my search for another day.
Alone in bed, I reach to his side and whisper through tears “I love you”. Imagining that he is lying beside me holding my hand, guiding me and helping me to sleep. How can this be real? I don’t want it to be so I create distractions to live in that way it’s not.
I am beginning to realise that even the biggest distractions cannot keep the pursuing lion away. The smallest thing can be just the invitation the lion needs. Will I conquer the lion?
No I won’t, that would be to conquer a part of myself.
I will try to understand the lion instead. Grief has taken up residence in the void I thought would never be filled. He holds onto pieces of my heart, he was generated from my love.
Can something that only survives out of love really be my predator?
The back of my mind knows he is trying help, trying to make me stronger. The next time he lunges at me I will try not to fight him off. The lion will always be there for the rest of my life, so to continue a battle with him would be exhausting.
Being strong is to feel pain not fear it. To understand it and be accepting of it. This pain is inevitable, it will and does catch up.
I will no longer fight this battle, I will embrace it.
Maybe one day, with courage, I will tame it.