The Eyes Say It All~

I was struck, recently, as I perused join requests on a fb group I began a few months ago, for widows who live on the road, or camp.  I vet each request to ensure that each woman meets the requirements for our particular group.   Within the group, we discuss, not surprisingly, intensely emotional topics around widowhood, and the challenges of being on the road solo.  So, as I’m able, I scroll the pages of those who would like to join, in addition to messaging each one to verify information.

Sometimes it’s a fairly simple thing to discern the answers to the questions I ask, so I’m able to approve the join request even before receiving a response.  A picture, comments on the page, posted memes…I’m not particularly psychic, but I nailed it on one by simply finding a selfie picture as I scrolled.

 

One picture, a selfie…nothing unusual there, right?  Except that I paused the moment I came upon that picture, because I immediately noticed her eyes.  More specifically, what her eyes showed. 

 

Agony, pain, grief, uncertainty, desolation, devastation, dislocation…

Her eyes were a widow’s eyes and I stopped scrolling because I recognized those eyes.

Her eyes were my eyes, in the days and months and years after Chuck’s death.  I still see those eyes when I look in a mirror, combing my hair or applying my makeup.  The uncertainty and grief and pain is more masked now, I think, but the light is gone and my eyes reflect, at least to me, the abject loneliness that streams from my heart and soul into my blood stream.  They reflect his missing-ness from me.

Eyes are the mirrors of the soul.  Never has that quote so resonated with me.

My eyes, in the 24 happy, passion-filled years that I had with Chuck reflected all that I was with him; confident, loved, nourished, fed, strong, joyous, content…all the words of rhapsody that describe a woman in love with the man in her life. 

The eyes of this widow that I don’t know sent me to pictures of my before and after to study my eyes. Chuck’s eyes.  Our eyes as we looked into one another’s eyes.  Pictures of my eyes looking up at him as he snapped a picture of me.   At the beach, on a pier, right after we’d had wild and crazy sex…

And then I studied my eyes mere weeks after his death.   A quick selfie as I began another day of driving, and one more as I posed for an FWG photo shoot. 

Wife eyes and Widow’s eyes…my god.  It’s shocking, even to me.

In one series of pictures, a woman looks into her lover’s eyes with a sparkle that has clearly traveled straight from her heart and soul and there is a light in them that could, possibly, light up the entire Universe.

In the Widow series…well, the eyes speak all that cannot be spoken because words have become impossible.  The present, the future, all that was lost, is lost, will never be again.  It is all right there in the eyes.

I almost recoil from the before pictures, from those eyes and what I see in them and the stark contrast of light and shadow from the after time.  

My eyes and, yes, what they mirror...

And I wonder if that sparkle and clarity will ever show again~         Collage.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 


Showing 4 reactions

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  • commented 2017-01-04 21:03:31 -0800
    One of the first things I said was " the light went out of my eyes" so noticeable to me.
    My smile was just a reflex.. so different .. so sad
  • commented 2016-12-29 12:57:49 -0800
    I was having lunch with a widow friend and her 15/16 yr old daughter came by we smiled and said hi she was only there for a few minutes. Later my friend told me her daughter had asked if I was a widow too. She told her yes and asked why and her daughter said you can see it in her eyes.
  • commented 2016-12-29 08:12:19 -0800
    I have noticed that too, Alison. The eyes of a widow are different, there is no fire behind them, just a deep sadness. I, too, hope that the fire returns once again.
  • commented 2016-12-28 09:52:06 -0800
    I have been looking at my eyes in recent pictures but cannot figure out who I am. When did I start looking like this? Five months ago,.. That’s when my husband killed himself on our anniversary weekend. That’s when my eyes changed. I can’t make them look happy in pictures, I stand in front of the mirror and try different smiles. Nope. Still empty, sad and yet emotionless. This article makes me feel not so crazy. I’m not imagining it, it’s my truth. I’m a sad empty emotionless woman right now and it shows.