This Particular Feeling...

Emptiness.

It seems this word is the one that best describes my life since I dealt with the trauma stemming from Chuck’s death.

It was difficult, when I sought trauma therapy, to accurately describe why his death so traumatized me.

His hospice time, and the drama involved in that, though I very intentionally shielded him from the drama.  There’s always drama when someone dies, in one way or another.  Family dynamics, right?

Watching him choke to death…definitely trauma inducing.

Saying goodbye to this man whose very breath was my breath…trauma inducing.

The intensity of the words thrown at me after his death, that made me doubt for a second, whether I’d known the man I lived with for 24 years…there was lots of trauma involved in that.  Not from the words themselves, but even the vague nano-thought that I’d doubted him…god, that was hugely traumatizing to me.

But I underwent EMDR and Tapping and bi-lateral brain stimulation, along with talk therapy, and that took the trauma from inside my chest where a meat slicer had lodged itself, and set it outside my body.  It enabled me to breathe a tad more easily.

Except when I don’t.  Breathe, that is.  But, at least when I do breathe, I can take a fairly deep breath without my lungs feeling as if they’re being sliced into pieces.

And now, building steadily since the trauma took a hike, there is emptiness.

Huge emptiness inside of me.

What was difficult to explain to the therapist is that the trauma that isn’t gone, that can’t go away, is living without him.  That is traumatic to me.

The trauma of that leaves an empty void inside of me.

Huge big massive emptiness.

I combat it daily, filling my world with pink, and pushing myself to engage with my surroundings.  I do that, and have done it, every damn day, since I went on the road.

And the thing is…all of what I do is genuine.

I really like the people I meet on the road, or at the temporary jobs I take.  The hugs I get, the hugs I give, they are so meaningful to me.  Everything I do is real and heartfelt and keeps me here on this earth.  I deeply love my kids and my grands, my siblings, my friends.

All of the pink around me means something.  If I hadn’t gone pink as I have, I would have disappeared, and I know it. I could have disappeared so easily.  Maybe not physically, but in all the ways that matter.

Instead I immersed myself in pink.  I’ve given space, and continue to give space, to the grief, but I’ve also given huge space to the Love that Chuck left behind for me. 

It’s what I know to do.

But, still…the emptiness that is the other shade of the pink and the Love.

What else do I need to do to make myself not so empty? What is the fucking magic formula?

I don’t even know if I’m using the correct word when I say emptiness….maybe it’s another world entirely.  I don’t know.

I just feel so fucking empty, and my world feels so colorless without Chuck in it.

And I know beyond knowing that I’m not the only widow who feels this.

Do you feel this emptiness too?


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  • commented 2017-05-18 00:08:22 -0700
    Emptiness is a perfect word for it. I have never felt so alone even surrounded by people I know and love. There’s always this hole in me that can never be filled. I thought it might get better with time, and it is easier to live with a bit after 6 years. But it never goes away.
  • commented 2017-05-17 17:44:09 -0700
    Yes, I feel the emptiness. I feel it when I’m alone and I feel it when I’m busy running around all over the place. I love my kids and friends and I have fun and a genuine good time, but I still have this void that loss has given me. It can’t be filled, it’s just there, a part of me now, like a phantom limb. For me, I feel like it’s the space he use to occupy, his life his presence his voice his light, in my mind in my heart in my soul, that’s left vacant. I took my wedding ring off, but I still feel it on my finger sometimes, rubbing against my middle finger, and my thumb reaches over to fiddle with it, but the ring isn’t there. Like the ring, I still feel him, but he’s not there, he’s missing, and instead there’s an emptiness where he once was.
  • commented 2017-05-17 10:32:26 -0700
    Thank you for giving words to the immense feeling and all-consuming sense of “emptiness”.  Thank you for your posts. Every week, I take your hand and walk with you while I read your words. And you give me the courage to keep walking. In the emptiness…

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