A Life Unfinished

It's Sunday morning...

I should hear you happily humming as you walk down the stairs to start the coffee.

As I lay in our bed, I should notice the familiar sound of the beans grinding. 

Soon, the smell of coffee should be thick in the air. 

There should be music playing in the kitchen.

And, any moment now, my phone should ding and the screen should light up with

- your name.

Right now, you should be sending me my "Good Morning Beautiful" text message.

The familiar, heartfelt message you lovingly sent to me everyday

- whether you were on your way to work, or at home, in our kitchen.

You should be making coffee and texting me on this ordinary Sunday.

But, you're not here...




The only day you missed texting me  "Good Morning Beautiful" was

November 15, 2016.

I knew something was wrong, and I was right.

And, nothing, not one thing, has really felt right since.




As I am typing this, we should be making bacon and eggs for breakfast.

I should be standing at the island cutting a roma tomato while you are contently

checking your emails on your iPad.

You should look over at me, 

And, slowly take off your reading glasses

- without taking your eyes off me.

Then, I should hear you proclaiming,  "Honey, what do you want to do today?"

As you listen to me talk about our plans, you should start making toast

- on your favourite plain, white bread.

I should be mentioning something about how thickly you are slathering the butter

onto the bread.

(But, I won't because you aren't here.) 

Right about this time, on cue, I should be squishing an avocado to see if it is ripe.

Like always, you'd notice things like this,

And, you wouldn't be able to resist making some

goofy, off side comment.

And, now, in this moment,

I should be laughing because I can't believe you actually said that thing to me.


My laugh should be filling the room, but instead I only hear the clock ticking.  

I'm not laughing because there is nothing funny

about the fact that this scenario will never happen again.


Soon, you should be calling out my name to excitedly show me something on Facebook.

So, now, in anticipation,

I stand and wait quietly

-  I hope to hear you.

But, where the sound of your voice should be there is only the hum of the fridge.

(You can not call out my name because you died.)


We can not make breakfast together anymore - except in my mind.  

So, this morning,

I fondly remember our Sunday morning rituals.  

And, I carefully bring you back to life as I go about making my own coffee.  


Sometimes, I feel like you are still very much alive in my mind.

My memories give you life.

You take form in them.


Memories are not as fond when the other rememberer is no longer alive.

Now, my memories feel lopsided because you aren't here to

relive them with me.  


I desperately miss our life together.  

I miss our daily rituals.  

I miss the nuances between us.  

I do not think the 'missingness' will ever go away completely

because you will always continue to be missing from me.  

Now, I will have to find a way to live while I miss you.  

I have to find a way to complete our unfinished life...


In my mind, we should be cleaning up the dishes now.  

I should be doing my makeup while you shower.  

We should be getting ready to go out into the world, but we aren't.  

There is no 'We' anymore.  

There is only Me now.  

Life has profoundly changed.  

Instead of living my life with you, I am now writing about our unfinished life.  

Never in a million years would I have

thought this is what I would be doing today, but here I am doing just this.





Showing 10 reactions

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  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-10-19 09:35:02 -0700
    Mary, I agree that the small, ordinary things are so hard to live without. I am grateful for my memories of our coffee ritual and the little nuances we shared, however even with a grateful heart, it is hard not to miss this life we shared together. Best to you, and to us all. ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-10-19 09:31:39 -0700
    Beth, Thank you for reading my blog! ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-10-19 09:31:11 -0700
    Thank you for sharing how your Sundays have changed. I know that many people here can relate to what you said. Here is hoping that Sundays will somehow become less empty and more fulfilling for us all. ~S.
  • Mary Monseur
    commented 2018-10-17 06:30:39 -0700
    So much I can relate to. My husband was retired and I mostly worked from home. I so miss hearing him coming and going as I sat at my computer working. Sometimes I will swear I hear him coming in the door and wait to hear his voice, or imagine him asking if I am ready to break for lunch. I miss so much about our lives together. I miss the future we will never have but every day I miss all the ordinary things that made up our sweet, boring life.
  • Beth Ensign
    commented 2018-10-17 05:15:55 -0700
    Exactly this. Thank you.
  • Lynn Coccio DiGiacomo
    commented 2018-10-16 19:55:06 -0700
    You have so aptly captured thoughts and feelings with which so many bereaved (myself included) can identify. I lost my dear husband on 11/2/17, after a long struggle with Lymphoma. Sundays are the absolute worst day of the week for me since his passing. No more sharing the newspaper over Sunday breakfast, going out to the movies, or watching football on TV (him), while I read. That’s all part of my “past” life – a life I long for every day, but to which I can never return. THANK YOU so much for sharing your heartfelt thoughts and feelings.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-09-24 08:39:26 -0700
    This is what I yearn for. I miss my connection to him. I miss being his “person”.
    When your: best friend, lover, travel companion, co-parent, domestic and financial partner dies your entire life needs restructuring. It is beyond overwhelming. But, with time, you are forced to sort things out because life demands this from us. And, most of us are able to recreate a life that is manageable, albeit it resembles almost nothing of our former lives.
    And, in truth, some parts of our lives, although different, are not necessarily worse per sae. They are simply changed, and with time we seem to adapt – somehow.
    Yet, the small improvements and changes we make are steeped in emptiness because we miss them.

    When you lose your spouse you lose the person who champions you. You lose a sense of yourself because the person who held a mirror up to you is gone. It is not impossible to regain a sense of self, but it is a long, tedious process. I wish us all well as we attempt to live forward while we visit “that special place in (our) minds that make (us) smile”.

    Best to you,
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-09-24 08:27:19 -0700
    Laren, I agree that these ordinary, everyday rituals become sacred when they are remembered after someone dies. They are the loveliest of memories, but they do taste bittersweet. Still, I am thankful for all the moments that we shared together. These simple ordinary rituals like making coffee and bacon and eggs are among the treasures of my life.
    These simple moments make up some of the happiest days of my life. I know you, and many others feel the same.
    Best to you,
  • Sue Simandl
    commented 2018-09-19 21:47:04 -0700
    I read this and close my eyes and feel your words and loss. My husband and I shared the same bond and life will just not be the same without that connection. Thank you for taking me to that special place in my mind that makes me smile.
  • Laren Tolbert
    commented 2018-09-17 21:49:25 -0700
    Ok miss those morning rituals too. And the texts that say, “come downstairs”. Thanks for a bittersweet reminder of that special joy.