Beyond Imagining~

Sometimes when other women hear that my husband died, their response is oh god I could never live without my husband I don’t know how you do it my husband is my life I just can’t imagine what this is like for you....and such.

They’re speaking honestly and truthfully and I’m sure they wish to convey every sort of empathy and sympathy and...such.

And here’s what I’d really like to say to them in response.

I can’t live without him either.

I don’t know how I’ve done these past 27 months either.

Chuck was my life and I can’t imagine my life without him.

And such.

And therein lies my grief. Therein is the grief that lives in my body and heart and soul and runs through my bloodstream and vibrates through me with each breath.

But we don’t have a choice, do we? Realistically, I mean.

We don’t do this without a massive struggle but unless we make the choice to, you know, kill ourselves, then we kind of have to just continue on, don't we?  I suppose we have a choice in how we continue on; we can get in bed and pull the covers up and stay there or hide under the bed and pretend nobody can see us or we can hide in a bottle of booze or drugs or I don’t know name numerous other strategies, but then there’s the responsibilities of daily living that keep on damn interfering, so...

The sun rises every morning and there’s a part of me (okay, all of me), that curses that damn sun every morning because it wakes me from a night where I mostly sleep, thank god,with not an impossible number of wake ups, and I lie there for that one nano- second before my body feels his absence next to me and my heart is flooded with the weight of his gone-ness and the grief shoots in like a cannon explosion. Memories of every sort surge like a river through me along with the searing longing for his touch on my body, for his kisses, for his weight next to me, his voice in my ear, his arms pulling me back into bed.

Each morning is a decision made anew to swing my feet to the floor and stand up and get a shower and make a list of what must be done and what I kind of need to do but probably won’t do and I make a list in my head to remind myself to make a list on paper or text these things to myself so I won't forget them but I'm too tired to grab a pen and paper at that moment, though I know, or hope anyways that, generally, I'll remember at least one of the must-do's and I just get ready for the day. In my case, since I full-time on the road, it’s also a decision to get in my car and turn the ignition and continue this Odyssey of Love and that, believe me, takes a stupendous amount of energy but that one decision is of paramount importance because, well, I'm often in the middle of nowhere in one state, on my way to another. So drive I must.

None of us knew how we could ever do this and we don’t know how we did it, how we’re doing it and we, more than anyone, can’t imagine life without our husbands and wives and yet...and yet, here we are.

Oh, how I would dearly love to be the one to say I can’t imagine living without my husband.

Because, truly,

I can’t~

Showing 9 reactions

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  • Sharon Howe
    commented 2015-08-31 16:58:13 -0700
    Morgan, I understand. Why is THE QUESTION, isn’t it? Why did he have to die? Why am I left here to bear this pain when it is just too heavy to bear. Why am I trying so damn hard and getting nowhere in this grief I am feeling? The only answer I have been able to hold in my own heart is that God must have more work for me to accomplish before I die myself.
    Because the alternative would be to end my own life. Suicide. Shudder. I am reminded of the adage " Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." For all we know, there is sunshine beyond the black cloud we live under at present called grief. I am 14 months out from date of death. And every so often I catch a glimmer of sunshine, mostly in my grandchildren’s eyes. Or catch myself actually laughing again at something that tickles my funny bone. It is a new life for me now. It is as though I am being forced to be born again and it is quite painful, to be sure. We can never forget what we had once while they lived, but we have the ability to remain living and enjoy that life if we continue to make the effort and try. I am keeping faith that the sunshine will come more and more as each day passes. And that the purpose for my continued life without him will unfold and reveal itself to me when I am ready to receive it.
  • indie
    commented 2015-08-31 16:17:28 -0700
    I know we are all doing it/making it/making do. My question really is why? I am finding it harder and harder to imagine living without my husband. I thought if I gave myself time to move through the grief, allow myself to feel all of it, I would come out somewhere without the pain. It hasn’t happened. All that has happened is I don’t meltdown as often but on a scale of 1 to 10 it is still over a 10. The feelings have not diminished. I pretend ALOT. I’m tired. Tired of all of it because I have not been able to imagine living without my husband.

    And yes, I hate having to open my eyes in the morning and imagine another day.
  • Sharon Howe
    commented 2015-08-26 11:41:29 -0700
    As for me, 13 months into this abyss…I keep reminding myself how proud Harry would be of how I am managing to get thru each day. The incredible loneliness is palpable though. Never before have I even IMAGINED loneliness as a companion, let alone a best friend!
  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2015-08-19 22:49:37 -0700
    And so tonight when I was walking (I walk because I don’t know what else to do) I found myself saying will I be doing “this” the rest of my life? And if “this” is all I’m doing is it really living or just existing? Yet another day comes and we keep on going don’t we…..
    Thank you for reminding us all we’re not crazy, just doing the best we can.
  • Stephen Hochhaus
    commented 2015-08-19 17:52:54 -0700
    Alison this is so beautifully written. It reminds me that I haven’t a freaking clue how I got here. The part about waking in the morning ………..oh yeah, still there.
  • Marie Nutter
    commented 2015-08-19 17:16:51 -0700
    Dear Alison,
    I never knew exactly what it meant to say , “I can’t imagine living without my husband,” until that sudden day, when I was forced to do so. It’s only been 33 days for me since my husband passed away in a motorcycle accident. This week is my first week back to work and I find it a challenge to want to get up in the morning. I’ve been sleeping o.k. at night, but it’s getting up in the morning, realizing he’s not lying next to me and never will again, makes me want to just hide under the covers and never come out. But yet, I get up, try to get a routine going, as usual as it can be, and just like you, “drive”.
  • Wendy Klock-Johnson
    commented 2015-08-19 17:07:30 -0700
    When I am feeling like I am not doing “this” whatever “this” is “well” enough – one of my best friend leans over and says Bon-Bons and Bourbon. Its our code for you could be laying on the bathroom floor eating Bon-Bons and drinking Bourbon but you aren’t. Trust me I have those days – today is one of them. I am only 17 months in and am having more okay days than not, but there are days when B&B sounds like a pretty attractive alternative. Thank you for reminding so many of us we aren’t alone.
  • Julie Daley
    commented 2015-08-19 16:43:06 -0700
    Dear Alison,
    Bless you for writing this. I am sorry that you must live on without him. In your writing, I find myself back so many years ago. My husband died, suddenly, 20 years ago. I didn’t know how I would even live one day with out him, and now it has been more than 20 years. I just want to tell you, I am sorry and thank you.
  • Tricia E. Bratton
    commented 2015-08-19 00:19:51 -0700
    Dear Alison I love this. Not that you are in so much pain without your beloved. But because it speaks so truly to the pain of my daily life. Sometimes I feel like a loon and I think I am lazy or just totally dysfunctional because I spend a lot of time wasting time and I rarely get all the things done that I have told myself I must do. But then I remember what a huge feat it is just to get through these days without the love of my life, the one that was taken from me on such short notice. And I think I might be doing alright, considering the circumstances. I am now in the 3rd month of my second year without him. How do we do this? We don’t know, either. We just do it. Most days I would rather not. But for some reason I am still here.
    Thank you for this beautiful post and for speaking to the depths of loss in each of us. Tricia