There was a time, early on in my loss, where I felt like I was constantly on the search for my husband. Every second of every day was spent , in my mind and heart, trying to locate him somehow. People kept telling me over and over and over that he is always with me, that he is in my heart, and all those other cliche', blah-blah-blah things that people say that make you want to punch them. It meant nothing to me. It meant nothing to me because I couldn't feel any of that. I was not feeling him near me. I was not having dreams of him. I felt like he was here one second with me, and then just gone forever. Sudden, unexpected, shocking death will do that - it will make you feel as if you are going insane every hour of every day. How the hell can someone be here one second, and then just be gone? How can you have gone to bed together the night before, and then wake up to a ringing phone telling you that your life is no longer your life? How can a perfectly healthy 46 year old man just collapse and die? These questions played inside me daily, hourly, for over 2 years. Until one day, they stopped playing.
Well, that isn't 100% accurate. They didn't simply stop overnight. It was somewhat gradual, and even now, I still ask these questions over and over, and I still get no answers. Of course, I never will get answers. But lately, I ask these questions much less often, and I no longer spend minutes and hours staring at ceilings or driving out to fields or looking up at the same spot on the wall, in a desperate-haze, searching for that space where my husband once was. I no longer spend huge gaps of time doing nothing but attempting to discover his whereabouts, or holding my breath and hoping he will finally walk through that door and come home from that work shift he never made it home from.
Almost four years of writing down my every emotion and thought, joining widowed support groups and communities, and seeing my grief-counselor very regularly - has all helped me get to a place where I no longer sit around asking questions that have no answer. And yet, I am very much aware of how important and vital it is for each of us going through this type of loss, to ASK those questions, until you no longer need to anymore. You ask them until you no longer feel like asking them. You ask them until you exhaust yourself from asking them. That is what happens. There is a day that comes when you start to ask that same question about their death, and something inside you says: "Nope. Not today. I don't much feel like it." And then very slowly, you begin to do that with all the other hundreds of questions you have. And then one day, your questions are no longer taking up so much space in your brain. And that is when they come to you. That is when they start sending you signs and messages, or putting people into your path that you need at that exact moment, or people who need YOU. I believe that you have to work through the incredibly hard stuff first, in order to begin to feel them close again.
It's not the same as having him here with me, for real, on earth. Of course it's not the same. I still long for him to be here with me in that way, to have him here as my husband. But that's never going to happen. What has happened, though, is absolutely beautiful. It is a new and continued connection that I have with my husband. It has gone from me not feeling him anywhere, to me literally feeling him everywhere. He is everywhere for me. He is all over. His energy fuels everything in my life. Its not even something I think about really. It just is. I could list for you all the many many ways he has sent me very obvious signs, especially lately, but I think I will save that for another day. It would take too long. It would fill a hundred pages to list all the ways he comes to me. It is amazing, really. I personally believe it is my "reward" for doing the hard, hard grief work that is necessary to come out on the other side. My grief-counselor told me: "Not everyone gets to experience this. Not everyone has this kind of relationship with the person they love who died. This is profound and on another level entirely, and you have to be open to it to even feel it. It is the reward for being willing to sit inside of the pain and the awfulness for so long and analyze it and break it down. Your relationship with him now is this new thing. You always said marriage is like a beautiful secret between two people. Well, this is what you have now. This is your new secret."
In the early days of loss, people would tell me to talk to my husband out loud, as if he was there. I would try and try, but I didnt feel him there, so while talking out loud, I felt like a complete jackass. Now I just feel love.