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. 

Showing 10 reactions

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  • Patricia DeFina
    commented 2017-01-06 22:43:49 -0800
    I hope I can get to that place.. I am beginning my second year without my best friend, the love of my life, my husband. I cry more now it seems than ever before.. I just want to wake up one day and have him beside me.. some days I feel he is near, I just can’t see him! Other days I walk around empty devoid of feeling .. I’m afraid to think too much about him because the ache in my heart is all too real.. the longing for what was can be unbearable. And then.. a peace comes over me a feeling that he is almost within reach.
    Ha ha I actually picked up my phone and had a " conversation " with him like we used to do when he was out of town! I liked it!
    So if I can get to where you are I know I can make it! Thanks for your insight.. take care
  • Brenda Lund
    commented 2015-07-28 06:30:55 -0700
    This post resonates with me. I lost my husband of 21 years suddenly 2 months ago. We had just reconciled that morning after a difficult time in our marriage that involved so much hurt and another woman. I was so full of hope for us and looking forward to coming though the hard work of rebuilding trust and communication and building a better next 20 years when I got the call that he was in the hospital, unresponsive. He was only 56 and everyone thought he was healthy. I look for him everywhere, I wait for him to come home. I have so many questions about our relationship and his death that cannot be answered, but I ask them over and over. I do talk to him, but there is no answer and I can not feel his presence. I have thought that it’s because I’m so over whelmed with emotions that I just can’t “hear”. Right now it seems that the questions will never stop and I was looking for a way to move past them. You’ve given me a path, to keep asking as long as they are there and that they will grow quiet when it is time. Thank you
  • Brenda Lund
    followed this page 2015-07-28 06:14:40 -0700
  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2015-06-24 20:02:57 -0700
    JANE, I truly believe you will get to that place of equalibrium. It just sort of happens and youll feel a shift, or maybe a few of them. Youll just grow tired of asking the same questions and then youll ask different ones and then not as many. Having patience is the hardest part . The pain is not fun to go through or sit in.
    SARAH thank you somuch!!!! Love you too !!!!
  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2015-06-24 20:00:48 -0700
    Im having trouble figuring out how to reply to everyone individually on this new site. Anyone know if thats an option? Thank you Stephanie forthe kind words. Yes, having them here in soul and spirit will never be the same or as good as having them here for real, but its a profound feeling when you can feel them close and you stop questioning it.
  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2015-06-24 19:57:14 -0700
    Thank you Rebecca. I already havea few clients and its really been so interesting and kind of an honor to be even a small part of someone else’s healing process.
  • Rebecca Collins
    commented 2015-06-21 16:19:45 -0700
    Im just catching up on the past couple of days blogs and love this! It makes me so happy, seeing this peace in you. And I’m so glad you’re sharing everything you’ve learnt with others. You’re going to be such a fantastic help to those you grief coach.
  • Stephanie Vendrell
    commented 2015-06-20 23:38:57 -0700
    I sat here for quite some time thinking, after reading this post Kelley. This entire grief experience has transformed me…I’ve learned so much, grown so much, felt so deeply…reading what you and the others of us write each day has been such an enormous source of support and relatability. At first I saw Mike everywhere, and it hurt so much…then he slowly disappeared, I couldn’t find him anywhere, and that hurt too…now I do see him around me, feel him around me – it doesn’t hurt the same way anymore, as I’ve started to build this after-life…and I do talk to him, when I’m alone…it will never be the same as having him here with me but the sense of his nearness has changed over time. Thanks for nailing it so succinctly.
  • Jane White
    commented 2015-06-20 10:02:06 -0700
    Hi Kelley – this is a great post! I really liked the line about the questions you have are no longer taking up so much space in your brain. I feel like at this point in my grief journey I just can’t shut it down. Like you, I am always waiting for my husband to walk into the house or I pick up my phone to tell him something that is going on at work. You give me hope that if I continue the very hard work of processing what I am feeling I too can eventually reach a place of equilibrium because right now I always feel off-kilter. Thanks, Jane
  • Sarah Treanor
    commented 2015-06-19 11:34:44 -0700
    I truly loved this. It has been such an honor to watch you live through this. Even though I’m in it too, I have marveled at how you have so fearlessly leaped right into the deep end of everything. I know you will say you don’t know any other way – and that’s what makes you so extraordinary. It is just you being you, doing this grief thing the only way you know how… And your way has been so inspiring to watch. You keep me going more than you know. Love you so much!