I am Different than Who you Loved

I am a different woman because you died

This feels truthful and awful all at once.

I sense the world around me in a way I never used to. 

I feel the world - deeply.

Everything seeps into me.

The ugliness.

The harshness.

The beauty.

And, the gentleness.


I am swathed in life.

It exists all around me.

But, I am a million miles from "here".

I am not grounded in this life anymore.

Part of my Soul exists some place else now.

Suburbia suffocates me without you.


Despite the missingness and the yearning for a life that can't be,

I am able to see holiness in the ordinary.

I absorb it into me as I bear witness to it’s beauty.

The magic of life is casually stirred into me. 

This sacred stuff becomes part of me as easily

as cheap canned fruit mixes into a jello mould.


But, without you,

I have grown quieter.

I live inside my head a lot.

And, somehow I’ve become more of everything

since I’ve detached myself from the world.


Like a well used library book,

I am quietly held by the hands of many.

But, I miss belonging to you...

Now, no one calls me their own - yet.

Maybe I will only ever be on loan. 

I don’t know.


I wait to be held open and read

- like only you could do.

You once were the man who read me like a well worn book.

A book he couldn’t put down.

But, now your eyes can’t pour over me the way you used to. 

Now, there is only nothingness where your loving gaze once was.


As I’ve become more withdrawn and quiet;

I’m more in tune with the people and things around me. 

Your death has made me a keen observer of life.

Maybe this is a gift from you.


Like a voyeur,

I quietly watch.

While I observe,

I absorb the energy around me.

Feelings drip into me,

as if fed to me through intravenous.


The sense of things runs deep into my blood now.

I feel life so fully because you died.

You death has taught me so much about life and living...





The feelings of the room pour into me.

They mix into me.

And, these emotions turn into the sticky ink I use to write with.



My feelings live loudly inside my head.

They blare within me so that I actually hear nothing. 

Everything is jumbled.

My entire life is muffled since you died.


Except, somehow, in this racket, I can hear my Soul.

My Soul whispers to me in crowded rooms and in the quiet darkness.

I hear echoes from lifetimes ago.

I faintly hear my life’s plan.

The blueprint of my Soul is written in a language

I do not understand; but, somehow KNOW.

I just know...

Somehow, I understand what is being said

without reading the words or hearing them said.


In this same way,

I see you

-even though you are formless.

You are gone from here.

But, I still see you

- in the space around me.

I see you in all the ordinariness that surrounds me.

I see you in the mundane and in the magnificent.


I see you in the air around me.

You are nothing and everything.

You have become the air that I breathe.


I see you in the rain that falls hard and runs down the moonlit streets.

I see you in the sunlight that comes to life on me,

Caressing my collarbone in a meaningful way

Like you once did.

And, you are there in the sunshine that coyly blankets my thighs,

as I sit with my toes buried in the sand.


I sense you because Love does not know time or space.


The breeze blows loose some locks of my hair,

And, these strands of me dance in the wind,

Casting shadows down the nape of my neck.

And, there you are.

You are silently standing behind me.

And, you trace the shadows down past the small of my back

-with your invisible touch.

It feels nice - in my mind.


I see you in the wind that rustles the orange and gold leaves until they fall like confetti.

Confetti that scatters onto the ground and signifies fall. 



The last season when you were alive.


The time when everything dies, including you.


You can no longer hold me in your arms.

Because you are gone from here.

But, I know you.

I know that you still yearn to wrap your arms around my life.

But how?

How can you do this now?

I don’t know...



I feel like I will fall back into you.

Some day.



My Soul tells me that,

We will be together again.

And, you will “hold” me steady and true, like always.

And, I will finally feel like I am home again.




Showing 10 reactions

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  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-02-11 01:56:40 -0800
    Laura, Thank you for reading my blogs. I know you feel the words I write so deeply. I wish that you did not relate so intimately to what I’ve written, but nonetheless I am glad your feelings are validated by another person who understands widowhood ~S.
  • Vartan Agnerian
    commented 2019-02-05 08:42:29 -0800
    Dearest Staci’ Oh how you find those exact words to profoundly characterise and depict such emotional scenes that talk to a widow’s grieving heart ….’
    Erupted weeping after reading these two lines’ –
    " But, now your eyes can’t pour over me the way they used to’
    " Now, there’s nothingness where your loving gaze once was " –
    Indeed this widow life is so multifaceted and so difficult to adjust and go on without our life partner’ without the other half of our couple ’

  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-01-02 12:02:58 -0800
    Karen, I am glad my words spoke to your heart. I’m sorry you understand, but I am glad you are here with us at SSI. ~S.
  • Karen Burkhead Hughes
    commented 2018-12-18 23:12:39 -0800
    Thank you for understanding somehow with words.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-12-18 10:05:20 -0800
    Indie, Thank you for your kind and honest comments. When I said “gift” I am referring to the way in which his “death has made me a keen observer of life. Maybe this is a gift from (him)”.
    MIke’s death is the most awful thing that has ever happened to me in my life. But, inside the ugliness and awfulness of his death is “something” I can’t put my finger on… Survivng his death has changed me in some very profound ways and not all of these changes are negative. Yet, in a NY minute, I would change back to the way things were – if that was possible. Best to you, ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-12-18 09:58:52 -0800
    Ron, Thank you for your note. To answer your question about becoming whole again… Well, I know that we will never be who we were before. And, this has to be “okay”. We can rebuild ourselves from the debris that is scattered all around us; but, who we become is different than who we were.
    And, yes, there are some lousy changes; and some other “favourable” things have occurred in this mess too. My perspective about life and living and love is far greater than it has ever been. But, the price of paid for this new outlook is far too steep. Nonetheless, his death is not reversible. I have to find a way to see the potential ahead of me, rather than just yearning for a future with Mike that can not be. Best to you, I know how damn hard all this is. ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-12-18 09:51:47 -0800
    Don, I “get it”. It can be exhausting educating people about grief when all you wanted to do was have a beer! Losing a spouse is really beyond description anyhow. You can not understand the depth and breadth of our loss, unless you have lived it. ~S.
  • indie
    commented 2018-12-17 21:55:29 -0800
    You write powerful words encapsulating much of life after the death of our spouse. What I cannot agree with is that somehow this is a gift to me but so much else was truth.
    After this long and still suffering from the haunting missingness I have become more willing to entertain things I might have threatened to do before now. My life has become an endless repetition of “how to survive”. I am older and know that I have already experienced everything I ever wanted and needed because I did that with him. I need or want for nothing else. I have yet to determine how I am going to manage to continue as I still take each day one second at a time but I am weary. All I want is him……
  • Ron Marro
    commented 2018-12-17 16:34:25 -0800
    I am now 1 year and 1 day from Sandi’s death. Your descriptions ring so true to me. I wait so anxiously to be held again by her. The sadness and loneliness passes so slowly. How long do we have to wait to be whole again. Thank you.
  • Don Yacona
    commented 2018-12-17 11:48:23 -0800
    Thank you for this. I was out with friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time last week, and they told me that I’m not the same. I tried to explain to them that this experience (and the preceding struggle beforehand, long term unemployment, being a caregiver, recovery from Hurricane Sandy) changes people. I also told them that When or if they go through it, it will change them too. They didn’t seem to buy it, so we ordered another round of beers, or another three rounds, I forget.