It's 2 AM. Do I Know Where my Brain is?

When does this change?  The missing-ness?  Does the emptiness ever fill up?  

I know that there are no solid answers for my questions but they invade my brain during my days and in the middle of the night.

Sleeping with my arms wrapped around a soft pillow, trying to find some comfort in the feel of something, anything, pressed to my body. Does the longing ever leave?

Resting my head on his pillow that has traveled with me for the 100,000 miles since his death.  If I put my head where his was, will I feel closer to him?

The urn with his cremains stand behind his trifold flag, on the pillow next to me on whatever bed I sleep. In my trailer, they stand guard on the bench next to where my head rests.  My fingers curl around the flag.  I remember those moments as the Honor Guard Captain approached me and I ordered my knees not to buckle.  Will the curl of my fingers around his flag remind me of the curl of his fingers around mine?

The jacket from his BDUs, hanging on the back of the seat in my pink car: if I put that jacket around my shoulders, will I feel the crispness of it against my cheek from long ago years when he hugged me upon his return from the base?

His blue denim shirt: if I stare at it long enough, hanging from the back of the door, will the memory of him wearing his favorite shirt as we hiked, as he drove, as we wandered the country for 4 years, bring me consolation enough to ease my heart?

The sapphire and diamond bracelet that he gave me for Valentine’s Day one year early in our marriage: if I wear it around my wrist every day and night, will he feel closer to me as I remember the day he gave it to me?

His ID tags from active duty: if I wear them around my neck, dangling on the same chain he used, will his name etch itself visibly upon my chest, showing the world that I was always his and always will be?

The words of counsel that I offer to our kids, to our friends, that oftentimes come out his words rather than mine: if I say those words enough, in the tone and cadence of the way he said them, will I become him eventually?

If I have to live decades of time without him, will I become more him as I strive to remember him, and less me, or will I meld into a person who is two people now one?

As the months become years and the years become decades, will my memory of him fade until he is a shadowy part of my life, existing in a world that may not have even been real?

There is so much I can’t remember.  Or is it that I remember it but I don’t feel the memory?  I want to feel the memory desperately but is that even possible now that he is gone?  Is feeling the memory dependent upon feeling him in the here and now? 

If my muscles hurt and my skin feels the hunger of no longer feeling his touch, is that good memory or bad memory?  Is it better to at least have some memory, even such as this, or no memory at all, so that it doesn’t hurt?

There isn’t enough busyness in the world to keep these questions and ramblings at bay.

And then I wonder if there will ever be a time when questions such as these will be laid to rest…


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  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2017-02-02 19:21:37 -0800
    So beautiful, and i dont know any of the answers to any of your questions, for I ask them myself all the time.
  • Vickie Hime
    commented 2017-02-01 21:27:18 -0800
    My sweet friend it is so obvious how much you two were in love. I know you still feel married. I know how hard it is to come to the reality that we aren’t married in the physical world. We never believe in our hearts and souls that were not still married. We were married the day he died and we didn’t want a divorce we didn’t want them to leave our side. We weren’t finished talking to them, having them comfort us, make love to us. We want them back,we want our lives back. It’s as if we woke up one day and they just disappeared. We didn’t think when they were alive that we would ever spend one day without them, even if they were sick. No one gets it when you say your mad at him for leaving you. Of course he didn’t plan on dying on us. He didn’t want to leave either. After he died and I had to do something he used to do I would get madder and madder he had left. Not because I couldn’t do it but because it reminded me how much he did do and I was alone. You don’t wipe 38 years of your life away so easily. We are the ones left and because we have children and grandchildren we must go on for our families. Meanwhile we have to figure out how we want to spend the rest of our lives. Every marriage and every situation is different. I decided to make a bucket list of things I have always wanted to do but for whatever reason didn’t get around to it. During that process I fell in love with someone. When I married Joe I had gone through a divorce and was a single parent. I hated men and didn’t want to have anything to do with men. Apparently God had different ideas for my life. I just hope that every widow out there can find some peace and comfort by realizing your own potentials and your own likes and desires . Like it or not they aren’t coming back until we die and meet them again in heaven. I knew that my husbands spirit would have a hard time resting in peace knowing how sad and lonely and depressed I had become. I had to make a decision to start living again and I am happy again. We have a tendency to look for a man and compare him to our husbands. That is never gonna happen because there isn’t another Joe and there never will be. If you are open to living again you might just be able to live a happy life again. Love and hugs to all my widow sisters
  • Grace Johnson
    commented 2017-02-01 08:18:53 -0800
    OMG Alison…I struggle for words…the sorrow your poignant words evoke is so heavy I have difficulty even breathing…like someone has invaded my private self…for again you speak my heart…all the hearts of us who grieve our lost love…we all ask these questions…questionsthat have no answers…or questions for which we sadly know the answers…😥
    Almost 9 years now for me…you will experience changes…but the questions will still come…
    Every so often, in those moments of deepest missingness… I still find myself foolishly asking that question I know the answer to, but like a disappointed child I ask anyway …"…but God!!… why??? " :(