My life is under reconstruction and it has been this way since the moment he died.  When I buried Mike, I said farewell to the life I knew and loved. This isn't me being all dramatic - this is simply the truth.  When his heart stopped, a part of me died.  And, now for the last two years and some months, I have been working to recreate myself.  When your spouse dies part of your identity dies with them and you must work to discover who you are without them.  You must redefine who you are.  You must reestablish yourself and your place in the world.  Without Mike, I am a work in progress.  I am for lack of a better term under reconstruction.

And, I am tired.  I am beyond tired actually.  In fact, I am exhausted. The work of recreating myself and reentering life is labour intensive.  All the decisions and tedious details are overwhelming.  Sometimes I feel nauseated just thinking about rebuilding my life.  I have been shifting through the wreckage of our shared life for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of days and I am mentally drained.  I have grown bored of the mundane thoughts that run through my head. I have some ideas about what to do, but nothing feels exactly right.  I am sort of stuck and I am not actioning any of my plans with any enthusiasm.  

I have begun the mental work of devising a plan, but I have not executed anything in earnest yet.  I am stalling.  Partly out of necessity; and, more so, because I am having a tantrum of sorts.  I do not want to recreate a life because the one I shared with him was everything I wanted.  I liked our life.  And, I am not happy about being forced to live without the man I love.  I am not excited about a future without Mike. 

I have been forced to make due without him; and, because of this, I have yet to feel genuinely enthusiastic about anything in my life.  This is a cruddy way to live.  And, in truth, I am not even sure this is living.  It is really just existing which is a complete waste of life - and this bothers me a lot.  I do not want to merely endure life because he died, but I am afraid that is what I am doing.  I want to live passionately again, but everything feels monotonous and tiresome without him.  My life is hollow and lacklustre compared the life I share with him.  So, what the hell can I do about this?

I try to feel less apathetic about my future.  I continually seek a way out of this commonplace existence.  But, again and again, I crave my old life.  I miss the excitement of the life we shared, and at the same time I yearn for the ordinary moments we experienced together.  I feel very detached from the run of the mill life in front of me.  After two years and a handful of months,  I have still not been able to figure out how to bond with a future that does not include him.


Simply put, nothing feels right anymore.  I can not seem to fall into a comfortable groove in my new life.  I am both underwhelmed and overwhelmed by Mike's absence.  And, recently, I notice that I am drifting further away from the life around me and the people I share my life with.  I am choosing to seek refuge in the place in my mind where I keep Mike alive.  I continually escape to this place because it feels more comfortable than my actual reality.  I know that I am attempting to run from my current existence; and I know this isn't right; but, I do not feel like I truly belong in my own life anymore.  It isn't the comfortable fit it once was.  Now, I feel restless and unsettled where I am.  For a while, I was gaining momentum and I thought I was heading in the right direction; but, for the last few months I have felt rootless and adrift once again.  It is an awful feeling.  I want Mike to come back and take my hand and lead me in the right direction.  But, he can't come back. I don't even know why I bother wishing he could.

It has been months since I have felt this directionless.  But, this is the fluidity of grief.   Nothing in life is permanent, including the status of our grief.  So, once again I find myself without direction.  Unfortunately, it is not standard practice to issue the newly widowed a compass.  No one gifts us any tools to help us reestablish our sense of direction.  We aren't told how to rebuild our lives.  We are left to navigate our way through this mess on our own.  And, with time and hard work we map out our own path back toward life.  And, as you know, plodding out the direction of your life is hard work.  All the decisions are yours to make alone because the person you'd most like to consult is dead - you must rely on yourself now. 

In the days ahead, I will continue to fight my way forward on the path of my alternate life.  I will attempt to painstakingly rebuild myself from the the wreckage of my shattered life.  And, like with any rebuild, none of this will be straightforward.  I expect that things will not go according to plan.  And, I also predict that some things will fall into place when I least expect them to.  Starting again is scary, but it is also kind of cool because new beginnings are brimming with endless possibilities and unlimited potential.  I think my rebuild is going to work out.  I feel that it will be something pretty great - eventually.  And, yours can be too.








Showing 4 reactions

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  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-03-03 11:32:32 -0800
    Indie, You sure have accomplished many “herculean job(s)”. I wish that your existence felt less “meaningless”, but I do appreciate your honesty in your comments. Best to you, ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2019-03-03 11:30:13 -0800
    Julie, Yes ditto says it all. I am sorry you understand my words but I am glad to validate your feelings. ~S.
  • indie
    commented 2019-02-28 07:46:25 -0800
    Everything up to the last paragraph is how I feel. For six years, as I have said to others “tried to reconstruct my life”. Five house rehabs and one shop opened and most say I have done a herculean job. And yet, the emptiness never has diminished. I’ve just gotten better at pretending and moving through this meaningless existence. Thing is, after 35 years I don’t want anything else. In my late 60’s I’m tired enough and smart enough to know this has become a waiting game now. And I hope every day my wait is not much longer because I really don’t need any more. I’m fine with departure. It’s not pessimism or despair anymore. It’s honesty.
  • Julie Schultz
    commented 2019-02-26 09:33:22 -0800
    Ugh. Staci.
    What can I say but ditto. Exactly.
    Disorienting, disheartening even though I see that this is an opportunity for new hope, new plans, new ideas. But ugh. who has the energy. so lame.
    hugs to you.