Chuck wants me to tell you he wouldn’t leave you without a road map. He wants you to be aware of the markers he’s left for you, both physical and metaphysical.
Whatever you’re doing, keep on doing it. You’re on the right track.
Did you know that you’re surrounded by so many angels that I can’t even count them? You’re protected.
These are just some of the words I’ve heard from people along my Odyssey of Love, who have sought me out, on the roadside, in stores, in meetings. People who don’t know me, who have no idea of my story.
They have sought me out to bring me messages from Chuck and about my Odyssey.
I’ve also heard from people, earlier on, who said completely different things to me. I’m 5 years into this widowhood now, and these things were primarily said to me in my 3rd year. Seemingly, there is a limited amount of empathy to be given and after a certain point, one must be…I’m not sure what.
Are you depressed? You might be depressed. Maybe you need medication.
Don’t you want to be happy? It’s a choice, you know. You have to choose to be happy. Don’t you want to feel joy again?
Why do you call yourself a widow? You’re more than that, you know.
So, here’s what I know, 5 years in.
Chuck did leave me a road map. And there have been markers all along the way of my Odyssey of Love. They have shown up to me as Love. From people I meet along the road, the workamping jobs I’ve found, and the words that he spoke in his years on this earth that I live by; suit up and show up and let the day unfold.Read more
It is commonly understood, or acknowledged, that there is time and possibility for goodbyes when a person is terminally ill, as opposed to when there is a sudden death.
I used to believe that.Read more
Quite frequently these days, as I begin my 3rd year without him, I find this particular quote sent to me, or posted on my timeline. Grief is a stage through which we pass and not a place to linger. Okay, I get that. I even agree with it. But it doesn't help me a damn bit to read it.
We are told that grief is an individual process with no timeline. But...it's a stage. Don't linger. How do we know when we're lingering, is my question. And even more so, when we're dealing with it in as many healthy ways as we can conceive, and the devastation remains present, how do we get from here to there? And anyways, aren't those two statements contradictory to each other?Read more
I'm so sad that Chuck died and I don't know anymore if it's sadness that is emptiness inside me or emptiness with sadness and there is a burning wish in my soul to force myself into some semblance of feeling again, of connectedness again.
In the last few weeks I've caught a glimpse, I think, into the world of soldiers and Marines who return from the war zones, having defied death, seen their buddies die, who have had their hearts pierced with the tenuousness of life.
So often, I've read in numerous memoirs, they return to their so called normal lives but they go out and buy fast motorcycles, faster cars; they become thrill seekers. And I think I have some understanding of what goes on in their heads and hearts as they look at life around them. Just a glimpse, really, because their experiences are ever so much more than mine has been.
I don't think that they're courting death so much as they're trying to find something...anything...that might make them feel again. Something that will overcome the grief-filled apathy that comes along with numbness. Something that will help them connect again to the living, maybe jump-start the very breath in their lungs.Read more
Twisting. Writhing. Hurting. Shrieking.
Vomit urge. Nerves on skin. Racing pulse. Butterfly stomach.
Dislocated. Disoriented. Discombobulated.
I know I'm not actually a split personality. I haven't disassociated from my body. There is nothing really wrong with me because what I'm going through is normal. I know this.
This grief, though. Whoa.
My brain sometimes slips into my consciousness the suspicion that maybe I am a split personality. Or whatever word it is that would best describe this state of being, at least to my own self. Because I very clearly feel like two separate people as I move through this world of mine, this world without my husband.
I reached a point in these last few days.
I need to stop looking (albeit unconsciously) for this sharp cutting edge of grief in my body to stop. I need to stop looking for that elusive something that will take it away. Cut it away as carefully as a surgeon's knife, leaving my body and heart as intact as it was for my 24 years with him. There wouldn't even be any scarring because that then,in those old days that seem like another century and time, was the real, whole, me.
But, of course, the only thing that will remove it is if my beloved husband returns, and we all know he ain't gonna do that. Which is unimaginable to me and probably always will be,but it's the ugly truth.
Today is 2 years since my beloved husband Chuck died.
I've always used the word died since he...died. Don't care at all for the other, gentler words. Not at all. I need the harsh words to remind me that he is indeed dead because there is a part of me, somewhere inside of me, a part I can't identify, that just doesn't believe that he's dead or that this isn't some huge cosmic joke being perpetrated upon me and someday he'll come walking in the door and we'll both be totally disbelieving and we'll hug and hug and hug some more and then we'll have wild and crazy sex and then, well, get back to our lives.
I'm not in denial. I know Chuck is dead. I feel it...have felt it...in every part of my body since 2 years ago, April 21. He's gone. Gone, gone, gone.
And yet, I swear that there is still a part of me that doesn't believe it. That can'tbelieve it. How can he be gone when he and I were so connected? How can it be that I'm walking on this earth, just Alison, without his name said in the same breath? We were Chuck and Alison. That couple who, after 24 years, were still in love with one another, who still kissed and hugged and whose faces lit up when the other entered the room. How can that be over?
I'm in total disbelief not only that Chuck has been dead for 2 years but that I'm still alive. How is it that I haven't died of a broken heart?
I'm going to counseling. Dr. Shima is going to do EMDR and aural acupuncture, both to assist in (hopefully) dispersing the block between my emotions and intellect. That block, she surmises, is what keeps me from feeling connection of any sort to him. It keeps me feeling disconnected to the world at large and keeps me from feeling connected even to myself.