Will I Ever Stop Asking
Where would we be,
had you not died?
Will I ever stop wondering
what would have happened
in our life together
if you were still here?
Will I ever be at peace
with the idea that my life is filled
that do not have answers?
Will I ever feel okay
with the knowing
that large pieces of my life
will always remain unknown?
Will I?Read more
I've been on the road quite a bit in the last few weeks, visiting my NJ community. Not towing my trailer, because, you know, weather, and I'm on my way west to Arkansas now, for Thanksgiving.
All of which is to say...
I listen to podcasts as I drive. History podcasts, philosophy, widow stuff, life stuff. You name it, and I listen to it.
And I just never know what I might hear that will suddenly click the gears into place that generally turn non-stop, taking in all that is around me. Conversations of strangers, particular terrain, colors of the sky, what the road looks like in front of me...my internal gears are always spinning, picking up bits and pieces of everything and, sometimes, what seems like nothing but ends up being that one missing piece.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
I don't know what makes one day, one moment, more impossible than another. Grief is just that way. For me, it isn't a matter of grief suddenly showing itself; it's more a matter of at any one moment I'm better able to keep it under my skin as opposed to right on top. It isn't less or more than; it's just under or on top of.
Today, Veterans Day, I couldn't keep it under my skin and nerves were crawling all over the place. Nausea, anxiety, the works. It didn't show, I don't think, but it was so very there.
I was always so proud of Chuck's time in service. The first time I saw him in his dress blues, I almost swooned right on the street. But I loved him best in his BDU's (camouflage). With his moustache...oh, he was a sight for this girl's eyes...
So, yeah, today. And grief. Every day, and grief.
I wish to scream and howl my rage and horror to the skies until my vocal chords are rendered numb with exhaustion. Numb not only from exhaustion but because there are no more words to describe what my life is like without him next to me and the agony of the rest of my life missing him.Read more
We all arrive at that time after our loved one dies where we look around and see what remains. What remains of a person who filled our lives in one way or another or so completely that we look at their physical belongings and are struck with disbelief that this is it. The sum of their existence.
My husband and I specialized in not being attached to external things. In 2009 we sold our home in Jersey and most of our belongings. A few special things we put in storage while we figured out what direction our lives would take us. And then we decided to stay on the road, adventuring, and we donated more and more of what was in storage.
After Chuck died, I spent a day going through that storage unit. I held his clothes against my heart, inhaling, striving to find some remaining scent of the man who impacted my life so hugely. His scent was gone, of course, and, one by one, I placed his clothes in a bag for donation. Piece by piece, memory by memory. It wasn't easy, but with each article I thought well, if he were here, he'd want me to donate these rather than keep them in a storage unit. So I took a deep breath and gave them away.
I've been traveling a ton the past week and in the midst of that, found myself looking through notebooks filled with quotes and thoughts that have inspired my being.
One in particular, stuck out this evening:
"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding."
Though I love to come here to share my thoughts, experiences and words, there are moments that I come across things that speak so poignantly that it must be given the space to spread to those who deserve to hear it.
This letter is one I found this evening that I know so many who have lost, struggled, hurt and suffered, should read.
Written by a stranger. But a human. Who has gone through who knows what in their lifetime.
May it impact you the way it has for me:
Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.
It's a new year and, with that, I'd like to rewind to the beginning years of Michael's death.
I dreaded a new year.
One in which he hadn't lived.
He hadn't existed.
Today marks 8.
8 years since the most remarkable man chose me to spend the rest of his life with....and he did...if only for a year and a half in flesh.
I prepped the night before...jotting down what great deeds I would do, not only in commemoration of this special day, but the people and universe that surround and house the spirit and love that we share.
I awoke, opened my eyes to the sun shining through the blinds and said aloud "Happy Anniversary, my love...let's rock this!"
As I showered, Sam Cooke's "What a Wonderful World" played and I my heart filled with the mission at hand.
The mission to share a fraction...an ounce..of the love...unconditional love...I had been shown during his time on earth.
This year was different, I wanted to spread kindness, but throw in bit of us...who we are...what we love.
I warmed up with a stop at Starbucks, buying giftcards for the two cars behind us and leaving a 300% tip to the warm smile that handed me the green tea latte.
I found joy in looking in the rear view mirror at the unsuspecting person that I hoped to share a bit of sunshine with.
“A song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment. Which is pretty amazing, when you actually think about it.” -Sarah Dessen