These Two Years and a Little More~

This new world of widowhood and what is different now, besides everything:

I used to love crowds of people and was a great conversationalist. I was good at making people feel comfortable and engaged with them easily. Now it’s really kind of tough for me to be in groups of anything more than 3 or 4 people and that’s usually when it’s family or close friends. I just don’t have it in me to make casual conversation. Mostly I only want to talk philosophy about life, end-of-life, death, hear other’s experiences...pretty much a buzz kill for others. I feel heavy and dark and it takes endless amounts of energy to fake being okay. Which I’m not interested in doing in any case.

A few days ago I colored my hair for the first time since Chuck’s death. I spent the last few decades coloring my hair regularly but stopped after his death. Maybe it’s a sign of something that I did this...I don’t know or care. All I know is that all the grey since Chuck’s death made me look old and frumpy and my skin looks a little better now. Grief is a sure fire agent for aging our appearance.

The longer I’m into this new life without him, the more okay I seem on the outside and the deeper and more intimate this grief actually becomes on the inside. I feel numb most of the time, even as I’m engaged with events and people. Emptiness. Numbness.

I’ve never been so at a loss as to where I want to take my life. There is no internal compass leading me in any direction, for the first time in my life. What is my passion? What interests me? No clue. No interest or energy to discover.

The only thing I believe in any longer is the love I had for Chuck and the love he had for me, and left behind for me. Am I the only one who lives on memory? I try to anyways. For some reason, the night that Chuck died, my entire life with him seemed to disappear too, and I’ve consistently had difficulty remembering anything specific about our life, or what it felt like to have his energy next to me. That’s incredibly disturbing to me. But, once again, I at least remember that he loved me and I loved him and I look at pictures to help me remember.

Seriously, all I know about my life in this time, and the only thing that keeps me from going insane as I contemplate a future without him, is the memory of his love. This is all really too much to bear. And yet, bear it I must. Bear it we all must.

Sending love to all of you who walk this path with me.

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  • Joanna Lucas
    commented 2015-06-30 15:00:00 -0700
    Thank you for explaining so well what I feel! On 7/10 it will be 3 months since Toby died and I get up every day only because I have to, not that I want to! Everything I do is automatic, with no passion. I feel like I live someone else’s life, mine is over! I haven’t’ got the strength to live my life yet, for now it is on auto-pilot because I have no real interest in it. I hope that feeling will pass soon.
  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2015-06-24 20:25:07 -0700
    Memory fueled my existence for a long while too. Its okay. Really. It wont be like that forever. I remember telling my grief counselor that the only reason I wanted to get out of bed each day was because my husband didnt have that option / choice, so it was like an obligation I felt to honor him everyday. She said “So what? So if thats your only reason for living right now, let it be your reason for now. One day in the future youll have a new reason, or more reasons. That day isnt today.” She was right. Now, almost 4 years into this, I DO want to live and not just exist. I am excited for my future, even though Im still terified . And yes, I still fuel myself with memories of our love together, but I have mixed that together with the life I am trying to create now. You will too. Andif you dont feel that way today, thats ok. Today is not that day.
  • Linda O'Callaghan
    commented 2015-06-24 01:55:38 -0700
    Thank you so much for this post. You are not the only person who lives on memory. My husband died suddenly 8 weeks ago and I had to go back to work 2 weeks later. I put on a ‘normal’ face at work and people congratulate me for coping so well. Inside I am desolate and feel isolated, hollow, empty and numb. There are times I find it hard to believe I was married – it seems so long since I last saw him. I also look at photos to remember our love. Although they are very painful see, they are evidence of our love and our marriage. I also wonder how I will bear to live this life without him but realise that I have no choice but to continue living no matter how unpalatable that life seems now. Again, thank you for putting in words exactly how I feel.