Touching the Past

I sometimes wonder what would happen if all the wishes people made on stars came true. Where would my life be today if my whims were met by the imaginary wish granter in the sky who hears the things our hearts whisper when we witness those flashes of light across the night sky? One thing is certain, my heart has definitely not been whispering over the last four years...I think a better description would be screaming or beseeching, or even howling. And the request? That I would wake up from this nightmare and discover that Phil isn't really dead. Seems pretty straightforward as far as wishes go.

Recently I have been transported back to a place in time when Phil was my husband. Unfortunately this opportunity does not include the perk of him being alive. But, I have been his wife. I have told his story. I have purposely walked back in time to the moment I lost him. This journey seems to have no limit of lessons to be learned, and I find myself once again a student of grief.

This visit back in time has allowed me to see the world as it was, and to unexpectedly mourn the temporary loss of the world as it is. Time travel is not what I expected it to be. There is no euphoria, there is little comfort and there is no buffer of shock to shield me from the harsh realities that death by blunt force trauma inflicts. I am faced with the realization that I have changed. I have often said that the woman I was when Phil was alive died with him. She did not know the agony of loss. She thought that her life was planned, and also that planning meant something. She woke up every day to Phil in her arms. She believed that life was short, but that knowledge did not affect the way she lived her life. She knew she and Phil would grow old together. When I went back in time and tried to wear her shoes, I discovered that they no longer fit.

But I also realized she would never wear yellow, peep toe, faux crocodile skin stilettos.The woman I have become has a core I would never have known existed if it were not tested. I am both saddened and proud to realize that I have created a life that I love. The fact that I can never go back has often been a source of bitterness for me. This week I learned that going back isn't only impossible, but the reality of yesterday has built the life I have today~and today is a good place to be. I haven't left Phil behind; I brought him with me into a life that is uniquely my own.


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  • commented 2016-01-05 16:29:55 -0800
    Thank you.
  • commented 2016-01-05 14:24:03 -0800
    I can feel your pain, Morgan. I honor the struggle to find meaning when the obvious and beloved meaning is no longer sharing your daily life. It took me awhile to love the person that grief and death has shaped, and I totally get not liking the changes that grief has handed you without your permission.

    I am sending you love and light today, and just a note to say I hear you.
  • commented 2016-01-05 13:31:42 -0800
    After three years (within weeks) I cannot say I am happy, nor do I see a time when I will be. I don’t want this new life. I do not want to live by myself and there will never be another man in my life. Too old and not fashioned for it. I have struggled and I have certainly created a new life but I don’t like it. Sold our home, took the proceeds rehabbed two others, now taking one and buying two more but that doesn’t mean I like it. It just means I have to do it while I live.

    Sorry, I don’t like the person I have been forced to become because reality without him as that buffer is just too much for me to handle.

    I see where everyone is going being as optimistic as they can be knowing at the same time the devastation the death of our spouse has wreaked. I think I am just too old to see myself wanting to live pushing around in some wheelchair somewhere. Just isn’t appealing. For me it’s been a battle of life being bad and trying not to slip into worse but never really seeing what I would term good. As much as what intellectually I remind myself of all the stuff we talk about to reconstruct our lives I guess I am just tired. Tired of repeating, rehashing, revisiting that which I strive to make this whole event of his death manageable when its all just a fancy facade.

    I can and do appreciate the words though. Maybe right now writing this I am just in a place where I don’t want to pretend that I have some stiff upper lip. There’s nothing I have managed to find that honestly makes the fact he is dead better. It’s freakin empty life and I hate that I have to be here without him.
  • commented 2015-12-24 20:09:02 -0800
    THis is something I think about constantly. You have put it into words so beautifully. Thank you. It is so complicated to rebuild your life out of death. THis continues to amaze me.
  • commented 2015-12-22 00:03:21 -0800
    I love this post and its many truths and at the same time have to admit I am angered and saddened by it. Even though there are parts of the new me I love and am proud of, there is a large part of me that doesn’t want to leave the woman I was behind. I miss her at times, as I miss him and the life we had. The complexity of grief is so amazing.
  • commented 2015-12-21 18:26:03 -0800
    I love this. You constantly remind me that moving forward and discovering who I am post loss, doesn’t mean I forget or stop loving. Jared will always be with me and surviving his death will change but it won’t erase my memories or stop my heart from loving him.