The Not So Gentle Nights~

There was a time, in the first year after we started traveling, where I slept so peacefully through the nights.  Handsome Husband and I were thrilled to explore this country, seeing new things, adjusting well to our 24/7 time together, deepening our love for one another.   His body next to mine in our bed, wherever that bed happened to be, his reassuring presence next to me, waking in the morning to face another day of adventure-life was, yes…bliss.

Ye olden days.  Gone forever.  Our last winter in Arizona marked the changing of our days and our nights.   Once we left Arizona to go further West into Nevada and California, our sleeping habits were never the same.   His nights got restless, with coughing and pain.  Mine changed as I woke with him.  By the time we arrived in Cathedral City, California for our 3 month rental, his nights were a painful trek from sofa to chair to floor to sofa to chair.  Pillow propping, back rubbing, soft massages, coughing, pacing, and me staring at that light high up on the nearby mountain out the porch window.   Neither of us slept a night through.  Even if I could stretch out in the huge king-size bed, there was a gaping emptiness next to me and I was oh so aware of him just a few steps away, sitting on the couch, both of us praying that, if nothing else, exhaustion would claim us.

Just a few days shy of 4 months later, almost 3000 miles away, on the other Coast, I am jolted awake once I do finally sleep.  I don’t dream and I sleep in brief snatches.   I don’t startle awake in a frightened manner in the months since he died.  It’s more a matter of I’m sleeping and suddenly, deep in the recesses of my mind, will be the realization that I’m alone in this bed, that he’s gone forever from me, and the abject loneliness and coldness of that thought will open my eyes as if it were daytime and I’d merely blinked.

I miss my husband.   We lived together, we loved passionately, we danced, we adventured and we were supposed to have so many more years together.   I remember saying to him early on, when we first lived together, before we got married, when we first shared a bed, how easily we shared that bed, giving space even while laying close, clasping hands if nothing else.   His body next to mine was of such comfort and we easily learned the art of two people sharing a bed.   His next-to-me during the night was his next-to-me during the daylight-strong, loving, confident, protective.

Now, my days of agony translate seamlessly into nights of agony and, once again, into days of agony in an endless march of time.

I’ve been robbed.

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2 thoughts on “The Not So Gentle Nights~

  1. Alison😪…i read your words and i am numbed…frozen…frightened to move…or even think…….
    Your words…they are not even words…each one has a life of its own…sorrow…pain…agony…the love…
    I read and it is as if someone has hit me with a huge club…
    I hurt …and yet i continue…for someone has gone into my secret place…into my heart…and viewed…and examined… my pain…my love…knows it…what it looks like…what it feels like…knows my thoughts about it…like no one else…
    Who is this person?…she is me…she is telling my story…it is as if
    Someone…YOU…know my truth about my love…about this hateful pain…the realization of what happened…to me
    I can’t even go on…im probably not making any sense to you…
    I’m sorry…
    I don’t like this, for this is NOT what I should be saying to you
    I try to be positive, hopeful, encouraging and always sincere in my replies…
    But Alison…your words just hit home…too deeply
    I too feel robbed…so the question is…WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THIS %$#&*@*(#@!!!!! GRIEF !!!???!!!..
    What do we do now?…

    Alison…Im taking deep breaths…trying to think…not feel so much. I’m sending you a big hug first of all, and know, KNOW that I, Grace, TOTALLY KNOW YOUR PAIN…IT IS MINE !!!
    Your Chuck and my Travis were a lot alike…beautiful men…beautiful people…beautiful friends, lovers, … the way they made us feel and the way we felt about them…and damn it…still do!
    Its five years now for me…FIVE FREAKING YEARS…so much has happened…so many changes…LIARS…TIME …DOES NOT HEAL ALL WOUNDS !!!
    It does help…you are raw right now…time gives you a tougher shell to bear the pain a little better…but I don’t miss Travis any less…or want to be with him any less…no matter what I do…my freaking friend, Grief, tags along…she is my constant companion…even if I smile…laugh, and I laugh a lot…love to laugh…interact with my family..whatever…Grief still whispers into my ear…but Travis is not here…Travis is not here with you…for you…anymore.
    Okay, Alison…this grief changes…as I said…you are raw now.
    You must go through it…you have no choice.
    You do that, just as you are doing that… ONE DAY AT A TIME…as I used to say…ONE MOMENT AT A TIME.
    Alison…I am so broken for YOU, I want to take away your damn pain!!! I know I can’t…but
    I wish I could soothe it even a bit..
    Alison…you need a goal…a mission…WE DO!!!
    I’m an artist as I love to paint…I don’t paint much anymore…i need to…for that is an answer to this %$##&#@ Grief of . I know that…but it takes strength, will power, joy, and self love to pick up the brushes and paint…im trying to wake up those things in me…but grief had her way with them..and they are stubborn…
    I loooove to write,( could you guess?…lol) and I have a beautiful story in me…its screaming at me…and yet, I mostly float through my days…surviving not thriving…but I WILL GET THERE SOON.
    Alison, YOU NEED TO WRITE YOUR STORY!!!
    You need to wake up each morning and write, write, write.
    I read your posts and I am immersed in what pours out of you…and how you say it…how you put your words together…
    You are a writer…you are a born writer.
    I hate when you end your post…not only because you write on a subject too close to my heart…but because you bear your soul and write beautifully and so very poignantly.
    Alison ! You need to write!
    Maybe…Yes, that is your life preserver…Your book is well into itself already, I think. Compile all your
    HAPPILY HOMELESS Blog posts and you are well on your way.
    Please forgive me, if I have offended or added to your pain in any way…I sincerely did not intend to.
    Know that I am thinking of you, caring about how you are doing in each moment of your day…wishing and praying for your peace and healing no matter how small.
    Alison, pray…pray for God’s soothing peace to flow over you…just quietly close your eyes and pray for whatever you need. I love you, friend…Hugs, Grace😪
    P.S. Start writing…thinking, reading your blog, compiling…writing😊

    • Grace,
      The real beauty of all of this horrible grief is that we can be, if we aren’t already, completely honest in our speech and words.

      How can you NOT still be devastated over the loss of a man you loved so deeply, same as I am? I picture my life as if a wildfire burned through it, such as we see on the news, leaving nothing but blackened soil behind. The me that I was when Chuck was alive is not the me I am now and I know that person is gone forever. Which isn’t a good or bad thing-it’s just what it is. I’m sure that at some point in my future I’ll look back on this time and this grief and see a larger picture. That is, after all, what happens in life. People tell me frequently that there is an amazing life ahead of me coming from this. They might be correct in that. The thing is, I don’t care. I can’t see my future. People tell me that I’ll survive this-that I AM surviving this. And I want to say, that isn’t the point. The point is, do I WANT to survive this? Because I read and I hear from so many women who have gone through this grief and are many steps ahead of me and the pain of loss is still within them and I have no interest in still having this pain years from now.

      The measure of grief is equal to the measure of love. I get that and I have only joy that Chuck blessed my life for the years he did. When they tell me think of the good memories (as if I’m not doing that always), I want to tell them, yes, I’m doing that and it causes abject pain because those times for making wonderful memories with him are now gone and I feel empty.

      It’s only because there are those such as you, Grace, and my kids and so many old and new friends, that I’m even as put together as I am, and I’m thankful on a daily basis.

      No worries about offending or causing me pain with any kind of honesty, Grace. Honesty is necessary in friendships and in life. Especially after experiencing death, who has time for anything other than honesty?

      May we all be blessed as we find our way through this grief~
      alison

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