The Withoutness~

I am without him.

I say this with no self-pity.  More of a sense of disbelief.  It is surreal, unreal, not real.

Nights are for sleep but they are also when the mind opens up as the body relaxes into exhaustion.  This isn’t necessarily a negative thing.  It’s when words swirl about in my body and I must waken fully to put them to paper or type them out so they don’t congeal in my soul and darken into toxins.

Words.  Phrases.  Images.

The urn containing what is left of Handsome Husband’s physical self rests next to me and his folded flag next to that as I lay down at night in this pink trailer.   Some might flinch from doing this.  Am I sleeping with the dead?

I will never feel his fingers skimming my body in love again.  Feel his kisses linger on my eyes, on the tip of my nose, on my lips that ache to speak his name.  I will never again see his eyes light with love and passion and teasing as his gaze touches mine.  His strong hand will never again enfold mine as we walk, or rest on the small of my back, or reach out to open a door for me, smiling as I thank him.

The nevers.  We’re not, in this world of wemustalwaysbepositive, supposed to concentrate on what we don’t have, only what we do have.  We must be grateful.  For something.  Anything.

Quite simply, I’m alive because I haven’t died.  No, I’m not depressed.  I am grieving.  Grieving in a way that might very well set the creators of the DSM 5 into high alert because we cannot allow this human experience to continue past a certified timeline.  We must be concerned!  We must medicate!

This man, my husband, was in my life and a part of my life, for 24 intimate years.  He filled my life with love and passion and knowledge and touch and friendship, he was my go-to person, he made me feel safe, he cherished me and made me feel cherished and loved and safe, and he is gone forever.  It doesn’t comfort me to have only the memories of that, but I must find some comfort in that because it’s what is left.

These thoughts and words and images.  Oh my, do they swirl within me as I lie next to what remains and I remind myself of the love that is bigger than this grief.  His love for me, and mine for him, was bigger than anything that the world can toss my way.  Love is bigger than death.  I know this.  I must know this.

But, honestly, in the night hours especially, when I am without the warmth of his body next to me, when the morning light peeks under the shade, when my soul says okay here it is, another day without him…it takes everything I have in me to just do it.




16 thoughts on “The Withoutness~

  1. i feel your pain alison.
    i remember, years ago, asking my rabbi, “why, what is this..why do my parents have to die?”
    ‘i am not at peace with this possibility”
    his simple answer was, “every good love story has a sad ending.”

    • I’ve heard a similar quote as that. And your rabbi is right-every love story must have a sad ending.

      Every story, really, must have a sad ending when at least 2 people are involved because it is inevitable that one must die at some point and there will be someone left behind to grieve.

      People live and people die and that is the way of life-we all get that, don’t we? And yet, when it happens, especially to one who is yet young (and I don’t consider 60 to be old), it still shocks us~

  2. Major meltdown last week that almost did me in. Maybe it was the after effects of the knee surgery and the fact I missed the b12 shot I take each months, then again none of those. I felt the grieving more, the missing more, the fact that I had not seen my grands since April. I find that when I get weak physically I am unable to think spiritually. Some good did come of this and I finally talked to my daughter in law, mother of my grands, and ex-wife of my son. She is so sick, but trying to cope like me. We were able to set an apt and I went to Yogurt Mountain and we visited a short time. It was good once again to hug those sweet children who have my blood running through their veins. They are so beautiful and look like their dad in so many ways. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and them. My aching heart is with you as you make your journey, my prayer is that you find peace in the fact that you are helping others grieve. I hope to see you when you come this way. We are vacationing in Patrick AFB for 2 weeks. Maybe I will call you while I am down there. It was in March when I came home that I found out that night after traveling so long that my son was gone…..

  3. Yep. This is it, what your life is now that you loved a good man and he is gone. Would you do it all again knowing this ache in your chest? Of course. It’s so good to write what you feel because someone out there is feeling the same.

  4. I get it … boy, do I get it. I’m approaching 4 years (!) at the end of September and I still feel this way. Not out in the public. Never out in the public because of “the world of wemustalwaysbepositive”. Your words describe exactly how I feel about losing the man who cherished me for 41 years. Thank you.

    • Dianne,
      If there is nothing else I’ve learned through this, its that I will NOT put on the face and go away. I will speak of my grief, I will show my tears and I will refuse to join in on not allowing grief to be where it needs to be.

      My heart goes out to you in the love you had for your husband~

  5. (. .) this space is for all of the words I cannot utter, and for all of the gratitude I have for your words here. Thank You. Please keep writing… Much love, M

  6. This is just how I feel. Every word. Nights suck. Dont understand people telling me to find comfort in the memories, they may make you smile for a minute but ultimately bring you right back to the fact they are gone forever. I hate being without him. Love and hugs to you on your journey.

  7. I keep my husband’s Urn, on what I call my “shrine” sort of half-jokingly. His Urn is there, an autograph from his favorite actor, and from my favorite singer, our hats (western and baseball caps) cups from Sloppy Joe’s, an empty bottle of Shiner Beer, some of my jewelry, maps, his old (literally older than me) bandannas, pictures of us, a can of Texas dirt, his keys, his motorcycle gloves, anything that I think he’d like. I bought him a bottle of his brand of whiskey today, just a little airplane/mini-fridge bottle, but tonight, when I am with my friends at their cookout, I’ll drink it for him as the fireworks flash and bring him the empty to sit with his ashes. Morbid? Maybe. It makes missing him halfway bearable to bring him these little “offerings” in the hope that wherever his soul/essence/spirit is, he’ll know that I REMEMBER. There is nothing lonelier than being the only one who remembers, is there? And there is so much that only a spouse CAN remember.
    Somedays the only thing that gets me through is dreaming of getting to die myself, so I can tell him how much I love and miss and need him, and how much more I wish I had told him that before. I’d be so much better to him now that I know what it’s like not to have him.

    • Katie,
      I am alive only because I haven’t died, and because I am still alive, I must create a life for myself, as we all must.

      And I hope beyond hope that when I die I’ll find him again.

      Cheers to you as you drink that whiskey. Cheers to your beloved~

  8. 😔Alison…you have the broken heart of the grieving widow… who has had that amazing love that is gone, and the beautiful memories are not balm for your broken heart…
    Many of us share that same relentless pain and feelings of deep sadness and longing for what no longer is…
    Reading your words…I freeze, as if someone has discovered and entered my secret place…
    I hurt more knowing you know this pain, and my tears are for you, too.
    I pray for you to be comforted and for you to find peace…
    Sending you love, Grace😔

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