Tripping Through the Galaxies-Widow Style~

Before I met him, Handsome Husband was a flight navigator on C-141’s.  As such, he learned to read difficult instrument panels, use a slide-ruler, numbers..I’m not sure what else.  He was good at it and he brought those talents to our life together on the road as Happily Homeless.  Points on a map that need to be figured and reconfigured;  he did that well in his time in the Air Force and in our adventures.

Me?  Not so much.  This life that I have to create without him is a blank map in every way.  In my mind I stare in a fog at the knobs and buttons facing me on my own panel and blindly push one, twist another, uncertain of the outcome of my efforts.  It is all completely unfamiliar, very much unwelcome and yet…it must be done.  It must be done because I haven’t died and am still alive (those are two vastly different statements in my mind).   It just is.  Period.   And I hate every fucking second of it because I would rather not be here.   Yes, I said it. I would rather not be here on this earth because I don’t like life without him.  In fact, I can more honestly say, I hate life without him.

BUT.  Here’s where all of you come into my story.

You respond to my writings, you share your own story, you reach out to me as another widow/er, as a recovered alcoholic, as a fellow traveler on the road, as a woman also traveling alone, as a fill in the blank and you are, for me, points on a map.

The map I picture is one of the galaxies, and you, as you reach out to me, are stars and planets that suddenly light up my darkness and give me something to point towards.  Amidst the grief and agony, I see lights out there and think well that gives me a direction and maybe I’ll learn something along the way that will ease this heaviness.

And so I steer PinkMagic in that direction, knowing that there is something there, something tangible, and that gives me a moment of surety, a compass marker to steady me.

Currently, my direction is South, towards Florida.  These roads are filled with so many searing memories of my and Handsome Husband’s adventures and these memories don’t help me remember the good times; they blazon into my soul only that they will never happen again, that he is not next to me, that I am without him, that such possibilities are gone forever.  And in the midst of nothing being okay, it’s kind of okay because this is what grief is for me and I do what I can to breathe into it, breathe through it and I look for another marker, and another and another and I push one button and twist another on the navigator’s panel in front of me with no clue about what it is but with no fear and thus draw one more line on this map of mine.

I thank each of you, far and wide, for being my markers on the compass.  It’s kind of like you’re over there, waving at me, holding up a welcome sign, bringing me in for a temporary landing of my aircraft, offering me so much love that my heart overflows, offering me words not so much of hope but of blessing and affirmation, standing with me, bearing witness, sharing memories of the man with whom I shared a love story, bringing your own introspection, allowing space for where I am.

I’m navigating this because of you.

I’m willing to bet that you had no idea of how powerful you are in my life~th


18 thoughts on “Tripping Through the Galaxies-Widow Style~

  1. Hmmm. I posted a comment on your blog, now realize I could have done that here. 🙂 Next time. Take care and travel safe.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Don’t forget your Alabama destination. I have a hook up and extra travel trailer for your apt and firewood for our campfire and lots of love to go around. Looking forward to your visit with me. Diane

    • Diana,
      You’re in Huntsville, correct? I’ll take a look at the map and our timeline-the only thing I’m uncertain about at the moment is if I’ll stop to visit you on my way to AZ or on my way back, after I drop my daughter off in December. She’d like to be back there by end of the second week.

      I’m very much looking forward to seeing you again, too~

  3. You may have some idea, Alison, of how much you matter to each of us. I thank you for giving my feelings voice, validation and for giving me guideposts in my own journey through life. So many others told me to “Just shut up”! and that resulted in much confusion for me. When you describe “searing memories” or heart-shredding loneliness I feel these things along with you. And I can see, by observing your attempts to rebuild your life, my own adventures in piloting myself through the emotional minefield of my life. I do not have the support you enjoy, so thank you for sharing your experiences with such because it has encouraged me to set the bar higher. When I use a map it becomes folded a certain way, according to my interests at the time. New journeys carve new pathways. Wishing you well as you carve yours!

    • Doretta,
      I appreciate your words “new journeys create new pathways”-so very true. This is a road so many of us travel so unwillingly, but we forge forward and when we look back, we can, presumably, see some semblance of a road carved only by us. Which gives us freedom of a sort. If none have traveled this particular road, then it is up to us to design what we need at any given point.

      I wish you well, equally, and am so glad when I see your responses here~

  4. Reading you, my husband asleep at two in the afternoon. He is here, but not. I have to leave him when I travel now. And I hold all our memories. He no longer remembers us, so I grieve everywhere I go. It hurts. I am tired of the romantics who tell me he is still here. They don’t know. I am not still here for him. He looks at me with confusion, suspicion. Who am I? I am on a new journey now. Who am I? I will travel with your words and on my own. I will find me.

    • Someone,
      My heart breaks for you, saying goodbye to your husband long before his physical body is gone. So many romanticize this grieving experience, both before and after. The fact is, life can be very ugly and demoralizing, especially when illnesses such as dementia, ALS, any of the others, strike our loved ones.

      Indeed this is a new, and I’m sure, unwelcome, journey. My life burned to the ground the night my husband died and I find that not only do I mourn for him, I mourn for the me that died that night also, and I have no sense of who this me is without him, or who she will be in this new life I’m forced to create. We can dress it up in fancy words, but the truth is still there, raw and rough.

      I send encouragement to you as you find your way, and know that there is someone out here on the road who fully understands that feeling of dislocation~

  5. Your seemingly out of control grief screams to others and the result is comfort. You are not alone in your angst and sharing is all part of the ugly process. Members of a an unpopular club you never wanted to join. Albeit counterintuitive, your journey is healing both for you and countless others w/o a voice. Thank you for sharing.

Talk to me~

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