Confusion of…Everything~

Nothing fits anymore.  I don’t mean so much my clothing or shoes or other tangibles, but my thinking, my being, my sense of place on earth, all of those huge things that bring on such deep thoughts of life and living and, well, all the stuff that results in making me (or anyone of like-mindedness) not the life of the party.

As deeply as I grieve Chuck, I grieve the me that died with him.  No, please don’t reassure me that I’m still the same me, that I’ll find that woman again someday.  I won’t find her because she, too, is dead and gone and I don’t say that in a self-pitying way but as a simple acknowledgement of what I fully recognize in the here and now.

The many hundreds of people who have met me in the days and months and years since Chuck died (God, why does writing the words Chuck died still shake me to my core with the dissonance of what was and what is?)…I find myself wanting to say to them I wish you knew me before he died.  I wish you knew that woman.  She was passionate about life, she was spontaneous, she had a great sense of humor, she was flirtatious, she sparkled in crowds, she was vivacious, she loved fully, she was engaged with and in life, she was…fun!

Isolating oneself from others while in grief is one of the great no-no’s; there’s a big red flag of concern raised along with dire warnings about the dangers of doing so, of keeping a griever from so doing.  Being a natural people person, even early on in this devastation, I wasn’t inclined to isolate myself and even if the urge overtook me, I counter-acted it and put myself in situations where that couldn’t/wouldn’t happen.

Life goes on, as it needs to, as it always has.  And I can only speak for myself here but as I slug my way through this 3rd year of being without him, I struggle with being with more than a couple of people at a time.  I have nothing to add to conversations and that feels so absurd to even say, considering the person I was, but I genuinely can’t even find words to put together into sentences to make conversation.  Me, who loved nothing more than a roomful of friends (or strangers), interacting with them, laughing, joyous.  My sense of lack of place leaves me feeling isolated, my lack of interest in general conversation leaves me feeling like a wet blanket.  Jesus, how much fun is that for others, having this silent woman sitting at your table, staring off into the distance, mute?  I’ve lost all ability to join in on normal, light-hearted, conversation, I’ve lost all sense of fun.

Who I was. Who I am now. Who I will be. Gone in the first case.  Confused in the second.  Completely unknowing in the third.  This is the time of true isolation.  It isn’t a bad thing or a negative thing.  I’m long past casting judgement on any of this.  It simply is what is for the now.  But I understand hermits now.  Or, here’s one for you, coming from someone who is not religious at all: I really think I get Jesus now, as the man who went off into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights.  Whatever it was he needed to find within himself, he needed to be away from the busyness of life, away from using his energy to interact with others so that he could find within himself that which was necessary to find.  I get that.  Sometimes isolation is necessary for one’s soul.

Life is nothing but confusion for me in this 3rd year.  Where do I belong now?  What is my role?  Who the fuck am I?  The true struggle is in even caring about any future, especially my own.  How do I feel passionate about life, about anything, again?  Can passion for life be forced by simply engaging often enough in life?

Frankl’s search for meaning…I never knew the depth of what that meant, until now. For me, life isn’t about searching and finding happiness.  It’s about searching for the reason for my existence, finding the answer, really, to why the fuck am I still here? Why was I left behind with a devastated heart, to miss Chuck for the rest of my life? Why do I need to care and how do I care again?  How do I feel passionate again and what does passion mean now?  How do I live with the extreme loneliness of soul and body and care about life in spite of?  How do I make life matter again when there is this gaping emptiness within me?

That there, people, is why I’m no longer the life of the party, why I find it impossible to be in groups of people, why I’m so quiet.

Kind of just makes you want to flock around me, yeah?


21 thoughts on “Confusion of…Everything~

  1. Beautiful words. Twenty seven years and counting for me. There is no closure, only managing the grief. Some days I carry it in a very cute little chinese take-out box and some days it is a big ole trunk on my back weighing me down. Thank you for your words.

  2. Alison, like you have told me, look down at your feet and just be where you are at this moment. You are navigating a seriously intense journey right now, & you just need to keep going at a pace and intensity that is good for you. I really didn’t know you before your Chuck died, other than
    reading your Happily Homeless blog. Knowing the Alison that I know, I can say that you are a very out going, bubbly person, you loves great conversation. Your intensity level might have changed, and your level of participation might have changed, your gut level of wanting to be out and about and among groups of ppl might have changed, & fuck a duck, that is 110% ok and I would think to be normal. Hmmm…whatever the fuck normal
    is. Your journey is a hard one, and I believe that along the rough terrain of said journey, you will find yourself in bits and pieces along the way. You my beautiful friend, angel sister, sister, teacher, encourager, amazing spirit will find you again. You will never be the Alison Miller that you were before losing your other half, your amazing husband Chuck, but you will still be Alison Miller, a person who shines from within and who is loved beyond words. I get what your saying and in some ways I feel some of what your are explaining. Journey on my dearest friend, & know that we are all walking with you. I’ve said it before and I will say it again-
    I believe that Chuck is leading you thru your journey and he is orchestrating so many things along the way. I know that you don’t feel him, & to be honest, I don’t always feel my mom either. It hurts to not feel them or have tangible
    proof that they are here, but they have to be present. The love that they had for us, Chuck for you and my mom for me, they wouldn’t not be there, right? It is all so confusing.
    I love you Alison Miller, & I will walk along side of you as you solider on thru your journey of love, loss, grief and rediscovery. I know having you and all of my other angel sisters and friends along side me keeps me going, even when I just want to say fuck it.

  3. Oh my brave friend how my heart echo’s your words. Of course you will never be the same. I was told this weekend by my husband that my stepchildren avoid me as I make them uncomfortable because I am sad… Hugs and gentle thoughts from me to you.

    • Tersia,
      Isn’t it funny how that happens? It is almost as if we carry a darkness over us. And yet, we find those people who are able to walk through this with us, who realize the strength it takes, and the courage, to bear witness. I think of you, and I think of your dear girl and her boys, so often, and it means the world to me that you reach out to me over all the miles~alison

  4. Hey again Happily Homeless! You are so good with your feelings! You actually have what it takes to eventually heal from grief, I believe. Talking, expressing and not keeping it all inside! Year 3 sucks I remember it! Year 4 it gets a little easier. You might never be that person who loves a crowd of people again. You have suffered a loss that has changed you forever People do not understand it unless it happens to them. You are different now but that is not bad. You will find something that ignites a passion in you again. It may be a passion you never even considered before. You can not change what happened to you and how it changed you! You can find a life in that change.

  5. Reading. Listening. Witnessing. Not fixing. Can’t fix you, and you don’t need fixing. You are grieving. I have felt exactly the same many times over. I don’t know what changed it for me, but I do know it was nothing I could hasten to come forth more quickly than it did.

  6. Thirty years for me…and I have grown old while waiting for him…but I still consider it a great privilege to have loved him for so long!

  7. Oh Alison – I didn’t know you before Chuck died. That’s a loss for me, in a way. I know you, just a little, now. And love you. And hold you close to me, all the time, in small moments. Like every night, when I look at your angel as I climb the stairs to go to bed. And when I leave my house each day, and I feel your protective arms around me. I’d prefer sitting quietly with you to being with most other people I know. I send you my love, and warm, heartfelt hugs. And a shoulder anytime you need or want it.

Talk to me~

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