This Ugly World…but, oh….the Love~

It’s overwhelming, isn’t it?  The ugliness of the world, I mean.  At a time when I, and many other widow/ers are trying to figure out our own smaller worlds, without our beloveds in our life.   At a time when the world already seems so unsafe and so uncertain because that person, our person, is no longer here, and then…another big ugly thing happens.

Chuck was active duty during 9/11.  He wasn’t able to come home until near midnight on that day and I was filled with anxiety, anticipating that McGuire AFB, where he was stationed, would be the next target for the terrorists.  But he did come home and I felt safer and reassured as soon as I saw him and was able to hug him.  He was able to tell me things  in the days and weeks after that made me feel more okay even though the world remained insane.  He was there with his solid presence, his calm manner, and…I felt better.

There have been numerous terrorist events since his death, and at each one, I have missed him more.  I’m grateful I have my adult kids, my friends, to whom I can speak about my anxieties, about the ugliness of it, but, at the end of the day, his side of the bed is still empty and the conversations continue in my head, because his arms aren’t around me.

My world felt safer with Chuck in it.

I was at a Where Womyn Gather festival in the Poconos when Orlando happened.  I didn’t hear about it til the late afternoon;  I was off the grid.  As a group, a couple hundred women stood around a huge fire that had been kept burning through the weekend and we offered our prayers to the skies above, and we hugged each other.  A lot.

That’s really all I know how to do since Chuck died.  Hug people, I mean.  My brain doesn’t seem to function as well as it did as far as figuring shit out, so I don’t think much.  And so much doesn’t matter to me anyways.  Mostly it seems that much of what our culture, and the world at large, values, carries no value for me.  And I feel overwhelmed and helpless when it comes to the ugliness of the world.

So, I hug people.  And I accept hugs from people.   Then I drive somewhere else and I hug people there, wherever there happens to be.  The pink of my car and trailer bring smiles to those I meet on the highways and  backroads of this country, and I’m glad for that; smiles are good.  The color of my rig draws people to me and they tell me what is in their hearts or what lies heavy on their minds as we sit in the pink chairs that I put out next to my trailer.  Sometimes we share a glass of pink lemonade that I make sure to have on hand.

In a world of what I can’t do, I find what I can do.  I can, and do, open my heart to Love, more fully than ever.  I hug more people, and I hug them tightly.  I’m a really good hugger.  In some circles, I actually have quite a reputation for being an excellent hugger.  In that, if you’ve been hugged by me, you know you’ve been hugged.  I like that I have such a reputation.  If that is the only legacy I leave behind, then I’m pleased.

I have to focus on the Love that is bigger, or go insane with grief.  Not only personally, because of my own grief but grief for  the world at large.  Yes, another man took his rage that had many sources, and murdered 49 people.  And a man in France, using the same excuse, horribly stole the lives of a husband and wife and left their 3 year son an orphan.  Yes, yes, yes…the ugliness continues on and on, forever.

But so does the Love.  I insist upon the Love.  It’s all I can do.  It’s the only power I have.  I don’t have it in the huge, world sense, but I do have it in my small world sense and the Love I give in my small world has the possibility of rippling out into other’s worlds, again and again and again.

I hold onto this, in this time, again and again and again, when I cry out for Chuck to put his arms around me and tell me that, in the midst of nothing being okay in this ugly world, it’s still okay, because there is always, always and forever, Love that is always present and bigger, even though it seems not present and much smaller than hate or grief or uncertainty.

My soul insists and demands that Love must be stronger.

Remember that.  Hold onto it.  Surround yourself with it.  Immerse those around you in it.  Send it out to the loved ones who are new to the world of grief.  Send it out again and again and again and never stop.

Please, never stop.



10 thoughts on “This Ugly World…but, oh….the Love~

  1. I read and share your blog with many of my widow friends. I feel like your words exactly describe what is in my heart. I am a hospice nurse so companioning other people and solid hugs has saved me from utter despair. My grandchildren also give me a reason to get out of bed. But nothing takes away the longing for the life Tom and I shared. I too see the ugliness of this world which was there before his death but somehow easier to bear, it is somehow easier to still recognize the good of the world when you share it all with your soul mate. Thank you for your travels and blog. It helps me and countless others probably more than you know. I am coming up to the two year anniversary of Tom’s death in a motorcycle accident and there are many times I feel as if there is no change and the grief still overwhelms me but I also can relate to your comment about being stronger to carry it , so carry I will continue to do as best I can.

    • Nancy, I’ve known many hospice nurses in my time, both personally and professionally. My career was in hospice care, so I met many an angel along the way with that. Additionally, I’ve never forgotten my mom’s nurse, Mary-she brought everything she had to our final weeks with our mom. So, for the incredibly important work you do in guiding families through their own final times, I thank you. And thank you for the words you shared with me about sharing my blog with other widows; it really is my widowed community that I somehow keep going through this. And I do realize, because I’m so vocal about my heart travels, that my words touch and effect others, and I do not wear that responsibility lightly. My heart reaches out to you as you find your way through your life without Tom, and I’m so glad that we are, though we don’t know one another, walking this road together. Please keep in touch and let me know how you’re doing. And, meanwhile, sending you nothin’ but Love~

  2. I love your posts, You speak from the heart and soul, with no holding back. I feel the pain you feel but also the love. My husband has been gone 1 1/2 years, I totally understand about the feeling safe. I only really felt safe when he was here. Keep on writing.
    On a happy note, I’m going to be a grandmother for the first time. Baby girl is due in August! Can’t wait, the circle continues!!!!

    • Louise, congratulations on your soon to be little grand-daughter. The circle does indeed continue; 2 little girls have joined our family since Chuck’s death. I so appreciate your words of encouragement and support, and thanks for checking in here with me. Onwards, always, right? Nothin’ but Love~

  3. You are so right in your words regarding pictures. It is so hard to look at the faces of loved ones past…but it’s even harder not to look…because we never want to forget. The good the bad the horrible the great…Never want to forget any of the memories that we have. God speed to you on your travels and may you make more memories on your journey forward.Maybe one day to share with him when you meet again.

    • Cindy, thank you for checking in with me here, and for your words. What a clusterfuck this grief is, for the very reason you stated; we want to look, but it hurts to look. My brain argues with my heart that he can’t be dead but he is dead. And repeat. I appreciate too, your last sentence; rather than writing unequivocally that, yes, I’ll see him again, that, “maybe” I’ll meet him again one day…because we really don’t know. Or at least, I don’t know that for a certainty, and don’t have a religious belief to bring me surety on it. Reaching out to you over the miles…and I hope you check in again with me here~

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