This Never Ending Story~

Is loneliness the never-ending story of widowhood?
Does it end if we find another chance at Love?
Does the loneliness exist, even then,
Because the loneliness is specific to that person, your person, who died?
Is there ever a moment again
When a widow’s heart feels that lightness of being,
Once felt?
Or is the heaviness, the ache, the sadness of that particular loneliness
A lifetime sentence in the so called new normal?
Because, no matter what I do, where I go, how I push, how I involve myself in life, in relationships with family and friends, no matter how much I join in, engage, power on,
That loneliness doesn’t leave my heart, my soul, or my body.
Counseling and therapy for anxiety and trauma…EMDR, bi-lateral brain stimulation, talk, tapping, retreats, meditation, new environments, connections with others…I’ve done it all, and I continue doing it all…
And…that loneliness that only intensifies as the years pass by.
973 days. 21 hours. 34 seconds. Since Chuck died.
I’m very definitely not the poster widow for getting “over” the grief.
It isn’t the chest slicing grief of the first 3 years, so I guess that’s good, right?
It’s more a sort of numbness, even though I feel so much, which is contradictory, I realize.
I long for him more as the years go by.
My body craves his presence next to me.
It all feels so fucking relentless.
This feeling. And, honestly…life.
I’m doing all the shit and creating beauty around me.
And that default heaviness of my heart and soul is ever present.
Is this the rest of my life, I wonder?
And how can it not be, really?
He’ll always be dead
And missing from me and I’ll always long for him,
Because he isn’t here.
Nor will he ever be here again.
His deadness is relentless.
I want to wake up from this,
And I know I never will.
Will I ever feel the lightness of being again that I felt for 24 years?
Questions and more questions.

This Baseline~

It’s a constant dichotomy, this life without Chuck.

The promise (if that is the right way to describe it) that we all hear, after going through a death or traumatic event (sometimes they are one and the same), is about finding that new normal.

This so-called new normal of mine, since April 21, 2013, is a life lived without Chuck.  Which is emotionally and physically exhausting, no matter which way I try to navigate it.  Practical, day to day, living, is a crap shoot.  Emotions…well, life has to be lived, and shit has to get done, so I can’t lie abed all day, I can’t curl up in a fetal position in the corner, so I have to get up and do the living thing.

In these 3 years and 4 months since Chuck died, I’ve been laying a foundation for the next part of my life;  I’ve been writing my first book and putting together my first public presentation on this Odyssey of Love, and thinking. thinking, thinking, constantly, and working every day, creating workshops, networking, reaching out in every way I can to those around me.

And I’m tired.  Bone  tired.  Soul tired.  Exhausted.  Today I realized that my body is strung as tightly as a rubber band right before it snaps.  My nerves are humming along the surface of my skin.  My heart is racing.  I must consciously remind myself to take a breath.  There is a consistent, low-grade itching all over my body.  My mind feels as tightly wound as my body and all I want to do is run shrieking into whatever oblivion I can find.

I can’t do this anymore.  And yet, this is what I have, what I am, where I am, so I must.

So I use my homeopathic remedies for grief and trauma.  Star of Bethlehem.  Ignatia Amara.  Rescue Remedy.  Relaxation essential oil on my pulse points and in a mister that shoots the scent into this room where I sit.

What do you do when you can’t stand the silence and the alone-ness and the missing-ness any longer, but you have to stand it because this is it?  This is life now, simply stated.  Chuck will always be dead, for the rest of my life.

In order to create this part of my life that will bring me into a semblance of financial security, I have to project, in some measure, into the future.  A future I don’t want to consider because it is a future without him.  But I have to consider that future, practically thinking, no matter what I feel at any given moment.

Doing so hitches my breath and causes anxiety to rise in frantic measures to every nerve ending.  It is as if flood waters are pouring through a breached wall.

I allow some of this to happen;  I know the futility of trying to hold it back.  But, at the same time, how much do I allow and how much control do I have with it and over it?

Rhetorical questions, all.   I do what I can to manage it all, but I know it’s a temporary fix.  I’ve done counseling, one on one, and in a group.  I’ve gone through various trauma modalities, and they have made a difference.  But none of it can remove what this new normal is, what it will be for the time I have left living;  Chuck is dead and life without him is empty.

And, honestly, none of this is a plea for sympathy.   I’ll still do whatever needs to be done to create some semblance of a life for the rest of my life.  Nor is this a pity party.  It is, simply, an acknowledgement from me that this life of widowhood is the most difficult, unbearable, impossible, thing I’ve ever tried to do and my heart hurts.  Desperately.

I miss my husband.  I miss Chuck.  The space next to me, where he stood for 24 years, is empty.  And I cannot convey to you in any real way what it feels like, what this life feels like, without him.  It is silence and it is loneliness and it is emptiness, no matter how I strive to change it or accept it or balance it.  It is as if I’m blindly throwing darts at an unseen dart board, with no idea of where or how they land.

That’s all.



Idle Thoughts~

I read this in a book the other day.  “Grief flows like blood beneath my skin”.   Well said.

People who are grieving aren’t trying to not feel good or not be positive.  They are, quite simply, grieving.

The more I read about death and grief, the more I realize how ill-prepared we, as a society, are to support it.  We want death, and grief, to be wrapped up in a neat little package to make it make sense.  Death doesn’t make sense.  It is simply a part of life that happens.  Whether its’ from cancer, heart attack, other illness, blunt force trauma, IED’s, injuries-whatever.  People live, people die.  God isn’t sitting somewhere in a cloud dealing it out or judging who lives, who dies.  Its’ life.

Grief has no map.  It’s all over the place.  Up and down, back and forth.  One year of grieving doesn’t make it go away.  For many people it intensifies because the anesthesia wears off and the reality of your loved one’s absence smacks you in the face and the gut daily and…minute…ly.   The reality of it can leave you breathless.

You know what I’m thankful for (people tell me to find something to be thankful for).  I’m thankful for Ignatia Amara and Star of Bethlehem, two homeopathic remedies that for maybe up to an hour at a time, slow my heart rate a bit from the adrenalin rush of grief that causes it to pound relentlessly in my chest and helps me feel a little bit less like I’m suffocating.

I’m not thankful for my life (I’ve been told that I should at least feel grateful to be alive).  Though I guess that isn’t completely true;  I suppose I am grateful for still being alive, at least for my kids’ sake.  I don’t want them to have to mourn 2 parents so closely together.  Left on my own, I think I’d head to the desert in my PinkMagic rig and shut myself away.  All that life is for me right now is life without Handsome Husband.  No, he wouldn’t want me to feel that way.  Yes, he’d understand that I feel that way.

I wonder sometimes if all of this is because I’m feeling sorry for myself.  Why do we judge ourselves so harshly?  Why do we put judgment on emotions?  My rational self knows I’m not feeling sorry for myself; I’m just grieving the death of a man who was my life-blood in so many ways and I feel his absence keenly.  I need to stop judging my grief.

I need to email and call Handsome Husband’s friends to ask them to talk to me about my husband, about who he was in their lives, about memories they carry.  The other day I realized that nobody talks to me about him.  Nobody says his name to me.  That is a killer, over and over again.  It makes him seem more gone than ever.  Part of that comes from me being so far away from his community, I know.  But I need to hear people talk about him.

I look so fucking normal on the outside.  My insides, right behind the face everyone sees on a daily basis as I’m out and about creating a life for myself, are a war-torn, shredded mess of blood, sweat and tears.  Believe me, hysteria lurks directly below the surface.