Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shhhhh....

Shhhh...

You can't see me.

I am an amorphous spirit living within the physical body of the woman I used to be.

I'm not really here.

The mute button has been activated and what you (the world) sees is a woman who wears a lot of pink, who drives a pink car, towing a pink-trimmed trailer around the country.  Perhaps, I think to myself, this pink, my mourning color, is also to ensure that people see me when I feel I've disappeared.

Simultaneously I am outside my body, observing myself, and I am behind the screen of my body, looking out, detached and disconnected.  I am in the TV and the mute button is on so you see a person moving, smiling, laughing....all these things and yet, nothing.

I have no interest in being here in this life.  Quite honestly, life without my husband is exhausting.  Emotionally, I mean.  Anyone can learn the practical stuff and I'm a competent woman and I do all kinds of shit I did when Chuck was alive and I do even more now that he's dead.  (like all of us).

Emotionally though?  Totally different story.  I don't like life without him.  I feel the lack of his energy, the masculine energy and presence, the feeling of fullness that we had together that is glaringly gone.

I'm supposed to care about life, to be grateful that I wake each morning.  I think its supposed to be enough for me that I have our kids and grandkids as my reason for getting up every day.

With the greatest love for our kids and grands...it isn't enough.  My life never revolved around our kids, nor did Chuck's.  Our lives revolved around each other, especially once our 4 grew up and went out on their own, especially once he and I went out adventuring on the road.  We reveled in our time together, he and I.  Our marriage was a passionate marriage.  That was my life.  Chuck and Alison.  We two.

There is no self-pity.  Life happens.  People love, cancer happens, people die.  I am one among many over the centuries.  No violins necessary.

Just a simple statement of fact.  Loving Chuck, being in love with him, was my life.  I was very independent but being in love with him boosted me up among the clouds.  When he died, I did too.  Since then I am only going through the motions of life.

I'm creating a life for myself without him.  I'm being and doing and talking and all that jazz.  I'm on my third trek cross-country.  I'm doing every fucking thing I can to engage in life.  But who you see, who the world sees, is not who is.

Because, you see, I'm not really here.

30 comments:

  1. Alison, OMG, how did you capture the very essence of me and my life after my husband died? My husband died unexpectedly three years ago of a heart attack in the middle of the night. I am not nor will I ever be the same; never. We were together 16 years, retired ten of those years and spent all our time together. The absence of my husband in my life leaves me with a day-to-day empty, mundane existence. The person I was "before" died with him. I truly get all that you just put into words. Like you, "I'm not really here." I'm living 24/7 on cherished memories, grief, and the pain of loss that is unbearable.

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    1. And yet, to the outside world, we can seem so normal, can't we? And to those around us who wonder what happened to the "us" we were before death happened, well....that person dies too. Yes, we can be reborn into a new life that we create, but we can never unknow what we now know~

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  2. I find myself waiting for your post every week. You seem to capture my feelings and put them to words each time. I am not a writer and could never put these emotions to paper like you do. You see I lost the love of my life to cancer June 7,2012. Fucking CANCER ! I was 53 and we had been married 29 years. Some how at that age ... well there is just no will to even look for anyone for me.I loved him with my heart and soul ! Keep writing and I will keep reading. Thanks for sharing .

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  3. Allison - I look forward to reading your posts because, quite frankly, you say what most of us are thinking. I am barely here, but I'm trying.

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    1. Rhonda,
      Barely here-yes. And I'm sure you're doing what you can to be here as much as I am, as much as any of us are~

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  4. Thank you, Alison. You so eloquently speak my truth. I lost my husband in June of 2013, and we were also together 24/7 - for 34 years. My world was Kurt - and I feel like there is a huge part of me missing all the time. I am walking around - but not truly here.

    And while I also know that this feeling of "not wanting to be here" will eventually become less prevalent in my life - it is reassuring to hear from others that they are feeling as I do - at least right now!

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    1. Patricia,
      I'm humbled that my words bear any power to express what many of us feel. And I appreciate hearing from others who are where I am now-it helps, doesn't it?

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  5. Oh man, you hit the nail on the head with that post. I am a shadow of myself. An eight cylinder engine sputtering along on three cylinders. People keep telling me how great I am doing but they have no clue. It is all a facade to comfort them. I am not really here. I died with Greg on January 3, 2014. This is a new person, whom I do not like very much.

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    1. That's an excellent description-8 cylinder engine sputtering along on 3.

      I have no idea who I am any more, but one thing I've learned is to just let myself be where I am, with no judgements one way or the other and no expectation of where any of this will take me~

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  6. So, so true. I don't have the 'want' to die feelings any more after
    2 1/2 years, but the 'don't care if I do' feelings will be with me as long
    as I can foresee. Despite friends, activities, wonderful children, I am empty, lonely, and blank.

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    1. I'm so glad you check in here, then, so that you can bring your emotions in response to what is written. And a blank board isn't necessarily a negative thing-there is much that can be created on a blank slate, over time~

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  7. So very true. Keep trying but no longer complete... So very busy but not what i long for. Miss my quiet evenings with Gary - a great meal, good music and US! Didnt get better than that. All these busy weekends are exhausting.... but i will keep trying.

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    1. And that's all any of us can do, isn't it? I appreciate so much that you check in here~

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  8. dear Alison,

    again and again - it will never be enough- but I am so very sorry for the death of your Chuck. their is nothing on this earth that can mean more than being so loved, so madly, deeply, wildly in love. there needs to be more profound words for "miss", "lost", "empty"...I write letters to Hugh, and I sign off each one with the words, "...one step closer, My Love, one step closer...". it means I have existed one more day so I am one step closer to being with him. the loss of the US-ness is beyond any pain I could ever have imagined. thank you for saying these words that seem so unspeakable.

    much love,

    karen

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    1. Karen,
      I read recently that the French use a word that puts a different tone to "I miss you". The word they use means "you are missing from me" and that more clearly says it for me. Chuck is very much missing from me.

      I like how you word it "one step closer", and I'm going to borrow that from you if you don't mind~

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  9. I can echo what everyone else has commented, I drag myself through each day since June 15, 2013 when I lost my husband of 34 years. I'm just hoping there is more than this for the years I have left from the age of 62.

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    1. I don't know anything anymore. Except...I am bound and determined to create such a life for myself that, wherever he is, Chuck will be standing and cheering for me~

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  10. So is this all there is? I've been living each day so empty, so much less myself with him gone. It's been three years now and the feeling just hasn't changed at all. It reminds me of that line in the movie "what if this is as good as it gets?" At 56 I don't have any desire to "find someone new" as some people have started to suggest. I'm just to in love with him still.

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    1. Anonymous, you expressed my thoughts exactly. The love of my life died just over three years ago. I still feel married and I love him as much today as the second day after we met. It was a second marriage for each of us and we knew that we found exactly what we had been looking for. We loved each other totally. I will never get over losing my husband. Like you, I don't have the desire to play dating games or to find someone new. The bar was set too high. Karen

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    2. I don't have the desire to date, and play those games again, either. But I do want to have a man in my life to love again, and I know Chuck wanted that for me, as I wanted it for him. Having said that, I have no idea how to go about that, and I think I'll just let it happen organically~

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  11. Yes, I know what you are saying. I feel exactly the same way. Thank you for putting it in words here!

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    1. Asha,
      The time you spend reading what I write, and the further time you spend responding, touches my heart~

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  12. I so get what your saying. I have not really cared about anything since Jon died. I love my family but its not the same. 19 months already but feels like yesterday and would move the moon if I could to have him/us back. I keep hoping that these feelings of emptiness will change and that I will return to normal but maybe this is the new normal. Thank you for your post.

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    1. My humble pleasure that I can put into words anything that is meaningful to another~

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  13. So glad to hear these feelings put into words.....I just told someone the other day that I felt like the walking dead (& no, not a zombie)....:-)

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    1. Its all very confusing, isn't it, kygal?

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  14. Hello, all that I can say is I understand. Post and every response..unfortunately it's the hand we all were dealt.. Grief is horrible thing...in this life it's what we have to endure... Thank u God we won't have to in our next world.. Revelations 21... Our only hope.

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  15. Allison
    Its so nice to hear that i am not the only one who feels this way. U have captured my every emotion with this post! it has been 3 months since STUPID CANCER took Javier from us. i feel that life has no meaning without him by my side. he was and always will be my everything. I feel guilty because we have 4 young children and its seems as if having them here "should" be enough to get me through this yet every time i look into their eyes all I see is him and miss him even more!!!! I never in a million years would have seen myself as a widowed mother of 4 boys at 30 yrs old. I only pray that things get a little easier

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