Tag Archives: loss

I can’t remember …

the sound of his voice.

Many nights, his stories of New York, Europe, anthropology, mathematics, design, engineering, and attending UNC at Chapel Hill, lulled me to sleep.

It didn’t matter, really, what he spoke of, only that he spoke.

His voice was so distinct.

Deep.

Mysterious.

Mesmerizing.

Intoxicating.

But now, as I come upon the fifth anniversary of his death, I am totally discombulated and completely out of rhythm because I can’t remember it.

His voice.

I can’t remember it.

I’ve cried and prayed and prayed and cried.

To no avail.

I’ve never, before him, found anyone who could rationalize my irrational behavior and be cool and composed with tantrums and flying debris.

One would think that, after all he endured, I would, at the very least,  remember the sound of his voice.

I remember other voices.

Ones of those who found me, after him and feigned tolerance only to, in the end, find me intolerable.

He truly was the only perfect man and it was my privilege to know him.

He remains, to this day, the most intelligent person I’ve ever known.

I still wonder why he picked me.

But he did and although perplexing, I’m a much better person for it.

How tortuous to hear other, less substantial voices in my head when I can’t remember his.

I’m sorry, my dear one. 

I truly do miss you terribly.

Especially in Autumn; most especially in October.

If you look down tonight, you will see our moon. 

I wept when I saw it … I couldn’t help it.

I will love and miss you until time ceases.

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It’s a little like riding a bike …

Cooking.  Something that I love to do.  Something that I haven’t done more than a handful of times in the past two years.  When Jim died, the love of food that we shared caused a nearly cataclysmic reaction in my psyche.  Food itself repulsed me and I lived for nearly six months on toast-chee crackers and Nekot cookies.  I would make a grocery list and buy the ingredients to make a dish … then I would get them home, put them away and eventually, throw the stuff in the garbage after it had turned rotten in the fridge.  I would buy milk and sometimes open it and sometimes not, but it always ruined.  Bread molded before even a third of the loaf was gone.  Each of these things, in its own way, reminded me that there weren’t enough people in the house to keep the food from ruining.  I could lie and say that the thought that I could eat the food and stop being so weird never crossed my mind.  It did.  When I threw out food that I had let waste because for whatever reason, I couldn’t bring myself to cook it, it crossed my mind.  When I fed nearly full loaves of bread to the dogs, it crossed my mind.  When I had to open the jug of milk to pour it down the drain, it crossed my mind.  But as quickly as it would cross my mind, I would put it aside to deal with later.  I spoke of this anomaly many times to my mother and sister.  The need to cook and the paralyzing inability to follow through.  A couple of times, I would make something or other and feel great, nearly high, from the accomplishment.  But the high was short-lived and it would be months before I cooked anything again.

Today, I turned a corner.  A real corner.  Not one that leads into another corner, but one that turns into a long straight road without obstacles.  I stopped at the store, came home, put up the groceries and then cooked supper.  It was not very good.  It was much, even for me, who eats jalapeno peppers out of the jar, too hot.  The pan seared spinach, though a beautiful visual compliment to the red tomatoes and beautifully browned chicken, was a bad idea.  All in all, it was pretty nasty, but it was mine and though it lacked in too many things to mention, it wasn’t burned.  It reminded me of when I tried a few years ago to ride a bike.  My sister and I must have ridden 100,000 miles when we were kids and I was hoping to get back into it.  I found that somewhere over the past few decades, my center of gravity has changed and balancing was no longer second nature.  Though I knew how to ride a bike, I had to make some adjustments in myself to make up for the way that I had changed over time.  But, it came back.  Not on the first try, but eventually, I was riding like I was ten years old.  Tonight taught me that I haven’t forgotten how to cook … I’m just rusty … and while the first attempt was a definite fail, I find myself thinking about how I can adjust the way I look at food to compensate for the changes that time and circumstance have made.  It’s a little like riding a bike.

Finding peace in the midst of sorrow

Time heals all wounds.  How many times I have said that.  Then, after my husband Jim’s death, how many times I heard it.  The first time I heard it, I was immediately sorry for every time that phrase had passed through my lips.  I vowed to never say it again and I haven’t.  Instead, I tell the truth as I have found it to be.  I tell people who have recently  lost a very significant person in their lives to death that the first year is the hardest 365 days they will ever face and the second year, especially in the beginning, won’t be much better.  It is a path strewn with obstacles, fear, grief, anger, betrayal, loss and a brokenness that feels like it will never end.  As soon as one “first anniversary without” passes, another one is on it’s heels.  And if no anniversary is imminent, there are the songs, movies, peopleclicking will open new window for link to Through the Eyes of the Spirit greeting cards and places that bring the loss so close it threatens to suffocate me.  Alone, I am no challenge to such deep pain.  I, on my own, would have folded the first week, tucked my tail between my legs and given up.  But I wasn’t alone.  He who knows all about me, including the horrifying loneliness and gut-wrenching emptiness, was with me.  When I was unable to hold my head up, He held it for me.  When I went days without sleeping or eating, He knew.  When I broke down and sobbed because I had no place for the hurt to go, He stroked my hair. When I found no joy in photography, He showed me something incredible. He made me realize that I was not, nor had I ever been, alone.  He showed me that I, though lost without Jim, had to heal before I could carry on for His glory.  Healing is still a work in progress.  It has been nearly two years, and while my thoughts are no longer consumed by Jim, I think of him several times a day.  There is nothing wrong with that.  At first, I felt guilt that my mind wasn’t filled with thoughts of him and cried about that nearly every day.  I had no peace. That stunted my healing significantly.  But, always faithful, God led me past that guilt into a place that let me find pieces of myself that I had hidden away during the months when I refused to feel joy.  How, I asked myself many times, could I laugh and be joyful when the man I had given my heart to was dead.  The real truth was revealed.  Without my Heavenly Father, there would have been no joy to start with.  With Him, I could feel joy and sorrow, loss and laughter, grief and happiness, all at the same time and it was ok. He showed me where peace was and, low and behold, it was right where I had left it… in His love. Healing really did begin after that realization but it wasn’t time that healed me, it was Jesus.  So the truth is this:  Time doesn’t heal anything … It only gives faith and grace the time to work as healing comes with reliance on the Lord.  Whether the healing time is a few weeks or a few years, if God is given control, healing will, without doubt or reservations, come, and time will continue to pass because that’s what it does.