78 Days of a Widow’s Grief.

Via Kaiti Wallace
on Mar 8, 2016
get elephant's newsletter

kaiti wallace article photo

Most commonly I hear, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”

Explaining the aftermath of losing your soulmate is near impossible. Raw emotions and thoughts are so regularly shut away from friends and family. How can anyone possibly understand the unspoken?

If you take only one thing from my experiences, let it be to really live in life and in love completely!

Appreciate all the small, beautiful moments in your relationships, take nothing for granted and truly live in every moment with the ones you love. Take strength to do this from the ones around you.

Love offers us courage and strength. Harness it and run with it. Use it to pursue moments in life that make you truly happy.

Too often we don’t realize the full beauty and potential in our relationships until they’re gone. Rarely in life will you be lucky enough to experience true, unconditional love and then most unluckily have that love taken away from you through death.

Can you imagine the below scene as your new reality? Try to picture it. How would you cope? How would you help a family member or friend if they were unlucky enough to go through it?

It was 78 days into this grief. I shall begin at the start of the day. Although this is my reality, I have written it so that you may imagine it as your own.

You wake alone in the bed you shared with your love. You cannot reach over to hold them, kiss them good morning or watch them while they are sleeping. They are no longer there and never will be again. Death is permanent. No more good morning smiles, touches or gestures of any kind. You wake up alone when previously you woke everyday with the love of your life.

Then you get up to shower. There are no more flirtatious, perverted comments from your partner as you walk naked to the shower. You can no longer feel them watching you with want or lust. There are no more cheeky glances or watching them brush their teeth while you wash your hair. No more fighting over hot water or sharing the shower together. No more intimate moments in the bathroom. No one to hand you a fresh towel. You are all alone. There is no more brushing your hair in the mirror and your love grabbing you from behind and kissing your neck. There is no more yelling out, “Hurry up, babe, we are going to be late!” or hearing “You look so beautiful when you first wake up.”

Then you get dressed alone with no one there to give you an honest opinion on how your outfit looks. Not that you care anymore as there is no one worth dressing up for but yourself. Their clothes hang stagnant in the wardrobe. You look at them wondering what they would be wearing today if they were here. You take a shirt in your hand and lean in wishing for their smell to still be there. Sometimes it is and you’re so grateful. Other times you can’t find it and you miss them even more. You put make up on for no one but yourself, so you can hide your tired eyes.

You want to let your friends think you’re doing okay. “Oh, you’re so strong,” they tell you. You agree with them but want to scream, “No I’m not!”

Like a scene from a movie, you can vividly remember the last morning you had with your love and the last words you spoke to each other. You wish for them to come back for the sixth time since you woke. You ache for them to come back.

So many simple things you now miss, like making them breakfast. You miss their mess. You miss their leaving dishes for you to clean up. You miss watching them play with the kids before work. You miss the house being full of noise, joy and laughter at 7:00 a.m.

You feel guilty that you are not the same fun, energetic mum you were before. You make promises to yourself you will play more with the kids but then you can’t think of anything but your love and you are overwhelmed with longing.

When you’re in the car, a song may come on that makes you cry or you might turn the radio off because it’s too hard to listen that day. You drive past places you went to all the time with your partner. The service station, fish and chip shops. Everything you do jogs memories. You wish again that your love would come back. You wish they were in the car with you, just as they had been when they were here.

There are no more conversations about work or chores around the house. No more talking about the future or plans for the weekend ahead.

You put on a front for your children, interacting with them in the car while you’re in a constant daze with thoughts of your partner running through your head. You look to the empty passenger seat beside you and picture the last time that they were in the car with you. You long for them. You hope that they are sitting next to you in spirit and you talk to them. You hope the next song that comes on the radio is a sign from them. You see people as you drive that look or dress similar to the way your partner did. For a second you think it’s them. When you’re alone in the car, alone with your thoughts, you cry. You talk to your loved one and ask them why this has happened. You never stop thinking of them for a single minute.

You go about your day with your love on your mind constantly, sometimes still checking your phone for messages or missed calls. You wish you could call them but you can’t. You look through photos and watch videos of them when you’re alone and try to escape this new reality. You wish it were a nightmare. You search for them in places, but they are not to be found.

You are consumed with grief every day. You call friends to visit so you can have some distraction from your thoughts and end up talking to them about your love for hours, trying to keep their memory alive, trying to feel close to them again.

Everything you do is a reminder of time shared with them, like walking through the grocery store or getting a coffee from a familiar place. You hold back tears because you’re in public. Sometimes though it’s too hard and so you put your sunglasses on. You try to smile, try to live, because you know that’s what they want. It’s not always fake smiles and fake happiness but they are never not on your mind. Sometimes you find peace remembering fun times with them and sharing those stories with others. Those are the good days.

The difficult days are the ones that you don’t get to share those memories with anyone. You know you’re all alone now and it’s scary. No one understands what you’re going through but you’re thankful to those who try and to those who don’t try to make little of your loss.

You try to do things that you did together but there is emptiness. It’s not the same and never will be. The void will never be filled. You do new things that you haven’t done before and find yourself sad because they are not around to share the moment with you.

You wonder if they would be happy, sad or angry by the choices you have made since they have been gone. You try to explain yourself to them and hope they can hear you and understand. You wish you could hear their voice.

In the weeks after your love dies, you realize that everyone else has their own lives, their own families and they move on. You, meanwhile are stuck, with all your future plans that are no longer possible. You know you must let go of those hopes and dreams and create new ones, but it’s a never ending battle.

You wish you could turn back time. You wish this wasn’t the end. You don’t understand why or how this could happen to you. No one can fix it, but you wish someone could. There is nothing anyone can do to ease the pain.

At night you dread going to sleep because you don’t want to go without them. When you do go to bed, usually very late, you hope that you may dream of your love. That you may see them, talk to them and touch them. Exhausted, you lie in an empty bed holding their shirt and scream into their pillow.

Your heart runs a million beats a minute and feels like it’s going to come out of your chest. With so much mental and physical pain, all you can do is cry. You make deals with God to see them again. You talk to them and beg them to come back. You tell them you don’t want to do this without them. You ask them for a sign they are near. You tell them they can’t leave you, but there is no coming back in the physical sense and it just hurts.

You long to feel their touch and have their arms wrapped around you once again. You think of the way they used to kiss your forehead and brush your hair as you fell asleep. You say “I love you.” You cry for them. You wake during the night several times and search for their shirt. It’s become like a child’s comforter to you and you cannot sleep without it. You look around the room for them or listen for footsteps but there’s nothing. You wake after just a few hours to do it all over again.

Existing to exist. Taking one day at a time as they roll so quickly into each other.

It’s been 78 days since I last laughed with him, kissed him, heard his voice, smiled at his smile, felt his heart beat, tasted his breath, felt at home in his arms and stared into his beautiful eyes. 78 days since I heard him say “I love you, my gorgeous girl.”

So what helps? Sit with me in silence and ask me questions about my love. Tell me stories about him. I love talking about him. Don’t feel awkward. It helps me in keeping his memory alive. It’s been 78 days of him constantly on my mind so when you talk about him I don’t feel as alone in my thoughts.

We, the ones left behind, live day to day holding strong in the face of others for our children, family and friends. Know that we will never get over it or move on. Don’t push us to do so because you will only push us away. We will never forget the love we shared with our partners or the futures that we had planned. We will forever keep them alive in our hearts. Each breath we take we are taking one for them.

Nothing could have prepared me for losing my soulmate. The one thing that I am most grateful for is that we really lived, we loved deeply and we shared every minute with each other intensely and passionately. I can take strength from the way we loved each other, allowing no regrets—only perfect memories.

With a heavy heart, love and sympathy.

~

 Joah Halifax Roshi on grief, mindfulness and a few other things:

~

Relephant Reads:

Sweet Letter to a Husband after his Death.

Making Peace One Year after my Father’s Death.

Author: Kaiti Wallace

Apprentice Editor: Pavita Singh/Editor: Cat Beekmans

Image: Author’s own


45,541 views

About Kaiti Wallace

Kaiti Wallace is a dreamer, a lover of love, a free spirit and a wanderer. Above all she is a mother and a friend to everyone she meets. Embodying a strong mind and an open heart, through her journey she has found life is meant to be lived! Lived fearlessly, confidently and passionately. She dreams to inspire. Day to day Kaiti will be found adventuring at the beach, writing letters to the other half of her soul, appreciating the little things in life, listening to the sound that comes from waves crashing on the shore, taking walks under the stars and observing the moon’s reflection over a deep blue ocean.

Comments

18 Responses to “78 Days of a Widow’s Grief.”

  1. FierceWidow says:

    Thank you Elephant Journal for publishing this. It has already reached so many fellow widows and widowers who have found it helpful in expressing what they were previously unable to put into words. X

  2. tracy says:

    “Don’t push us to do so because you will only push us away…. We will forever keep them alive in our hearts.”

    this is a heart-breaking struggle many widows and widowers face. that our sadness, our tears and broken hearts are an inconvenience to others. being shamed for grieving, for not bouncing back like a rubber ball when others have decided we should be “over it” by now. one of the most selfish thoughtless hurtful nonsense someone can expect of someone had lost their husband or wife. of course, people are capable behaving astrociously when someone passes, but this timeline nonsense is probably the common offense across the board.

    and God yes, we want to talk about our soulmates! and we want others to talk about and remember them!

  3. Kaiti,
    Thank you for sharing this with the world. You have described the grief process very eloquently; in terms that anyone can understand. I agree that it is the simple moments, the seemingly insignificant exchanges while they were here that we miss the most when they are no longer with us in the physical. We are multidimensional beings and one thing I am sure of is that even though they may be gone from the physical plane, our loved ones are very close and do hear us, we just cannot hear or see them. This has been confirmed to me personally through my own loved ones who have passed and in my work with clients. Sending you lots of love and prayers; may you receive the dreams that you long for. He is with you and your love is eternal. Blessings of Peace & Love, Victorea Luminary

  4. Casey Orion says:

    This here is the very reason I'm thankful for my partner every day. He is 20 years older than I and I cannot imagine my life without him. I know the reality I is, as long as we both live long healthy lives, I'm going to lose him early. And I'll have to live with the reality described here. I'm not sure how I'll do it. Thanks for writing.

  5. alexandra says:

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart to the author of this beautiful entry. You are brave and beautiful. You make me feel less alone and put into words so many thoughts and feelings I have add over the last month since I lost my soulmate. It has been difficult finding resources online about this topic. I am grieving so many things, and most days its the loss of him in my daily routine. Again, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this.

  6. Arpita says:

    Oh god! I had teary eyes after reading this. No one but the sufferer knows what the pain of losing someone is. May god give you lot of strength to fight through this struggle.

  7. Mel says:

    I have been searching elephant journal for posts on grief and losing a significant other so I’d feel a little less alone. This is beautiful and exactly how I’ve felt for the past three months. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. antonia says:

    Grace to you Kaiti.
    I can’t understand what you are going through, but one day I probably will.
    That is a fact I try & keep in mind whenever I get lost in my thinking and forget how it can all be taken away from us at any time.
    Five years ago my dad woke up one morning just to drop dead a couple of hours later. Irony was, he had successfully completed his last chemo session and he was probably looking forward to some nice time with mum.
    There never was going to be any of that.
    To make things worse, he actually died just before my wedding…but then I hear other people’s stories and see the blessings in mine!
    No, I can’t even bring myself to imagine what you are going through…but seeing my mum enduring these last 5 years made me want to really enjoy my husband’s presence in my life. I want to take it all in and I want my heart to feel grateful no matter the ups & downs, because it’s all part of this big game we get to play while we are here.
    I thank you for having the courage to share your pain, because in doing so you support others and your heart grows stronger, whether you are ready to accept that or not. Only when we are willing to keep our heart open in the midst of despair, are we able to give a sense to our tears.
    Bliss & Grace from My heart to Yours xxx

  9. M. says:

    And the words shall remain so pale compared to the intensity of the ache you must be feeling. I truly admire your courage lady. And may your soulmate rest in divine peace.

  10. Danielle says:

    Energy never dies. It is in the songs that remind us, in the sunshine that lifts us up, in the memories that get us through the day. Sending you so much love.

  11. Hope says:

    “Don’t push us to do so because you will only push us away…” Yes, as Tracy did, I loved this line best. I used to count the days, then the weeks, months, then years and months after my daughter died. All of the horrors you described are accurate, and we cannot just be over it. I have been pushed away too. Only now that I read your kind words do I realize this. My guilt has been lifted, now seeing I was not running away. I was being pushed. Thank you for making me feel better. Thank you . Such compassion. It feels like a soothing balm. Peace.

  12. Lori says:

    I just counted the days. My soulmate Justin left this existence 256 days ago …. Kaiti …. may we all walk together along this path of loss and grief. Love so truly is the answer – and has sustained through so many moments.

    Love and Light to all of you who have walked the walk.

  13. Gina says:

    Living fully, fiercely with love…seems easy enough. How easily we have allowed our day to day routines or the unpleasantness of our worlds deter us from this attainable task. It isnt until your are forced with the reality of complete absence of that which you take for granted (not purposefully just in the day to day hustle) that we can “get it” and be motivated to change and truly understand what that should look and feel like. Thank you so much for this!

  14. I am so sorry for your suffering. I breathe for you as you regain yours.

  15. Michael says:

    I know how you feel, but you are not alone – your children are your reason to go on. That's probably why you didn't mention feeling lost in the world. I was the cook who also did the shopping. I remember walking into the market and not knowing what to buy. I'd actually walk out and try again another day. It's been 31 months for me and I still cry regularly.
    Beginning now on the calendar is when I start reliving the experience of her death – like the movie Groundhog Day. I was counting the elapsed days up until number 715 – that was two years after the doctor advised us that she wouldn't make the night. Coincidentally, day 715 was also the day that someone I perceived as an angel sent by my wife to ease my suffering entered my life. You have to realize that I begged her on her death bed to send me a sign. There was nothing and my belief system was turned upside down.

    That angel turned out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. When you're ready to open your heart again, be careful. All that love you have can quickly turn to hate, making it almost impossible to trust anyone ever again. The only anger that existed prior to my meeting this person was when I went out into the world and visualized its paired-up nature. I rested peacefully at night. After being used, peaceful sleep has morphed into a couple of two-hour naps where I awaken soaking wet.

    There's a branch of yoga called Jnana. It desribes the world as an illusion – "if not all of it, certainly the dating world." Using the tools of discrimination and dispassion, we lift the veil (maya) that clouds our vision. Remember this when you decide to open your heart because it is possible to have a set-back in the recovery process. Being a widow with only fond memories of your past love makes you a special person. Be stong for your kids – my grandkids keep my daughter going.

  16. Taylor says:

    This is so beautiful. It broke my heart, such raw emotions. I send you strength and courage, love and support. I can't imagine – but my heart aches for you. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply