Grief: Feeling The Absence

I must be getting a grip on my grief despite the recurring upsurges of sadness because more and more I’m seeing the bizarreness of the process rather than simply experiencing it. On Friday, it will be twenty-two months since my life mate/soul mate died and though I’ve never felt his presence the way some people sense a connection with their dead mates, sometimes I feel his absence as if it’s a living entity.

I was sitting in the dentist chair yesterday, waiting alone for the verdict on my gum infection, when all of a sudden I started crying. We’d always gone together to the dentist, doctors, optometrists, etc, and yesterday, sitting alone, I could feel that he wasn’t waiting for me. I could actually sense that he wasn’t in the reception area, could feel the substance of his absence like a white hole (as opposed to a black hole). Just one more bizarre aspect of grief.

Oddly, I didn’t realize what a comfort his presence was at such times until it was gone. I took his presence for granted (not him — I never took him for granted), but it was as if his presence were part of the very air I breathed, and now that he has disappeared from my life, I’m stuck breathing the standard nitrogen/oxygen mix. And it’s not enough.

I don’t mind that I don’t feel his presence. If he still exists somewhere, I hope he has something more thrilling to do than watch over me, and I certainly hope he has something more thrilling to do than wait at the dentist’s office for me. But . . . I truly don’t understand how he can be dead. Don’t understand where he has gone. Don’t understand what death is. Don’t understand what life is, either, to be honest.

All I know is that he is gone from my life, and never again will I feel the comfort of his presence.

But it makes me wonder: did he feel the comfort of my presence? I was there at the end of his life. I was there when he took his last breaths. I hope he felt my presence the way I used to feel his. I hope it gave him comfort. Hope it still does.

9 Responses to “Grief: Feeling The Absence”

  1. blackroze37@yahoo.com Says:

    i lost my man a year ago jan 2. it seems to hurt more ,as more time goes by

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I am so sorry, Blackroze. This isn’t a good club to belong to, this club of women who have lost their men.

      It seems to go against common sense, since we expect to hurt less, but the truth is, the second year is often harder than the first because the reality that they are not coming back sets in.

      • blackroze37/tamibates Says:

        i have 2 teenage who i s missing their daddy they are now 15 and 19 . but they are so hurt. espceically the 15yr she was the /and his baby . he understood her way better than me, so they was extra close and their brains was alike which i being stupid ,lol, could not understand . so we all are going thru the pain, but boy i wished i could just go to bed a week and not worry about them .

        • blackroze37/tamibates Says:

          i honestly thought , since he was sick so long . that it wouldnt hurt so much.when he did go , and it at times just seems like he is at the hosp for a long stay again. then BAM it hits he wont be coming back , i havnt and cant even go to his grave . neither has my girls

          • Pat Bertram Says:

            The same thing happened to me. He was sick for so long, I thought I’d already gone through my grief. But after he died, the pain just hit. I still can’t understand that he’s not coming back. Grief is the hardest thing we ever have to do. It HURTS!

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          It makes it harder when you have children at home since you have to deal with their grief as well as your own. My heart goes out to all of you.

  2. Joy Collins Says:

    The absence is overwhelming sometimes. And time seems to make it worse, not better. It’s 20 months this week and I cried yesterday as if it just happened.

  3. careann Says:

    My husband’s brother died two weeks ago, very suddenly. He lived overseas and we only got to see him twice a year when he was coming and going for his summer vacation in Canada. I know the full reality of his death isn’t going to hit me until the time of his usual visit arrives, and he doesn’t. Death is one end of life’s bookends… the destination after birth… but we celebrate one and mourn the other. It’s a strange phenomenon and we all seem to experience it differently.

    Sorry for the rambling. It doesn’t say anything about your post… just a random thought.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Feel free to ramble. You’ve earned it with all the support you’ve given me over the past couple of years. You’re right — we all experience grief differently, and we experience each death differently. I am sorry about your husband’s brother. Maybe when the visit that doesn’t happen comes around you will be able to think of a way to honor him. Maybe do something you know he’d have liked to do. Not that it helps with the sadness, just with the acceptance.


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