I never actually set out to write a book, never planned to make any of my writing public (except for the blog posts, of course), but I was so lost, so lonely, so sick with grief and bewildered by all I was experiencing, that the only way I could try to make sense of it all was to put my feelings into words. Whether I was writing letters to my deceased life mate/soul mate or simply pouring out my feelings in a journal, it helped me feel close to him, as if, once again, I was talking things over with him. The only problem was, I only heard my side of the story. He never told me how he felt about his dying and our separation. Did he feel as broken as I did? Did he feel amputated? Or was he simply glad to be shucked of his body, and perhaps even of me?
People always mention how my pain shines through my words, yet at the beginning, I was in such shock, I didn’t feel much. Two years later, I still miss him, still hate that he’s dead, though I don’t have the physical trauma that I did, and I have regained some of my energy. It truly shocked me how exhausting grief is, but then, most of what I experienced shocked me. I never expected to feel this sort of grief. Never knew it was possible.
Excerpt from Grief: The Great Yearning
Day 3, Grief Journal
This was a hard day, though I don’t suppose any of them will be easy for a while. It’s amazing how little energy I have. I can’t do much at all. Today I rewound some of Jeff’s video tapes, the ones we watched toward the end. Perhaps tomorrow I will find the strength to put them away.
The hospice nurse came and got rid of the drugs. (Dumped them in a plastic bag of kitty litter, which turned them into a solidified mess, and took them with her.) The medical supply people are supposed to come tomorrow to pick up the oxygen tank. It’s like I’m rewinding his life. I wish I could rewind it back to the good times. We did have good times. I know we did. But everything got so muddled at the end. All we were doing was struggling to survive.
I can’t believe there was ever a time I wished the struggle were over so I could start my new life. How could I not have known I’d feel such pain? I heard today that losing a long-time mate was like an amputation, and that’s exactly what this feels like.
Good, bad, indifferent—it was all the same. We were together. We took care of each other. And now he’s been amputated from me and my life.
I got furious on his account today. It’s so unfair that he had such ill health, that his life ended too soon and too terribly. It seems unreal, now, that we took for granted he would die young. Shouldn’t we have railed against it more? But he was so disciplined, focusing his energies on trying to prolong his life and be productive.
I don’t know which is worse, the times I miss him dreadfully or the times I concentrate on doing something and he drifts from my thoughts. It seems such a betrayal. If he only exists in my memory and I don’t think about him, it’s as if he’s dying again. And once was hard enough. It takes my breath away when I realize I will never talk to him again. Well, I will talk to him, and I do, but we will never converse. I will never hear his voice.
I thought I was through telling people our sad little tale, but I’ve remembered a few others I have to notify about his being dead. I hope I don’t start crying when I talk to them. I’m tired of crying, tired of feeling sick to my stomach, tired of the hole in my chest. How do people endure such grief for months on end? I truly hate that he’s gone. Hate it!!
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