Thirty-Seven Months of Grief

Today it is 37 months since my life mate/soul mate died. It is also a Saturday, and for more than two and a half years, Saturday was my sadder day. He died late Friday night or early Saturday morning, depending on how you look at it, and often my mind/body saw it both ways, with an upswing of grief on Friday that grew to a crescendo on Saturday and didn’t dissipate until sometime on Sunday. Even if I paid no attention to the calendar, grief surged, which always mystified me — how could my body know when I didn’t? And when the date of his death (the 27th) fell on a Saturday, that was always a double whammy of grief.

But today, I don’t feel much of anything. Well, the usual thread of sadness that bastes my life together, but other than that, I am mostly . . . blank. And tired. I am tired of his being gone. Tired of being sad. Tired of being lonely. Tired of this alien world that still, after all this time, doesn’t quite seem normal with him out of it. Tired of trying to be positive and open to new experiences. Tired of trying to find a way to live through the rest of my life. (Hmmm. Maybe I’m just tired?)

Those who still have their mates simply live. We live without. It colors our world and depletes our energy.

I’m sitting here staring at the page, too blank to think of anything to say about grief that I haven’t already said a dozens times before: I miss him. I yearn for one more smile from hm. I hope he is happy. I hope he is. That’s just the way it is, and probably always will be.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

21 Responses to “Thirty-Seven Months of Grief”

  1. mlfhunt Says:

    Yes, the 27th…again. And yes…I, too, am tired. I get it, Pat.

  2. Paula Kaye Says:

    My husband is still alive! But he is dying! And the grief right now is over-whelming me. I am a new reader. I just found your blog. How do I go about reading all of your grief posts from the beginning to now. Where do I start? My heart and thoughts are with you

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Oh, Paula. I am so sorry. It’s a hard thing to deal with such a reality.

      There are two ways to find my grief blog posts. You can click on “grief” under categories on the right side bar, but those are listed from newest to oldest. If you want to start from the beginning, click on “archives — all my posts” at the top of this blog. These are all my blog posts, and are listed from newest to oldest, but if you scroll down a little more than halfway, you can find my first grief blog called “Funeral Blues.” Then you can gradually work your way to the top.

      Yes, it is all overwhelming. If you need to talk, I am here.

  3. Kristen Says:

    The 27th of August is my anniversary with my sweet Marcus who died the 7th of this month. not quite the same, but i understand relating dates and times. Your blog was one of the first that i found when i got out of the hospital and learned to see while crying.
    thank you for all you share.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Oh, Kristen, I am so sorry.

      I know exactly what you mean by learning to see while crying. (In fact, I have tears in my eyes as I write this, having some idea what you are feeling.)

      You are so new to this thing called grief. If you need someone to talk to who understands the pain of it all, I am here.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Kristen, Wishing you peace on this day marking your survival of your first month of grief.

  4. Kristen Says:

    Thank you so much. i too am going to start from the beginning of your blog. i do find reading your newer posts inspiring though. they alert me yyou’ve posted and they always seem to come at a much needed time. the only thing i can honestly read through and not jump all over. also understand the first time around. There are times i cry so hard i feel like i can’t catch my breath or even want to. he was 39 and had so much he wanted to do. it’s hard for me to understand why he died and not me because i truly believe it should’ve been me.
    By the way i think youth idea about living on the go is a great idea. Marcus would think so too. there was so much to be seen. he would say it’s a big big world out there. i admire you for even wanting to see it.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’m not sure what Jeff would think about my taking such a trip, but he’s no longer here to have a say. The irony is that if he were still here, I’d never even consider it.

      Oh, Kristen. 39? That’s so very young. Makes it even harder, knowing a whole lifetime of dreams died with him.

      Sometimes at the beginning the pain was so deep and unbearable, I felt as if I needed to scream. So I did. Just screamed and screamed. How any of us survive those first months, I’ll never know.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I decided to make it easy for you. Here are all the grief posts from oldest at the top to newest at the bottom so you don’t have to go searching for them:

  5. Claire Chamberlain Says:

    Thank you for your posts Pat. ‘It colours our world and depletes our energy’ perfectly describes my state of being. The 9th month of his gone forever approaches (August 3rd 11 pm) I will yearn forever

  6. kristen Says:

    He was very young and while that is extremely sad, it’s not only that. There was so much he wanted to see and do. He wanted to do them with me. I was so blessed he chose me. I just don’t know how to go on. I don’t want to. I believe i was the one who should’ve died not him. He wasn’t perfect, but he was damn close and perfect for me. I hate waking up to this nightmare of a life without him :(:(

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      None of us want to go on, though we do. And eventually, we find a renewed interest in life. (They tell me it takes three to five years.) It’s all part of that “healing process” we go through. The trouble is, they are still gone. After three years of dealing with such feelings, I am to the point where I can look forward to what the future holds, but I still cannot comprehend how he could be dead. I mean, I know that he is — I was there at the end — but how is it possible that he is gone and I am here? I don’t know if we ever comprehend that.

      The only way I’ve been able to make sense of my situation is to do things that I wouldn’t have done if he were here. Maybe someday you will decide to make sense of your situation by doing the things he would have wanted to do.

      I hope you don’t mind, but I shed a few tears for you. It breaks my heart that so many of us have to go through this.

  7. kristen Says:

    I can’t believe he is dead. I think about my life ahead and that he is not part of it paralizes me. I am touched that you cried a few tears for me. Thank you for being here and just….getting it as i have found that there are few that do. Today was a long day of agonizing, painful tears :(:(

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Shortly after he died, I had to go to the grocery store where we shopped. I tried to be stoic, but when someone asked me where he was, I couldn’t say anything. Just cried. The salesclerk held me and cried with me. I will always remember that.

      Yes, long days of agonizing tears, Sometimes it’s hard to imagine the human body can shed so many tears. Tears are good. Grief is very stressful, and tears wash away some of those hormones.

      Do whatever you need to do to find a bit of comfort. Believe me, no matter what you do, others have done it. Sleep with his shirts, hug his urn of ashes, use his pillows, wear his clothes. What seems ridiculous to others who haven’t been there gives us a momentary feeling of connection. No matter how brief that feeling, it helps us get through another agonizing day.

      Wishing you moments of peace.

  8. kristen Says:

    Thank you again for understanding. It’s so weird cause i just went to the food store for the first time and almost lost it more then a few times. I hated being there. I hate being anywhere without him. I have his pillow and wearhis clothes….i just ache all over to be with him.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It’s almost impossibly hard to survive with such grief. I don’t know how we ever get through it. Just a few months ago, I found myself standing in the aisle at the grocery store weeping. I’m a thousand miles away from where we lived, but the grocery store had the same store brands we used, and reminded me of the one we shopped at. I wondered what salad dressing I should get for him, and then it hit me again, that he was gone. I have a friend who couldn’t shop at “their” grocery store for over a year. I know some people who could never do it.

      I know you ache. I am so sorry you have to go through this.

  9. kristen Says:

    That’s what i was thinking and doing at the food store. I don’t know when i’ll be able to do it again. I did hear Marcus in my head “don’t make this into something bigger then it is. It’s just the food store” i smiled then burst into tears the minute i shut the car door. There are so many good memories and i don’t ever want to forget them yet they burn inside me when i remember. That burning grief and guilt….

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