During the past three and a third years, ever since the death of my life mate/soul mate, the date and the day he died have brought an upsurge of grief. Every 27th of the month and every Saturday I felt an increased sadness even when I wasn’t aware of the date and day. And when the 27th fell on a Saturday, I got a double dose of grief.
Last Saturday was the 27th, but there was no sadness. I simply noted the date and day, and went on with my life. Not that there was much to go on with — a walk in the desert, a movie (one of the movies he taped for us), some online activity.
Part of me wanted to feel sadness just out of habit — habits are comfortable even when they aren’t particularly productive. Part of me wanted to feel sadness because it was a link to him and to a life that is rapidly receding from me. Mostly it didn’t matter. I’d come to see that being sad or unsad didn’t make much of a difference — it was just a part of my life in the same way the sun rises and sets or the moon grows full and wanes.
It’s been several days since Saturday the 27th, and I still don’t know what to think about the lack of sadness. Three and a third years ago, I was in such pain, I couldn’t have believed this time would ever come. Some people who have lost their spouses still feel connected, but I don’t. I talk to him, of course, but never feel as if he’s listening, let alone responding. Whatever we once meant to each other, whatever we shared, I now know he’s on his own journey, just as I am.
The main problem continues to be emptiness. I don’t feel anything as dramatic as the bleakness I once felt, don’t feel much at all, to tell the truth. I do feel lonely, of course, but I’m getting used to that. I even think it might be my destiny—to be alone so I can . . . and that’s where the thought always ends. So I can do or become . . . what?
I don’t much believe in destiny, and yet it’s hard to completely disbelieve when two such inexplicable and awe-full events helped define my world: the day he came into my life and the day he left.
From somewhere deep inside, “want” is starting to seep up into my consciousness. It’s an indefinable want, perhaps a desire for life, whatever that might be. I’ve been steeped in death and aging for too long (still am — I’m currently looking out for my mostly independent 96-year-old father), and something in me is crying out for more.
Despite a growing restlessness, I need to be patient since my life is not yet entirely my own. But someday, when I am free, I hope I have the courage to run to meet my destiny, whatever that might be. I hope I have the courage for “more.”
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.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.
August 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm
This reminds me of the Odd Thomas books by Dean Koontz. The protagonist loses his soul mate and misses her terribly, but feels like he is on a journey until he meets her again in the next life. Later on he actually goes on a journey, saving many people and stopping many evils. Though probably not as epic, you may go on your own journey someday in the future, Pat.
August 2, 2013 at 11:16 am
Get ready; get ready. Your future is waiting for you. Blessings to you, Pat…
August 3, 2013 at 9:16 am
As you know, I am in a similar place. What to do, where to go, and why?
August 3, 2013 at 7:08 pm
That’s the question — why? Why go one place and not another?
August 3, 2013 at 10:19 am
I have a similar story on losing my husband/soul mate to kidney cancer 3 years ago this Christmas Eve. Your words have helped me in many ways and so I thank you. I feel sad that you don’t feel connected to your husband at this time. My sadness early in grief led me to a medium because I was so worried about how my husband was doing on the other side, if there was one. My husband was 54 years old when he passed and I knew he was not ready to leave us. I was comforted to find through this person that he was okay which helped me learn to listen to him and connect with him in a different way or in a different form. I also walk trails and there I find a connection with nature and with him. He seems to speak to me through nature and that comforts me. I had to learn to be open to hear him through other types of language and not just words.
I hope during your journey that you find peace and you can find courage and strength for whatever life brings…
August 3, 2013 at 7:11 pm
I’m glad you find a connection with your husband. 54 is so young!
I’m okay with having no connection to my soul mate — when we met, I thought he was a higher being come to help me on my journey to truth, and now I feel as if he’s gone on to more important things than just watchng over me. I hope he’s happy. One day I might be, too.
August 4, 2013 at 5:12 am
i am 18 months out from losing my soul mate from liver cancer.yesterday i gave away our seven and a half foot Christmas tree.I can’t decorate it anymore,it was an us tree.I am going with two four foot trees,artificial.more Christmas,but different.i still have my ninety year old parents.My little man was 66.Yesterday I just ached for him all day.I go along in life and then bang,I can’t believe he is not here.
August 4, 2013 at 8:30 am
For some reason, eighteen months is one of the most difficult times, almost as hard as the first months. I think it’s because the truth — that this is for real — has seeped into our being, and we feel that truth. I have a hunch we will always have those aching times. I had one just yesterday. I wanted to go home to him so badly I just couldn’t take it in that he wasn’t back there waiting for me.
It’s really hard sometimes knowing that some people live to such old ages, and we lost our mates in their sixties. I feel as if we got cheated.
June 30, 2018 at 5:00 am
The comment about the medium has made me wonder if you will include in your book “spirtual” feelings/actual encounters as a way to stay connected to a deceased spouse. I suppose it is a subset of more mainstream religious beliefs; maybe for some people (sometimes myself) feeling and believing in such a connection can help with the overwhemning outrage of “I feel as if we got cheated”.
June 30, 2018 at 10:49 am
Good idea. The chapter would be about feeling connected to deceased and finding a way to keep them in our lives. And oh, yes — a chapter about feeling cheated. My parents were married longer than Jeff was alive. How fair is that???