New Steps on the Journey Through Grief

I’ve reached a new level of grief. I’m still sad, but I can barely remember why. I still feel the absence of my life mate/soul mate, who died two years and two months ago, yet I can barely remember the living man. The life I shared with him is receding, as if it happened to someone else. There is still a hole in my life and a decided lack of “life” — no sparks kindling new ideas, no electricity of excitement, no radiance — but I no longer have anything with which to compare that lack of life. It’s as if these sad and lonely days are the way it has always been for me.

During those years when we were together, I had someone to talk to, someone who could help put life into a different perspective, and now there is just me. To tell the truth, I still talk to him, but he never offers a different perspective. I used to feel a tenuous connection to him (or at least to our shared past) when I talked to him, but now I have no idea if I’m even talking to him or simply talking aloud.

With our shared life moving further into the dim past and my memories of him fading, I worry that I will forget him. I know I’ll forget the person I was when I was with him. No matter how I change, I’m always just me, and yet, (for example) I cannot remember this little girl, cannot remember being her. She has receded far into my past. Or perhaps she’s become subsumed into my current persona? Either way, she no longer exists even in memory. And so will the person I was with him disappear as I move further into the future without him.

The irony is that I was in such pain after his death that I made a special point to experience new things so I could create new memories. I thought new memories would help cushion the severity of the break between our shared life and my life alone, yet those very memories are taking me further away from him.

I might not completely forget him. I have moments when I flash onto a vivid image of him, and as heartbreaking as those moments are (because I am reminded once again that he is dead), they are all I have left of him except for some of his things. It seems cruel that their things outlive the dead. Shouldn’t people live longer than things? Or else, shouldn’t the things disappear when our loved ones do? And yet, as my memories fade, the things I kept of his and the things I kept of ours, such as our household goods, will be all I have to remember him by.

Every new step on the journey through grief brings its own grief. It saddens me that he is forever receding from me. Yet I am still here, and I must live. I can’t cocoon myself in memories of him and our life together. I can only go on doing what I have been doing — experiencing new things and making new memories, even if they take me further away from him.