What I mean when I say that grief never ends

It’s been two and a half years since I became a widow.  I still grieve.  I always will.

That’s not to say that my life has stopped.  I have friends, I keep busy; I’ve even dated a little.  My life has moved on, and I look forward more than I look back.  Still, Rick remains a presence.  I miss the little things, like being handed a cup of coffee every morning.  Mostly what I miss is knowing there was that one person who really, truly cared about me.  I miss him.

That entire first year, my grief was immersive and all-encompassing, infusing every facet of my life.  As simple an act as buying groceries became a harsh reminder of what had happened.  Every day was a series of events with the same theme: look, you’re alone now, what you had is irretrievably gone.

Time heals.  I became used to buying only the groceries I wanted.  I created new rituals for mornings and evenings, and the silence at home no longer bothered me.    The 2nd bedroom has almost completed its transition from his studio and office to my work room.   I’m now comfortable removing items of his that have no use or value for me. 

Yet, he stays with me, each and every day.  I talk with him as I walk to work.  I daydream about a world where everything turned out differently, and we are planning a celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary.  I still question how much he knew, what he choose to keep from me, and why. 

This is what grief is after two and a half years. It recedes into the background, but it does not disappear.   I am a widow. That term is a description of what I have been through and what I carry forward.  Grief doesn’t end; it doesn’t fade away, or wash off.   It has become a part of me on a molecular level, the same as the tattoo I had done in his memory.  The person I am now and will forever be is that person because of what I have gone through. That is what I mean when I say that grief never ends. 

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9 thoughts on “What I mean when I say that grief never ends

  1. I’m still just trying to breathe … you know, really take in a breath and trust that the next one will follow. I am heading toward the end of year two and I’ve not done the necessary work — our house is still our house. He is in every closet, every cupboard. I finally put the Kitchen Aid under the counter — it seemed sad just sitting there, never to be used. Your words help, I read your post about approaching your third anniversary, followed by this one. It lends a different perspective, knowing where you are headed as I read this… I’m still following other people’s lights in the darkness. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Your words are so very clear and comforting. I have been blessed to have my guy for over forty years and you make me even more thankful. I remember when I first started reading your blog it helped me see grief in a different way as I had lost my step dad that very day. Thank you for letting us see inside this.

  3. I am sorry for your loss, and I know the pain and agony of such a loss, I just lost my wife january 26 2015, it was her birthday, she had just turned 41,we also celebrated our 18th anniversary, she passed from a rare form of lung cancer 1 hour after the party ended, I hope you don’t mind me following your blog, I’ve been reading it and it does offer me comfort knowing that in time the hurt will lessen enough to continue on with life, I am trying so hard to be strong for our 13 year old boy, but it’s tough and the wounds are still fresh.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss. I do remember how very, very hard the first year can be. I found a lot of comfort in reading the blogs of other people who had (or were) going through the same things I was, and I’m glad that I can be of help to you. I’d be very interested to hear from you in a few months to see how you are getting along. My very best to you.

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