Today, I searched my mind for some remnant of Hope. I found him in a corner of my mind, cowering and alone. I asked him what he was so afraid of and he replied, “Annihilation.”      

I just read a beautiful story about life lessons and watching a lake freeze. A dear friend wrote the story about a moving moment in his life. To say that the story brought tears to my eyes would lessen its value. In reality, the story moved me to heart-wrenching sobs that I occasionally experience. His story inspires me to reach within and search for my own special moments.  I have not been writing much lately because I am beginning to sound like a Gertrude Stein piece—repetition, repetition, and more repetition. I am literally drowning in self-pity and grief, and I am finding it very difficult to express any happiness in my writing.


     I see so many posts about letting go of the past or admonishment for whining about one’s plight in life.  I even saw a couple of posts declaring that you will burn in hell if you fail to forward a message about loving God, so I try to carefully measure the validity of each post I see. I do not claim to know the mind of God, but I am almost certain that His concern does not center on which posts you forward.

I want to believe that everyone around me knows better how to “let it go” than I, but considering few people with whom I am acquainted have faced losing the love of his or her life to death, I am going to have to go with my gut on this one. I think that in my own situation, the only way that I can continue to function is by delving into and embracing the past. I have many years of memories with the man I love buried in my heart, mind and soul. Perhaps through searching within, I can find a way to cope with my grief.

That deadly roller-coaster ride that has consumed the last few years of my life began again today. Today is the 33-month anniversary of the last day I heard him say, “I love you.” To some, that may seem such a trivial thing, but let me assure you that never hearing the words, “I love you” is a difficult concept to face. It makes you feel as though a world of darkness envelops you while you stumble around to search for light. “Whiny?” Perhaps, but when you trip in the darkness repeatedly and know that you will never find light, you tend to become bitter.

When people say, “You have to let go of the past to move forward,” I always questioned it. I do not think that we ever really let it go. Our past is a force that determines our future. Our history is the story of us. History teaches us lessons. We never completely let go of our past; we carry it along for the ride. Normally, I advise people to learn from their past, but not to let it consume them. I do not think that is the right advice for me. I think I need to concentrate on those special “moments” I shared with my love in order to find peace.

     Ironically, many years ago I experienced one of my vivid dreams in which I kept pointing out a book cover to my brother. I was adamant about showing him the book title, but I had to squint to read it. I was somewhere in that twilight land hovering between sleep and wakefulness when I saw the title. It said, “The Intruder Within.” I was the author. My husband was not in the dream. I also knew the year in which this was happening; it is in the future. I later told my husband that I thought the dream signified that I would indeed write. At the time, I did not realize why my husband was not present in the dream or that I would meet the intruder several years later. Its name—“Grief.”

Searching for and chronicling those moments of happiness may be the force necessary to expel the intruder from within my soul. I do not want to write like Gertrude Stein and unfortunately, the repetition of self-pity is gaining a strong foothold in anything I write. Thank you to my dear friend, Michael, for reminding me that those little moments are what really matters. I remembered a moment from my own twilight sleep that may turn out to be my source of salvation in this lifetime.

©2012 Relinda R.


6 thoughts on “Within

  1. Relinda – You have so much to share with the world at large about grieving and moving on at the same time. Although you are still grieving – you have been going to school full time and living each day. There are many who have not lost anyone they love who can’t do what you do. Unlike what you wrote above – when Tom died – I did become I person I despise. I became confused, angry, sad, tired, horrified, afraid, peaceful, happy, weak, strong … on and on the list goes. Some days one of those – some days many. My life changed direction and speed. You are not stuck – you are moving at a new rate of speed. You are experiencing new feelings and places. You will survive and live. You are a strong woman who is missing the other half of herself. Peace!

    • Thank you for those kind words, Rebecca. I think it is our knowledge that we have no choice but to struggle through our days that keeps us strong. I also think it is our knowledge that we will see them again one day that keeps us going. That is precisely how it feels–as though half of you is missing. Thank you! And peace to you, as well!

  2. One of my friends a Hospice social worker and I, a former hospice RN were talking just today. She had been to a conference by Dr. Alan Wolfelt who is the resident guru when it come to grief counseling. He reminded my friend that one never gets over the loss of a loved one but that it changes you forever as a person. She said that Dr. Wolfelt said when working with those who are grieving, they become the teachers and we the students. So my dear friend “teach us” so we may indeed be helpful to others. You have much to share.

    • Thank you so much for writing this, Rad. You have no idea how important it is for me to read your words. For almost three years, I have listened to others tell me, “I should be over it,” and “I have to move on.” Not once, did someone say that they valued what I could teach them about grief. No one asks me how I feel. In fact, most people tend to change the subject when I bring up my husband. Grief does change a person forever. You become a person that you despise. That is a stage in which I seem to be stuck. I evolved from an eternal optimist into a pessimist and I don’t like it, but I can do little to change that right now. Your encouragement makes me want to try harder. Thank you so much!

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