Archive | September 2013

22 September 2013


“Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow.”
Kahlil Gibran

autumntear

22 September 2013—what is it? It is the first day of autumn, signifying another end to the growth from the previous spring and reminding us that winter beckons on the horizon to wash away all that remains from the tears of summer. Twenty-nine years ago, my son was two days old, and I was young and naïve—believing that joy was coming and life was worth the struggles it spawned. Today, this day in late September reminds me that my husband has been in the ground for three years and nine months.

We would most likely be celebrating his birthday today, since the 25th falls during the week. Now, I celebrate alone. I tried baking a cake one year, but I threw the batter out because I could not endure the torture of knowing he would never taste cake again. I considered making banana pudding another year because that was his favorite, but I just could not find the strength. I have not eaten banana pudding in nearly four years. I will never eat banana pudding again. He would be 58 this year. Instead, he remains 54 forever. We celebrated his last birthday in 2009 and now he has been in the ground for nearly four years. I still find myself worrying whether he is cold during the winter months. He hated the cold.

The last few years have been a process for me—a process of grief, financial and emotional struggle, and personal growth. Work and education consumes most of my waking hours, so I have little time to think, which is a good thing. It is when I am idle that my mind wanders. Fortunately, I am seldom idle. Late at night, I wonder what he thinks of how far my education has come and whether he is proud. After all, his push got me started on this path. Then I wonder whether I chose the most comfortable clothes for him to spend eternity wearing. I chose his favorite worn pair of Levis and a soft flannel he wore a lot. He is barefoot. I don’t think I told anyone that before. Shoes are so uncomfortable.

I’ve made such long strides into the realm of the living—and yet avoiding living the whole time. I’ve learned how to smile when it is appropriate, how to be quiet when necessary, and how to laugh when the situation demands laughter. It is only during the last year that I learned to accept inevitable truth—that my destiny is to remain alone . . . Doyle is never coming back. I also realized that my grief does not disturb others, it is witnessing that grief they find disturbing. Simply put—they just do not want to hear the whining. As long as only the darkness sees the tears and the sadness only appears within the mirror’s reflection, no one is bothered. Those two lessons have been the most difficult to bear, but bear them both . . . I did.

It is also during the last year that I believed loneliness would consume me, but my strength endures. I cannot say how many times I picked up my phone to call Doyle and tell him some exciting news or something so trivial such as seeing a deer standing alone on the highway’s edge. Sometimes, I pressed the speed dial number to his cell, sometimes I remembered before pressing, but it always hurt, always.

My conviction to endure life on my own is resolute. There is simply too much pain in knowing that no one will ever love me again, and I hope that my suffering has fulfilled whatever crime I committed. I know that is too much for which to hope, but it remains one of those little lies I tell myself just to cope. I hope that my pain has been enough payment. After all, it is through coping that we survive.

Since I stopped concerning myself with the need for companionship, I find myself at peace with solitude. I expect it and that expectation makes it easier. As human beings, we crave companionship. Overcoming human need is one of the most difficult tasks I faced through my journey with grief.  But I remain determined, and once I am determined, it is nearly impossible to sway me from that course.

luminescence

When people ask me how I am, and I respond that I’m well or my classic ungrammatical response—I’m good, I’m not really lying. I’m not telling the whole truth, but there is some truth. I am okay. I’ve accepted my fate. I know Doyle is gone and not coming back and I know that my battle with accepting solitude is part of my path, for whatever reasons. I know that I must complete my journey alone and I am coming to terms with it.

A very special man loved me with all his heart and I loved him back, and now he is gone. That is my reality. All I can do is keep walking my journey alone in hopes that at the end—he is waiting for me with open arms . . . that is all I can do.

©Sept. 2013 Relinda R.

September 2013


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.”

~Relinda from Within Sept. 2012

Image

So many things have changed in a year. It is ironic that the moment in which I become inspired to write again I do not have the time to write. The last few months have been a chaotic whirlwind of changes … mostly good changes. I began a new job, which I absolutely love. I created a new mindset, which I had to do in order to survive. That mindset is truly evolving into my salvation.

I spent years slowly sinking into a pit as I was consumed with grief and self-pity. Both emotions still linger, but they do not control my actions. Whenever either emotion begins to surface, I simply refuse to surrender. I will not let them have control. I devised a code-word to battle each emotion. Whenever the familiar feelings of hopelessness emerge, I utter my code-word to block them. It works. I found it is the only way for me to maintain some semblance of normalcy.

I came to realize that it is difficult for others to comprehend the depth of love that Doyle and I shared. It was real; it was a love so deep that it is rare. We were truly connected. I don’t know whether that classifies us as “soul-mates,” but I do know that when he left this earth, I left with him. A part of me remains with him. I’ll never be as I once was…ever, but I’ve accepted that I must continue and work to complete the tasks I agreed to complete.

Image

Self-pity taints the overwhelming grief that I experience and battle daily. People I know also have a difficult time grasping that concept. As a human being, I naturally long for companionship, but I know that is gone forever. It is difficult to embrace experiencing life alone. Those who condemn me do so while someone loves them. I am coming to terms with the fact that no one will ever love me again. It just takes time to accept. In the same breath, I also recognize how fortunate I was that someone loved me so much. Some people, although seemingly never alone, never know the depths of love I experienced. I keep reminding myself that I should be grateful for the years that someone loved me, and stop yearning to be loved again. I am only human though; I am trying to overcome the overwhelming loneliness. The studies indicating that human beings require touch and hugs to exist are false. I am learning that a person can exist without touch. It is sad to do so, but I assure you that you will not die from lack of human contact.

I took many great strides overcoming grief during the last year; however, I have many great strides still to take. I am lucky that I have such a wonderful family and supportive friends who never give up on me. I don’t know how I will be in another year, but I know that I don’t fear the disparity of loneliness as much as I did a year ago. I am adjusting to solitude and acceptance of it. I hope that as I continue to bury and fight my emotions, I will gleefully report next year that I overcame the human instinct of craving romantic companionship. After all, it can always be worse.

So much has happened in one year and I do not dread tomorrow as much as I once did. My desire to finish my lesson in this life makes me too determined to stop now. My determination is my real salvation.

©Relinda R. September 2013