Tag Archive | death

Learning to be a Widow: Part IV: A Long Journey


Approaching the five-year anniversary of his death spurs so much reflection and realization. He’s really
not coming back. In my mind, I always knew that, but in my heart, a little part of me continued to hope. I’ve reached that important juncture, which most widows reach at some point. I have to accept reality and stop clinging to that little piece of hope left in my heart.1011893_650875218274935_1225401425_n
The reality is that I must complete this life alone. It’s taken me almost five years to accept that fact. I am not a young woman anymore. The most difficult part of accepting reality is adjusting what I believed most of my life. Like the indoctrination I often condemn – I, too, am indoctrinated. I’m indoctrinated to believe some part of the fairy tales I read, you know the kind. The kind of fairytales where everyone lives happily ever after and the future is bright and cheerful. That’s not reality. It may happen for some, but not for all. The reality is that happiness comes in pieces and all one can do is cling to those pieces and cherish the moments. They do not last. People leave. People change. People die. That is reality. Happiness is fleeting, and sometimes, all those pieces appear in one big chunk and that is all there is. There’s no fairytale ending; there’s no chance of a random piece drifting your way again. Acceptance, strength, and endurance replace bliss, love, and optimism.
I was one of the lucky ones. For nearly 20 years, I shared a love so special and so rare that many never find such a depth of companionship. For me, the only way to survive the emptiness that inevitably appears when it is over is to accept that it was the highlight of my life. Instead of whining about how there is nothing to look forward to, I should concentrate on looking back and recognize that something in my destiny allowed me to experience 20 years of happiness. And I should be grateful I had that. I was one of the lucky ones. But he is not coming back and it’s over. The future is merely an obstacle course that I must complete alone. No one can help me with that task.

goodbyeI’ve endured a lot of criticism for my extended grief and for loving someone so deeply that the two of us were inseparable, but I can’t change that. I can’t change the love I feel for a man who I’ll never see again, not during this lifetime. He is dead. I can’t deny that a part of me died with him. I’ll never again be the person I was before. I’ll never truly laugh again. But that’s okay because I laughed for so many years. I was happy and I was in love.
I was one of the lucky ones. Then destiny threw tragedy into the mix. I had it all, and now I don’t. The beginning reads, “Once upon a time there lived a girl who was in love with a man who loved her back for a long time.” The conclusion reads, “The man died one day and she was left alone. She knew happy times were over, but she realized that she was one of the lucky ones and learned to accept reality and focus on the memories.” ~The End~
©2014 Relinda R.

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Autumn and Spring


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I was leaves floating on the wind,
Reds, greens, and yellows floating gracefully,
Joining in that annual farewell dance.
I was cool, brisk mornings, foreshadowing
Cold winter days to come
And kissing the carefree summer nights goodbye.
You were the bright colors bursting forth
After the winter killed the fathers and mothers
That left their seeds in the rich, fertile earth.
You were the warm March breeze
Foreshadowing the carefree summer nights to come.
When you and I would kiss happiness goodbye.
How could you and I ever stay together
With winter always keeping us apart?
How I long to stay afloat on the air with you
Where seasons never end
And happiness forever embraces us.
Just to kiss you again.
©2014 Relinda R.

from “Into the Darkness”


“Alone. Yes, that’s the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn’t hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym.” ~Stephen King

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She looked at me with all the compassion she could muster when she told me I had to move on without him. And I longed to whisper, “Be very careful when you wish for my silence, because your wish may come true,” but I only looked at the ground. What could I possibly say—it was over? I was done? Death took my love from me?—there was nothing I could say, there was no way in which to explain how empty I felt or how bleak the future appeared. It didn’t matter what I said—I was alone.

Whether I saw it happen or not—it happened—the day he died, I began dying too. As I watched the light fade from his eyes, it began fading from mine too. All the times we stood gazing into each other’s eyes—all the times I told him I could sink into his blue eyes—all the times he told me that my brown eyes just knew—everything—had seen everything. . . and now the light faded. For nearly five years, the light continued to flicker, but now—the light is dead.

I must have read a thousand pieces telling me how to grieve, but grief has a mind of its own. There is not a manual specific to every case—there is not a set of instructions—each soul is alone in its grief. Some recover; some do not. I’ve faced the inevitable truth of my own grief—I struggle to live without love. I love still—my children, my parents, my family, my friends—there is still love, but I no longer know the love of a man so that he sees the world in my eyes. There is no passion in my life, no one will ever think I am beautiful or that my soul is made of light. The light is dead.

It took a long time for me to realize that there is no way to explain my loss to others. It is impossible for them to understand what life is without passion and love, because they have it. They claim understanding, but they claim it from the embrace of their lover. For me, life is empty without passion, without my love. The light of life is dead.

I have nothing left to give. I grieved through my words, believing they would help me heal, but the wound is so deep that it will not heal. I’ve put all my energy into overcoming human frailty—overcoming the need for affection—overcoming the need to be loved. I think I’ve beat it. I no longer cling to an idea that I have a future; I’ve accepted that I will spend the rest of my days in solitude—alone. Accepting it is the easy part—eliminating the yearning for affection is the most difficult task I’ve undertaken. But I agreed. On some level—I agreed. On some subconscious level beyond my memory—I agreed. I accept my fate, but if only I could move beyond the human shell I inhabit and overcome all the emotion. Mechanical? Perhaps, but it would be so easy to continue. I function in the dark now, so on some level; the transformation is underway.

I’ve read so many articles and papers on what solitude does to the human being, so I accept my plight with full knowledge of the danger. They say it cannot be done, but I am an anomaly to the species—I can do it. I can march through the seasons, alone and cold. For reasons unknown to me—it is my only choice. I surrender to solitude, but I will not surrender to rhetoric. They say it cannot be done; I say that it can be done.

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The girl I was once is dead. She battled so hard to stay alive, but defeat was inevitable. No one can look beyond the physical scars to feel attraction to her—no one can reach beyond the emotional scars to save her—she is gone. How upsetting it is that people believe strength comes from solitude. Perhaps it does when solitude is a choice, but when you find yourself alone because of death, your strength only comes from struggling to survive. I’ve given up trying to explain to people that there is a difference in finding moments alone, while someone who loves you is waiting for you and living every moment alone while no one waits.

It is impossible to explain what life devoid of passion and love is like after knowing it so thoroughly. Perhaps if I’d never known, the transition would be much easier, but having known it is like having manna from the gods, and then starving without it. There are those of us who fail to present beauty in its societal form. There are those of us who only attract one person. One man loved me completely, regardless of how I looked to the rest of the world. Then fate took him from me, and left me to exist alone. They say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” well, he was my “beholder.” He saw past the scars and through the demons to my soul, and loved me anyway.

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Words were my vice—I loved to write—but without anyone listening—my words are empty now. They are only words, and they are not reaching anyone. I crave the feedback that he gave to me—and it no longer exists. I am finished. How happy others will be to know that I’ve finally accepted the challenge fate gave to me—I accept my mission wholeheartedly—to embrace the solitude in all its darkness and complete my work in silence. No one will ever love me or hold me again. The long, cold years have hardened me. No one will ever laugh at my silly jokes or hold my hand when I am scared. He is gone, and I walk alone . . . into the darkness. Until I see him again.

©2014 Relinda R.

The Last Hurdle


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I have but one more hurdle to overcome,

Learning to live life empty and alone.

As the time passes, the heart grows numb,

Cold, and as hard as stone.

I miss the sun,

I miss you.

I miss the joy,

I miss you.

I will jump and clear the hurdle.

Wait for me, I will come.

©2014 Relinda R.

Part II: Learning to be a Widow


ImageFor a widow or widower, who was madly in love, adjusting to a life devoid of love is similar to spending a long time in the bright sunlight and suddenly running into darkness. It takes a long time for your eyes to adjust to the change of light. You may see again, but it will take time. Some may never see again. Their eyes may remain darkened. Some may even see bright sunlight again, but many will not. I am not of the fortunate; I will never see the sunlight again. I spent twenty years in the bright sunlight and entered complete darkness. My eyes are adjusting though. I belong in the darkness. I am invisible in the darkness. One day, I will see the sunlight again. And in it, he will be waiting with open arms.

©2014 Relinda R.

from “Delusional Illusions”


Image. . . and the flowers continued to bloom, but they were ugly now. Tiny buds struggling to shine through the snow, but the shine never came. The blooms just appeared, pale in comparison to their former glory. A smile, a laugh, a tear, a sob and then . . . nothing but emptiness. Now, all the blooms just appeared transparent and devoid of beauty. The jonquil I treasured so long ago is dead now, and soon all the new flowers will die alone too. I wonder where they go when they disappear completely. . . I wonder if they are beautiful where they go. . .

©2013 Relinda R.

An Embodiment of Lovely Bones . . . in the Flesh


“One who will not accept solitude, stillness and quiet recurring moments…is caught up in the wilderness of addictions; far removed from an original state of being and awareness. This is ‘dis-ease.” ~T. F. Hodge

maskgriefI spoke with someone last night who is very disappointed in me, a voice that indicated how lazy and apathetic I have become since I died. Yes, you read that correctly. I died four years ago and began a slow and arduous descent into a fiery well of capitulation; a fiery well alluding to the hell I created. I am beyond societal manipulation; I am my own judge and I condemned myself to hell.  Edgar Cayce once proclaimed, “All you may know of heaven or hell is within your own self,” indeed, Mr. Cayce, indeed.

I spent the last 1,414 days sinking deeper into oblivion as numbness seized my still beating heart. Numbness is a coping mechanism-perhaps, but an insufficient tool at best. I am merely an embodiment of lovely bones, a walking corpse capable of smiling on demand and laughing when appropriate, sometimes at inappropriate times. At night, however, at night-the tears come when I clutch a fading red scrunchie and the pillow that has long lost his scent. I spent almost 1,500 nights lost in desperation, crying to the point where only occasional gasps for air indicate life. I am merely a heap of bones emitting the most frightful sounds known, unquenchable sobs of loss—loss of love, loss of life, and loss of dreams. I sent telepathic postcards from hell to indicate my frustration at continuing to breathe. I immersed myself into a void so dark that I could only see an occasional glimmer of Hope cowering in a corner to escape annihilation.

insanityIt took nearly 1,500 days and nights for this broken heap of lovely bones to accept the final hand the Moirai dealt to me. There is no escape from hell, but there is atonement for inactivity. There is a rope for which to cling. Last night, a voice told me to cling with all my might and accept my fate. I have much work to complete before I can begin my ascent into light. I will never be released until I accept my sentence. The lazy apathetic heap of lovely bones I became will only continue a slow descent into the depths of desolation until I accept solitude. Learning to exist without love is my penance for lifetimes of depending on another . . . loving beyond the bounds of comprehension.

I woke with understanding, with a clear mission, clinging tightly to an invisible rope and knowing I can escape hell only by abandoning humanity’s curse of the undeniable quest to be loved by another. I was loved, I was adored, my quest was fulfilled. And until I abandon this selfish journey of wishing for more, I only sink deeper into the fiery well of capitulation. I woke to the faintest glimmer of light from above as I realized Hope still lives, though he continues to cower in a corner. He whispered to me to accept my fate and motioned to me to climb his way. And it is with that image, this heap of lovely bones will work harder than ever before, abandoning humanity’s curse to escape solitude and instead embracing the sounds of silence and accepting the harsh pangs of loneliness, all while concentrating wholly on its tasks at hand.

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I spoke with myself last night and learned how disappointed I am at how lazy and apathetic I have become since I died. I woke determined to prove that I am strong enough to overcome solitude and accept my penance. I am an embodiment of lovely bones only until I escape the confines of my hell. I will live again one day. But not today. Today, I begin my atonement.

©2013 Relinda R.