Tag Archive | Hell

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


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.


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.


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 Key

My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.

‘Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.

‘What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
‘I never know what you are thinking. Think.”
― T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land


I continue to exist. . . breathing, barely so, but existing. They tell me I should be grateful for that—for existing. They tell me many things, but the only one who I truly hear whispers from inside my mind, quietly reminding me that I should go. I argue, of course, I say that I must withstand my punishment, but the whispering says that no one wants me here anymore—not really…did they ever want me here? It’s sad really, so sad that they believe punishment comes after death when in reality, we live our punishment amidst the fires of our hell every day. Empty streaks of blue try to hide the gray shades of my hell. The blue masks the gray skies; it is not really that beautiful shade of blue. Blue—what is blue but a shade of black that we think we see. I saw only the blue before; it was a long, long time ago. I don’t see blue anymore. Eliot’s Waste Land is real. I should know; I possess the key.

©2014 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.


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.

Crazy World



It is a crazy world and we are all a little crazy. The older I become, the more obvious the insanity becomes. I remember calm and organized days in which I carefully mapped out the day’s activities with precise calculation. Those days lay buried beneath a two feet stack of philosophical theories ranging from Kant to Zizek. To the right of that stack lays a pile of newspapers with random marks highlighting certain passages, longing to cling to some type of memory. Teetering dangerously close to the edge of the room-sized desk, a stack of Jane Austen novels appear, just begging to share its own philosophical perspective. And peering from beneath Jane Austen, a tattered corner of Homer’s mystifying account of wars and heroes whose bones have long since turned to dust. Perched atop the growing stacks of knowledge is the Tibetan Book of the Dead, reminding me that although death is inevitable, absolute oblivion is impossible. And there above the chaos hangs a photo of my beloved.


The more cluttered my mind becomes, the more I drift from the shore that keeps me safe. Photos surround me; photos of children whose childhoods remain permanently etched into the canvas of time. Televised accounts of the simplest things knock me from my perch of avoidance. I stay immersed in work so that my mind seldom has time to remember a time when there were moments for stolen kisses or much needed hugs. Just when I think I have completely forgotten what a kiss feels like, I will catch a glimpse of two lovers in a movie. I cry. I cry because I remember being kissed just because someone loved me. I cry because I know I will never be kissed again. tears


My days of organized plans are long gone. My life has become a series of chaotic moments drowned in the ugly reality of survival. I am tired. I fight the moments in which I want to surrender. I know that surrendering is not an option. I trudge forward because I made a promise. I miss moments with embraces in the moonlight; I miss shared kisses and hugs; I miss the feeling of knowing someone loves me simply because I am me; I miss returning to a house where so much laughter filled it that it became a home; I miss feeling safe; I miss feeling as though I matter; but most of all, I miss you.


Through it all, I put my smile on each morning to appease everyone. I know that each person I meet has his or her own heartache with which to contend. They certainly do not need to see mine.


I am beyond tired-I am exhausted and during those rare moments when I entertain how wonderful it would be to see you right now, I drift and wonder if my punishment will ever permit me to go home. It is a crazy world and we are all a little crazy and the longer I have to stay, the more I want to leave…the more I want you to hold me once again and whisper that you love me too.


©2013 Relinda R.

Excerpt from Shades of Grief



Hope can lead you to hell on the same path from which it delivers you from the depths of hell. Hope can crush you as though you are merely a speck of sand. The path to the perilous abyss is paved with crushed fragments of Hope. You can close your eyes and hope for something to be true. Open your eyes and you will see the glisten of Hope’s sword as it slices your heart in two. Keep your eyes wide shut.

©2013 Relinda R.



Excerpt from “Shades of Grief”


Careful, girl, silence threatens to erect steel walls where none existed before. Shadows hide in dark corners just awaiting their chance to escape into illumination. Their birth warns all those living to beware. Loneliness leads a soul into an abyss of annihilation, where shards of broken dreams bar all exits. It is hell where empty souls march without ever touching. It begins with silence. It ends with solitude.

©2013  Relinda R. from “Shades of Grief”

Vacationing in Hell

“What is hell? Hell is oneself.
Hell is alone, the other figures in it
Merely projections. There is nothing to escape from
And nothing to escape to. One is always alone.”
~T.S. Eliot~


This is the longest vacation I have ever experienced. It began the day the doctors said there was nothing more they could do. It continues years later. I always thought of vacationing as an escape from the monotonous realities of everyday life. Vacationing in hell is much different. It is a place where you accept the realities and disappointments that come with living, embrace them wholeheartedly and recognize that it is a vacation from which you will never return home until the day you die. Welcome to hell.

     Astonishingly, my house looks the same if you overlook the absence of laughter and the immaculate kitchen. That is the first thing you notice upon arrival to hell—the silence. It is so loud that when I enter a room, I can hear my heart pounding inside my head. Ironic that silence is actually the loudest noise in the universe. Sometimes I can hear echoes of laughter from my real life. It is very faint. There was so much laughter in this place before that I suppose it is inevitable that some imprint seeps through the walls.

     There are not fires and brimstone as depicted in sermons. There are the usual disappointments, but new ones surface each day. Disappointments such as realizing you will never again know the simple joy of sharing a banana split with your best friend in the world. Disappointments such as knowing that you will never again experience the fun of dancing in the rain with someone you love. Disappointments such as knowing that every trip you make will be alone. Knowing that any accomplishment you reach will never be celebrated is one of the harshest disappointments.

     I want to return from my vacation in hell, but it was a one-way ticket. “Life is what we make it.” If I had fucking known that, I would have molded it differently. I would still be whole. I would not have buried you. I would not dread waking each morning. “Time heals all wounds.” Bullshit. Some wounds cannot be healed, especially while you are vacationing in hell. “Prayer fixes everything,” really? because it did not work so well for me. I think we pull cute little quotes such as these out of our asses while under the illusion that they make people feel better. They do not.

     So, here I am, sending you a postcard from hell. The weather is lovely this time of year. All I really want is to go home though. I want a ticket home. Perhaps there is some type of lottery in which one can win a ticket home. If only someone would send me home. I cannot get there myself. This vacation blows.

©Relinda R.