Tag Archive | Lonely

Autumn and Spring


autumntear

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.

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No one ever said it would be easy


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I’ve been alone for four-and-a-half years now. Sometimes, I count each year on my fingers and when I get to the half-a-year, I try to figure out a way to represent that with a whole finger. I wonder if I should cut off the finger or just bend the thumb. The thumb seems to be the most flexible on my left hand. I don’t mind the loneliness anymore—truth is that I don’t even feel it anymore. I’ve worked hard to overcome that most primitive human need for companionship, for affection, for love and now I accept the solitude; I even crave it. It wasn’t easy. No one ever said it would be easy.

During the first year, maybe a little longer, I remained numb. Reality didn’t sink in until I stopped talking to myself. I’ve since resumed talking to myself, my dog, my walls—anything really. I know that the echoes of my horrible voice will simply rise to the ceiling and then crash to the floor. Then I think that is one of the reasons people avoid me—my voice. I was born a girl, and every time I check—I’m still a girl, but my voice sounds like a heavy cable catching on the gears of an elevator. Can you imagine that? A small-framed woman with a booming voice like a faulty elevator cable—ugh. I consider all the nouns used to describe women—princess, angel, chick, babe, diva—and they all have one thing in common—the perfect sound. Stop laughing; they do. Close your eyes, picture each noun, and imagine how they sound when they talk. Heavenly, isn’t it? My husband once told me that was just one of the things that he found attractive about me—my voice. He always thought the raspy voice sounded sexy. He was twitterpated. Without him telling me how much he loved it, it took almost five years to accept my voice with all its deep raspy tones, but I’ve finally realized that it doesn’t matter how I sound; it’s what I have to say that matters. It wasn’t easy. No one ever said it would be easy.

The second year passed; there was still numbness, but it was like when your foot goes to sleep and the feeling starts to return—you know that weird, tingly feeling, sort of like needles pricking your skin all the way to the bone—it was like that. That was the year I had a breakdown because of a milk jug. Seriously—a milk jug. I was getting a glass of milk; I still drank the two percent then, but switched to skim milk since. There I was with the milk jug in my hand and it hit me—I could drink directly from the jug if I wanted. Just like that—BAM—the realization that I was truly—alone. I dropped the milk jug, spilling milk everywhere and fell to my knees. Remember the voice—yes, well; the hysterical cry is not a pretty thing either. It’s not that I wanted to drink from the jug—I didn’t; I just wanted him there to say, “Relinda, don’t drink from the jug.” He would know if the temptation to do so showed in any way. He was good at that. We were always joking with each other. I called him “ass” and he called me “master ass.” We were good like that—always joking and laughing. I miss that. Missing someone so much that you cry for them in your sleep because you don’t want anyone to see you crying is not easy. People said it would get easier—people lie.

The last two years have been the hardest. I’ve spent most of the last year accepting that he’s not coming back—ever. I’ve also been coming to terms with spending the rest of my life alone. I’m getting better. My new motto is “Alone but Strong.” I am strong. Doyle knew how strong I was; he told me countless times. He was amazed at my physical strength, but more amazed at my emotional strength. I carried dead chickens, thirty pounds in each hand; hauled hay; unloaded a ton of 50-pound bags of cow feed every week; carried 100-pound calves around; turned cows over when they couldn’t do it themselves; and pulled calves, of course, I was strong. I don’t think I can do those things anymore. I survived my children’s terrible twos and terrible teens; fought cancer; watched my Mom fight cancer; survived my son’s crisis; dried everyone else’s tears; never shed my own; and nursed everyone else back to health, of course, I was strong. I don’t know if I can do those things anymore. It was never easy. No one said it would be easy.

On December 19, 2014, I’ll be counting to five. At least I won’t have to contemplate removing a finger. I know I’ll still be alone, but I don’t think that will bother me. I don’t celebrate Christmas anymore; I have no desire to do so. He was in the ground for only three days when Christmas came. I buried him on the 22nd, and went to work the next day. Then, I couldn’t go to work for two days because of the stupid holiday. I wanted to work. I wanted to do anything but think. But I was still numb, so mostly I just stared at the wall—holding his shirt—wishing. . It wasn’t easy. No one ever said it would be easy.

I don’t mind the loneliness anymore—truth is it’s seeped into my soul and become a part of me. I don’t need affection or love anymore either. I have goals that I’ve worked hard to reach and solitude is my friend. I don’t need anyone to make me feel pretty or special anymore. When Doyle was dying, he made me promise that I would finish college and get my degree. He called me his college girl. I can still hear him, “College girl” in his southern drawl. I don’t need anything but to keep that promise. It’s not easy. No one ever said it would be easy.

©~Relinda R.  22 June 2014broken heart

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 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

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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.

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.

Visits in the Darkness


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The monster visited last night. Every time that I dozed, I would wake moments later to find myself drenched in sweat. My face felt wet, but I’m not sure if it was sweat or tears. I know it was the monster. I could see it lurking in the darkness of my room. I think I saw it perched on the cascading spray of autumn flowers that adorned his coffin. It smiled at me. Its teeth were remarkably white. I never imagined that a monster could have such impeccably white teeth. I think I smiled back at it. I’m not sure. It whispered in my ear. I felt its hot breath upon my neck as it whispered to me. The monster’s name is Grief.

©2013 Relinda R.

My Declaration of Existence


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     I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to explain the reason for my growing frustration with life, but it is becoming seemingly impossible to express. My dilemma begins with the fact that I was once an optimist. I could find the good or possible positive outcome in even the direst of situations. Now, I see nothing either good and not even minimal possibility of ever enjoying life again. I accepted that outlook years ago; however, my frustration is in trying to explain that my outlook does not suggest that I am ungrateful for the blessings I do have. I recognize my blessings and I am grateful. People are so frustrating because they expect widows or widowers to be satisfied with what life offers, never recognizing that they had a partner in everything they did and are now flying solo.

     Whenever a friend is trying to convince one that God thinks it best that you rejoice in the death of your spouse because that is part of his Grand Plan, how does one look that friend in the eye and respond. How does one explain that his or her spouse made life worth living, that he or she made you feel like you were the most important being on earth. How does one respond? I know that some people find love again because they let it go, but some remain attached to that one soul who made them whole.Image

     During my journey of life, I traveled from having something to look forward to each day to having absolutely nothing in which to focus upon with true hope except death. It is only in death that I will see my love again. How does one explain that? Trust me; if you speak those words aloud, people with white coats come calling and waving costly tickets to Looneyville.

     I surrender in my efforts of explanation. I should not have to explain anything. I miss my husband. I miss sharing every waking moment possible with him by my side. I miss working on our yard together. I miss working in our shop together. I miss watching movies together. I miss reading to him and sharing stories. I miss holding him and him holding me. I miss kissing him and him kissing me. I miss making love and sharing our devotion to each other. I miss feeling loved. I miss sex. Nothing I do during the rest of my life will come close to meeting any of those fulfillments. Nothing.

     I have accepted my fate. I continue living. I set high goals and I meet them. I do not have to be the person I once was or smile to make others feel more comfortable. It is what it is. I live a life of solitude, even when people surround me. Does that mean that I do not believe in God—No! Does that mean that I am not grateful for my children—NO! Does my sadness imply that I do not appreciate my friends?—No! If you plan to save me from some apocalyptic hell to which you believe me to be destined—do not bother. I am going to the same place as you. All I have to do is trudge on until that time. I just close my eyes and I see him there—waiting for me.

     The method in which I manage to teeter just on the edge without completely falling over is really quite simple. I try to focus on little things and set goals. For instance, I have an exam this week. That is my immediate goal—to pass the exam. My long-term goal is to obtain my Master’s degree. That is it. There will not be any celebratory parties for me, myths of grandeur, love (and I mean the sex kind of love by that), or anything…really, just a goal and I may have a chocolate bar to reward myself for hard work. There is nothing in which to look forward to for me. One can survive, even knowing that love is dead. It is dismal, it is lonely, but it is what it is.

     There it is—my declaration of existence. I was fortunate to be born and find a man who thought I was the most beautiful and special girl in the world. I am fortunate to have two wonderful parents who always love me. I am fortunate that I have two beautiful children who teach me so much about life. I am fortunate that I have wonderful friends who make me smile even when I only want to cry. I have all that—and for that, I am grateful. However, I am missing the other half of my heart, of my soul, and the half that means I will never again be loved that way—while I exist in this life. I will never feel beautiful again. I will never feel loved again. I will never feel complete again. How anyone can find optimism in that knowledge is beyond me. I think they only find it when it is not happening to them. An explanation is unnecessary because it is MY declaration of existence, but I hope my declaration clarifies things.

©2013 Relinda R.Image