Tag Archive | random

Missing Hugs

During the last several years, I’ve tried to imagine what I miss the most and it’s proven impossible to narrow it down to one simple thing. I miss everything about what my life once was. Today was a hard day, one of those days in which one just wants to crawl back into bed and pretend it was all a bad dream. The moment I was able to think, I imagined what I miss the most. The hugs. Today, I missed the hugs most.

For nearly 20 years, my husband never left the house without kissing and hugging me. Never once. He told me that if anything ever happened, he wanted me to know how much he loved me and he always sealed it with a kiss and a hug. As I drove home, I thought about the way he would’ve been waiting for me or I for him and I tried to imagine how great it would be if he could wrap his arms around me. I tried to imagine how a hug would feel. It’s been many years, but I can still remember. Today, I needed his arms around me more than ever.

couple-love-romantic-silhouette.jpgMy advice to anyone is to treasure the little moments. Savor the unexpected and the expected kisses. Welcome the hugs. Hug every time you get a chance. Make the quick little hugs last as long as possible. Never take either for granted because a day may come in which you never get to experience affection again. Never leave the house without a hug. Tonight, I’ll close my eyes and sleep within a ghost’s embrace. Today, I miss hugs the most.

©2018 Relinda R.


Learning to Live Again

Catchy title. Catchy, but I find myself struggling to learn how to live again. I wake up every day, I go to work, and I sleep at night. All the routine motions of living continue, but my heart beats differently and my mind thinks differently. Basically, I am a different person now. The things around which my life once revolved have drifted to the farthest recesses of my mind. For the last eight-and-a-half years, I haven’t permitted myself the leisure of thinking too much. I should’ve followed the advice I read in hundreds of articles about grieving; I should’ve been easier on myself and given myself the time to heal. I didn’t. Instead, I pushed forward while focusing on a promise I made and spent too much time worrying about how my grief affected others. I regret that. I don’t imagine there is a “proper” way to heal, but after so many years, I believe that worrying about what others think should be at the very bottom of the list, if at all.

My lack of foresight results in unexpected and abrupt flashes now. A couple of weeks ago, I was washing some dishes and gazing out the window and in an abrupt and unexpected moment, my mind recalled a distant memory. There he was, mowing the hill where I was gazing. I smiled. Then, I wanted to cry. I don’t allow myself to cry, so it took a lot of strength to hold back tears. I suppose the memory popped into my mind because I was thinking that the grass is growing and I need to start mowing. I suppose the memory popped into my mind because he is never far from my mind. I suppose that instead of analyzing the mechanics of what prompted a memory, I should try focusing on my instant reaction to it, which was a fleeting smile. The smile was not one of those manufactured smiles that widows practice in order to appease onlookers; the smile was sincere and without thought.

These glimpses into the past are coming more frequently now. This morning, I was sitting under my dining room table, cleaning the parts I seldom find time to scrub and I saw Star Puppy Ruth with his paws draping the table legs. We lost our beloved Star Puppy six months before Doyle joined him. Again, I smiled. Star Puppy Ruth was almost a permanent fixture under Doyle’s legs. That was Doyle’s favorite place to sit at the dining room table and Star Puppy was always right there. Sometimes, I had to slide that 60-pound puppy across the floor while I tried to clean. Sometimes, I scolded him. Sometimes, I laughed at him and rubbed his belly while telling him what a big baby he was. The memory of him was completely unexpected. It just popped into my mind, much like the mowing incident. This time, I didn’t analyze it; I just soaked it all in. This time, I didn’t fight the tear that came to my eye.

Perhaps these abrupt and unexpected flashes of the past are the stepping stones to learning to live again. I don’t claim to know the answers. All I know is that the motions I’ve been making that resemble some semblance of normalcy do not represent living.

I recently shared an old piece of writing and a few friends asked me to continue writing. I’m giving it a shot. I started writing because I thought it would help me heal faster, but I learned healing is not something that can be controlled. I stopped writing because I wasn’t healing. Healing from grief is not like healing from a physical wound. The heart, once broken, has to learn its own path to healing. There is not a pattern and there is definitely not a specific timeline. Each person and situation is unique. I can’t follow one person’s advice any more than I can follow one widow’s advice; I have to follow my heart.

I’m going to take my friends’ requests to heart and try writing again. It helps me to know that a few people actually enjoy reading what I write, and who knows, I may find that writing will help me learn to live again. This time, I won’t write with any expectations or intentions. I’ll just let my heart express what it needs to express. If it does lead to living again, then I’ll know it’s time. For now, I plan to treasure the memories of happiness that pop into my mind.

©2018 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.

A Purpose

Image“Discovering your purpose in life is like feeling a soft summer breeze caress your body while drenched in sweat.  Realizing that your purpose challenges everything you ever sought and knew in life is like feeling a harsh winter wind plummet your naked body after emerging from the ocean waters in December.”


2009 and back—Sundays were awesome. Sunday bekfast to start the day, usually pancakes and bacon, then work time! There was usually time spent in the shop with the stereo blaring, and always time spent working in the yard. I loved Sundays! For about 20 years, I never spent a Sunday alone. The best Sundays were whenever we had ongoing projects-like building a cabin, shop, or installing a new ceiling. We had fun, regardless of what we were doing.

2010 to last Sunday—Sundays suck. There is no Sunday bekfast. Pepper da’ schnauzer and I just eat whatever we can find. We have not had pancakes or bacon since October 2009. And never will again. The work continues, but there is no joy in it because I do it alone. Sundays offered three choices-work on job things; work on school work; or clean. In a striving effort to keep everyone happy-I always chose whatever seemed to please others the most.

This Sunday-today—the first Sunday in which I’ve stirred without any lingering hope whatsoever. I am empty. I accepted the solitude. I’ve accepted that he is not returning and I will be alone for the rest of my miserable days. I will never wake up to pancakes and bacon, be excited about projects, or wake up in his arms again. Surprisingly, the absence of any hope whatsoever is easier. Knowing that the rest of my Sundays now offer four choices is somewhat of a relief. I can work on job things; work on school work; clean; or pretend it is nightfall, go back to bed and wonder how much longer until my punishment is over. I accept it. In fact, I embrace the solitude. Finally, I can sleep without any annoying interruptions of unrealistic dreams to my work or sleep. I am empty. I do not expect anything.

It took over four years for me to accept Solitude and Loneliness. After four long years of clinging to expectations and hope, I finally killed them all. After realizing that expectations are empty, there is nothing to anticipate, and hope is false, I am falling in love with Solitude. It is comforting to let go of any lingering hope and desperation. I expect nothing from life. After all, I had everything once. All my expectations and fragmented hopes are dead. My dear friend calls it progress and advises me that it is great to accept solitude as my purpose in life. I am learning what I was supposed to learn—that I belong alone. It is progress because once all hope of anything good is gone, one cannot even feel the pain anymore. Soon, I will look forward to the weekends. I can go to my house, lock the door, and kiss Solitude. I can remove my mask and sleep a long, dreamless sleep. And until Monday morning, I can know the emptiness of sleeping within Solitude’s embrace. I do not look forward to anything. . . except the end. I may be free.

©2014 Relinda R.


“I am lost without you. I am soulless, a drifter without a home, a solitary bird in a flight to nowhere. I am all these things, and I am nothing at all. This, my darling, is my life without you. I long for you to show me how to live again.”
Nicholas Sparks


A very wise friend helped me to see that my purpose is to accept Solitude. I accept my fate. I fought so hard to deny it and I begged Clotho to weave it differently, but in the end—the sisters of fate prevail. I see my reflection in the mirror, but I am not there anymore. I am lost. I am alone. I am gone. Once, I slept within the warm embrace of love. Now, I slumber within the cold grasp of solitude. I surrender. I welcome it. I accept it.

Others always know best. You will heal. You will live again. You will get over it. You must move forward. Others know best? Do they? You have no right to hurt when others have hurt more. You should smile. You should laugh. You should be happy within Solitude’s grasp. Shouldn’t you? Smile while you suffer and die slowly and silently. Others always believe they know best.

“Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.” ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Eventually all the Others walk away, all but Solitude; he is always the victor in an unseen battle. Eventually, the facade fades and the curtains close, but Solitude waits in the wings to claim his rewards. Even the strongest shields sometimes crumble and fall away. But Solitude waits to make love to you. And gradually, you learn to love Solitude completely.

©2014 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”

“Out, out, brief candle”

Everything ends. Regardless of whether it is unbound bliss, or inconsolable anguish, it must end. Knowing when something should end is the key to true wisdom. Sometimes, there is no other alternative than to close your eyes, gently extinguish the flame and whisper, “Out, out, brief candle.”Image                                       It has to end soon. I no longer recognize this stranger living within me. Traces of Hope lingered even after I thought him dead, but now I know he is truly gone. All that is left is an empty shell that some stranger inhabits. It has to end soon. I do not recognize the reflection that stares back at me with hollow eyes. The remainder of what is me is wise.

©Relinda R. 2013