Tag Archive | yearning

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.


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.

Counting Dots…


Sometimes, late at night, I stare at the night sky and try to count all the little dots of light. It is impossible. I imagine there are more stars flickering above then are people flickering below. I catch myself wondering if Doyle is among those stars even while I know he is right next to me and a million miles away at the same time. I look up toward the sky and reminisce how his laughter sounded and how his touch felt upon my skin. I try to fight back the tears as I acknowledge that I will never know that sound or touch again. My chest aches because I use all my strength to hold the tears inside my wounded heart. Sometimes, late at night, I scream. During the night, monsters wake and I can see Loneliness and what he can do to the bereaved. I know because he has tried to kill me. I keep waiting for angels to sing or some shit like that, clinging to the hope that he will come back for me. Logically, I know he will never come back for me. I tell the stars that there is no need to keep punishing me but I believe the biggest punishment is yet to come when I wake up in a hundred-year-old body. It has been two-and-a-half years and I miss him more each passing day. I can only imagine what I will be like in 40 years. I fear that is my punishment for loving him so much, to live a long life without him. Tomorrow—July 2 is our wedding anniversary. It will be the third one without him. God help me. I know I will be standing in the darkness counting all the little dots of light and wishing… pointlessly.


©Relinda R.


I face each day with the knowledge that I will end it the same way—alone. I face the knowledge that I will never again feel the sun on my face or know the warmth of an embrace. The worst part is that I face each day knowing I will face the same day again tomorrow. I only exist. How glorious the sun would feel upon my skin. Someday.

©Relinda R.


The Red Scrunchie

The Red Scrunchie

I have written a lot about my exhaustion, but not about my sleep. My husband and I shared a queen-sized bed for many years. It is so empty now that I often find myself sprawled across the entire bed as though I search for him during my sleep. I average about four hours of sleep each night. I want to sleep. I really do, but I can only sleep for short periods at a time. My initial problem with sleeping began the day after he died. I went to bed that night and found that all I could do was hysterically sob. I wrapped my arms around the pillow (his pillow) upon which he took his last breath. I clutched that pillow so tightly that my arms ached. The pillow was not enough though.

I began to try out different belongings of his with which to sleep, believing that would help. I tried his wallet. That did not work well. I rationalized that he always had his wallet and it was so much a part of him that it would comfort me. I dozed off only to discover the wallet was not in my hand. I then panicked and had to turn on the light to locate the wallet. The exhausting pattern of crying into his pillow while clutching his wallet lasted about a week. I had to find a new object with which to seek comfort.

I tried his cap. He always wore his cap. Only two occurrences prompted him to remove his cap—one was sleep and the other was, well, that is no one’s business. I do not know how many of you have tried sleeping with a cap before, but let me be the first to tell you—that brim is a lot more stiff than you might imagine. I would wake with it stabbing me painfully in my side. I dozed off, clutching the cap in a death grip but again, I woke in a panic to locate it. Another week or so of embracing his pillow and clutching his cap and I realized that was not working either.

Next, I tried his Taekwondo black belt. It, too, had spent many years embracing him. His black belt is worn and tattered from years of teaching and sparring. If you have never slept with a black belt—do not try it. That lasted about two nights because I nearly strangled myself. Apparently, I do not sleep peacefully. I may pass out in a vertical position in my bed and wake in a horizontal position. I have found blankets wrapped around my neck and broken vases on my headboard from my nighttime flailing.  Somehow, I managed to get his black belt wrapped around my neck. Flop. I had to think of another tactic to get sleep.

I took two of his tee shirts from his dresser and cuddled with those and his pillow. The tee shirts would find their way to my feet or end up in a heap on the floor. I just could not keep them in my grasp. In case you are wondering, yes, I nearly smothered myself with one of his shirts. Perhaps I have a subconscious desire to die, but I am not intending to take my life. The wallet did not work. His cap failed to comfort me enough so that I could rest. His black belt tried to kill me and his tee shirts escaped me. It was then that I experienced an epiphany.

During his last days, he had so many wires and tubes plugged into his body. He was on a continuous morphine drip that impaired his judgment. According to his doctors, he was also in an incomprehensible amount of pain. I failed to realize that because he never let me know. He became fascinated with all the wires and tubes in his morphine-induced state of confusion. I turned my head for one second and he had removed his oxygen mask and was busily working to remove the PEG tube from his navel. I went to the restroom only to return and find him frantically trying to trace the intricate web of wires attached to his chest. I realized that I had to find something with which to entertain him and prevent him from removing the very things that were keeping him alive and mildly comfortable. I dug through my bag and found a red scrunchie.

I dangled the red scrunchie in front of his eyes to get his attention and he reached for it as though in slow motion. His eyes lit up like those of a small child. He was fascinated. He worked for hours to understand how the threads joined to form that elastic circle. One would think he was studying the complex mechanism of a carburetor. Perhaps he was. Regardless of what he saw, the red scrunchie kept him occupied and prevented him from playing with wires and tubes.Image

The red scrunchie even entertained us because once, he was so busy tracing the threads that he sat up in bed and removed his oxygen mask to work. I failed to realize he had removed his mask until the oxygen alarm began blaring.  His oxygen level was dropping rapidly and I ran toward him, scolding him to get his mask back on his face. He panicked. I startled him enough that he shook with confusion as he tried to understand my words. He shoved the red scrunchie onto his nose and proceeded to put his mask back on over it. It was priceless. Once I got the red scrunchie out of there and the mask on him properly, we laughed about it. I had forgotten that I could laugh. I will never forget that image of him with the red scrunchie on his nose. I still smile when I remember that moment. We needed one moment to laugh during those dark days.

I knew the red scrunchie would be my source of salvation. I removed it from the jewelry box in which I had placed it and wrapped it around my right hand, climbed into bed, embraced his pillow and slept. It was the first time I slept for hours in what seemed like decades. I dreamed of him that night. I continue to sleep with the red scrunchie and his pillow. I cry into the softness of his pillow, knowing that I will never embrace him that way again in this life. Nevertheless, I fondle the red scrunchie with my left hand, closing my eyes while tears run down my cheeks, knowing that he is somewhere out there smiling at me.

©2011-12 Relinda R.