I Cut My Hair

by Zoe

There are things that are so easy to do when our beloved are with us. Those things that we do because it makes them happy and it does not make us unhappy. We do it because we love them.

John liked my hair long, I cut it once and he made the sad face for a week until I told him I would grow it back. Of course then he said he loved me either way, but I knew he like this, so I kept it long. I loved him, it made him happy and I like that.

Last week was a bad workweek, just crazy in the office, bad weather, and of course, the random tears that still come. So on Saturday I went to the salon to get my hair trimmed. And the girl who does my hair said, well how about something a little different. I said sure, and she said how about going short just for the summer. And I sat in the chair, for what felt like an eternity. If I went home and told John I did it for the summer he would be fine, I actually reached for my phone (maybe I would call first, I hate the sad face LOL) then I put down my purse and said sure why not.

Because that is where I am now, why not cut it off. There is no one that is happy because I have it long. There is no one to make the sad face because I cut it. It just does not matter. So now I have what I am told is a cute hair cut, and I hate it, not that it is bad, but it represents one more thing in my life I do not have anymore. I do not have someone who loves me and wants to look at me. I do not have the person who had an opinion about my hair. I do not have the person who I cared had an opinion about my hair.
I would give the world to look at him. I do not get that either.

So I cut my hair. And I am without my John. And no matter how much time goes by, it just keeps hammering home. I cannot do this without him, I do not want to.

One breath, one-step one day at a time.

Comments for I Cut My Hair

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Feb 16, 2014
by: Teri

This is one of the most beautiful and expressive things I have ever read and it sums up exactly how I feel. Our hearts are broken; what better way to show, feel and know the grief than to shear off our hair? I went looking for the history of cutting ones hair in grief and this was the Godsend. Mine is going.

Sep 02, 2013
Cutting Dreadlocks
by: Shawn

Thanks for your post, I completely related to it.

My brother died in June after a long illness, and four days afterwards I cut off my dreadlocks which, as a Rastafarian, I'd been growing for 23 years. (Fyi cutting dreadlocks due to bereavement is not a usual practice in the Rastafari community. This was a personal decision).

I had a lot of guilt about my brother as we had been estranged for a year, but I thought about him constantly and left it too late to get around his obstructive girlfriend to see him again. Even on the day he died I was thinking of strategies for how I could see him, and the next day I found out he passed!

He made a lot of sacrifices in his life, including both his legs being amputated. He also had dreadlocks but they never grew as much as he liked. When he passed away I got the overwhelming feeling that mine had to go. They started to feel psychologically heavy. I had been thinking of cutting them before, but his passing confirmed I needed to do it, for so many reasons I couldn't neatly articulate - sacrifice/grief/harsh life lessons/guilt/responsibility/renewal/rebirth/holding on/letting go....and other reasons.

I've started to twist them into locks again. When I cut them I didn't think I would, but it feels like the right and natural thing to do.

I still have my cut locks, I want to burn them in a private dedication ceremony. As a Rasta dreadlocks have a lot of significance, and I loved and respected my brother so much I want him to know that. I hope he knew.

Thanks again for your post. It's comforting to read other people's experiences.

Blessed Love,


Nov 09, 2011
I understand
by: Norma

I also cut my hair when my boyfriend less than a year ago. I am first nations (aboriginal) and I know people who cut their hair as a sign of mourning. Our hair is considered a part of our spirit and thus, cutting it, shows how our spirit is somewhat not the same anymore, not whole. I was completed and totally devastated when my bf died and I knew it was the right thing for me to do after he passed away. It was growing back quickly and everyone stated how long my hair has grown. It also shows, as I hear, my hair reflects the same thing. Unfortunately, my sister just passed less than 2 weeks ago, and I have cut it again short...as I am in the grieving stages again. It is very difficult, I understand what you are going through. All I can say, express how you feel to others, cry when you feel like it, get support from others, pray, and no matter what, remember, it does get better. Our loved ones wouldn't want us sad. Smile. Take care.

May 21, 2011
Pride is a good thing


This may sound odd but I think to recover from grief we need to be selfish. By that I mean that we now should so what pleases us. Though we loved our life and miss it terribly, the only way to recuperate from grief is to do what WE Want.

When we begin the 2nd part of our life we really need to rediscover ourselves and the only way to realize who we are is to enjoy whatever we want.
Within reason, but to say Why not? more often.

No, I have not bungee jumped nor do I want to but I wear what I want cut my hair how I want...You get the drift. It is the only thing that keeps me sane and figuring out some type of identity for my self. My identity was with my husband for so long that it is hard figuring out who I am or became.

Don't be sad, you are learning about yourself your wants your needs. In the end you will be quite pleased with what you have accomplished and evolved into. There is only one way for us widows to grow. We must embrace life and not shrivel up. So much left for us in this life. I admit seeing couples still makes me envious, not being able to grow old with him.

But I will be my very best, not for him but for me. You try and do the same. Do what you want- Be what you want, it's a clean canvas...

May 17, 2011
Hair cuts and other things
by: Judy

I can so totally relate. I did many things to please Barry. He liked longer hair long (don't most men) so I kept mine longer. He like yellow so I wore yellow. He liked historical military films so we watched "The Longest Day" many times. He liked dogs so we got a Great Dane Etc etc We all do things to please our beloved, and do it with a happy heart. I always thought it was a tiny thing, to wear yellow, relative to the love I was washed in every day.

Although it doesn't feel very liberating at the moment, you are beginning to make decisions that will build your independent life without your John. If you don't like your hair short, let it grow but do it because you want it that way. You can now make all your decisions based on what you really want. It'll feel funny at first but soon you will gradually see the person you are becoming emerge out of these little day to day decisions.

My hair is shorter also, not short but shorter because it is so darn hot here in the summer. I kept our big boy Sammy until the end of his life, but I am a cat person and I am perfectly content with my kink tailed alley cat. I watch historical programs but also the reality shows and Bones. I listen to country music while I am house cleaning because (gasp) I like it. All these little decisions are part of who I am without Barry.

I am beginning to like who I am becoming and you will also. You are still fairly new in grief ,so some of this might not make any sense to you right now but in time it will. Until then, know that we are always here to listen and help if we can.


May 16, 2011
Dear Zoe
by: Anonymous

Your letter made me cry for I know exactly how you feel. There is just no one who cares what you do or don't do. Whether you cut your hair or get a tan or not get a tan or whatever. No one to tell you how good something is that you cooked especially for him and he loves and appreciates it. He gives you a wink when you are both going out for the evening which tells you how great you look. No, there is none of that. No one to tell you how he loves you or he's sorry if he's sick. No one who prefers your company to anyone else. He was one of a kind and we have to remind ourselves how lucky we were to be chosen by them. I have been reminded by friends that there are many who never find this companion and soulmate. It doesn't help me to know this. It just hurts more than I ever thought anything could hurt. I am struggling with you each and every hour of the day. May God guide all of us thru this valley of tears.

May 16, 2011
Cutting your hair
by: M Mack


Don't be afraid to make subtle changes. That's a good sign that you have guts to make a decision you would not have made if John was here. The more you do for you....the better you will be. Ray loved my hair, midlength and layered yet I know he wanted me to let it grow longer. I would get disgusted and have it shaped, ultimately it never got long. Currently, I let it grow, down my back and it's pretty long only because Im not interested in my hair right now. I'm still trying to make the day, slowly moving on in my grief stages.

The point is, I wish I let it get long when he was here because I knew he'd love it. You wore it the way John liked it and really did a loving, selfless thing. I wish I was as accommodating about my hair for Ray when I had the chance....... now it's too late! So consider this one step closer to finding you. Who knows.... you might start to like the new Zoe look after all.
Best wishes with the new style.

May 16, 2011
i cut my hair
by: jules

Zoe - please don't be so sad - we all here know what you are going through - my John always liked me as a blond - but now I wear my hair quite dark, with some red in it. I don't think I will ever go blond again, I am not that person now, I am a different person in so many ways. I know he is looking down (or maybe that is up??) and saying that it is ok - be your own person, do what you want - he always let me be who I was, never tried to change me, but I always considered him in whatever I did, hence the blond hair, I knew he liked it, so that's what I had.

Think positively, my dear, take time just for you - be the person your John would want you to be -
and every day - one step, one breath
take care

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