In the tunnel

by Zoe

You know in the beginning I lived on this site. First was just a regurgitation of my pain. Then slowly I started to listen to others, and finally reaching out to help. Now, I read the titles, even read the listings, but I do not comment as much as I used to. And the thing is, it is not because I do not want to help, it is because between the beginning and the first year, I did not want to hear I would be better, or it would be easier, it was an abomination of my love, and my loss. Sometimes I think we reach for that instant when everything changes because as raw and horrible as that pain is, it is better than not feeling anything. You have this fear that you will loose the sound of their voice, or the touch of their hand, so if you keep your self in that pain, you feel them... even if it is just as they leave.

I have made friends here, true friends, some we will never meet but we have held each other up when we crashed. We encouraged, we cried we laughed. and we raged against the universe that did this to us. Why, why did John die and other evil people live? Why could I not take his place? To this day I thing he would have survived this better than I did. Maybe, maybe not, I do not get to know that. I still cry and I am 28 months since loosing him. I love him. I always have and I always will. That is just the way it is. The thing is, for all of you who are new to grief that is one of the things that takes the longest. To figure out how to start.. Moving again. Once the blitz of the funeral is over and everybody has gone back to their lives; where do you go when you are partner, or widow. Or whatever. See we do not have a life to go back to, oh, there is everybody in the world telling you what you have to do to, or how well you will be or how it will be better. I remember when I did not want to hear it, I could not. To lose that moment was to begin to walk away, and I was never going to walk away from John, never.

The truth is, the person you were 30 seconds before you lose your love is gone, and that life is gone. So as the one left behind you have to decide how best YOU are going to live the rest of your life. And the sad truth is, you have to ride the waves of grief to help you find that person. So how do you cope.....well for a while you try to get your footing. you have to do the things you never had to do.. nor did you want to. You have to face the world without the person you tell everything to, who you trust. Who do you trust now??? Death can bring families together and it can blow them apart. But all of that is external. After the numbness (yes for those of you who have just lost your loved one, there is a numbness that allows you to move. That is why the crash after the funeral is so bad, because the numbness fades and you are left with .. with what.. nothing actually. Who this woman who looks back at me in the mirror now. How do you cope with the silence.. oh my goodness there is nothing like that silence to make you realize your loss.

So in your life now is silence, now what. Well you will one day, be able to go for more than an hour without crying. You will even smile. And that smile is not a betrayal of your love, it is your mind trying to adjust to the incomprehensible. It is trying to form a way to make you move, because like it or not. You will move, time moves you, and as much as you fight it, you will begin to move.
Now, when you start moving you are forever looking back, forever focused on ‘the moment” . Fighting to feel that touch that is now gone, that smile.. the conversations you could have without saying anything. At some point you will look forward, and for me, that was one of the most horrid moments, I will have to live the rest of my life with out John.. that is wrong , no we have the great American love story,, he has to still be here..

Now you being to make choices, not because you want to, but because you have to. What will your path be. I know some who have moved on and found new love, some have redefined themselves a stronger person, but still with the love of their life, but open to new experiences, and there are people like me. See I know myself, there will never be anyone else. And that is not me being a martyr or depressed.. I am Widow. And you know what.. I am ok with that. When people tell me I am so young, blazay blazay I do not even argue anymore. Because I know, who I am and what I have to do to survive this. For me, I am forever with John. And you know I am okay with that. I train dogs and work and play weird games with my granddaughter. I have my love, he is always with me. I am alone but not lonely, no that is a lie, I am lonely, but I have to push that back because there is only one person who can fix that, and it is John. I do yell at John from time to time to make sure he knows he is supposed to be here. like when I got my arm stuck in the toilet. (I wrote it here you can find it). See I do not feel alone. Will I change my mind? I do not think so, but if I do, well I do not know.

Which brings me back to this site. Do I come here desperately every day? No, but I still come, I look for my friends, and try to reach those of you who are new to this. And I will say what other does not. You are absolutely right, this is not ok, it is not fair or just or reasonable. But for all the rage at the universe, it will not change anything. There is no one to pay or bribe, or beg to change this. I remember being hysterical in the beginning, I would have done anything, there was no way John was dead. Not my John. But he is. See there is a change. It has taken me two years to say that John died. I have always said he was taken, died was so final. I could not have final. Why can I say it now, because the woman who is left is still living with him in a way, he is in my home in my decisions, I talk to him, and I love him. I guess I have finally realized he is not coming back. Funny, you would think I would have figured that out a long time ago.

For those of you who have recently suffered this loss. Your world is spinning and every breath you take is like a knife in your lungs, every thing around you reminds you of the one you lost. That ravaging pain, it does change. Please, do not let anyone rush you, find your comfort. For me it was writing here, for others it is group, whatever, do what you have to. And yes the dishes may set, guess what that is fine, it is all fine, Do not allow your self to feel judged or pushed.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel? I do not know, but I am getting pretty good at walking in the dark.

I do not want to do this without you, I cannot
One-step, One breath, One day at a time.

Comments for In the tunnel

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Aug 05, 2012
There is light at the end... Long damn grief walk to get there though
by: Hope


I too come here form time to time when I am feeling lonely. I still Miss Paul, even as I try to embrace this New Life that was forced upon me. The life that I did not want.

As I began my journey towards the new "Normal" I tried to live life as full as possible. It was not easy at first. I remember the 1st ball game that I went to after Paul's death. He died in Dec. so this would have been the spring and Summer after.

Memories of the last ball game we went to as a family assailed me. The look on Paul's face is forever burned into my memory. He knew that this might be his last game before his aneurysm surgery.

I of course thought differently, I had read all about people going through the surgery and going to church 2 weeks later. Hope springs eternal right?

So the first time I tried to give Brandon the life that he deserved without his father it was not with a stiff upper lip. I cried openly going to that first game without my love.

We were picked to play a game on the field, Brandon throwing water balloons into a bucket on my head. In front of thousands of people I prayed Please let me get through this and fake happiness for my sons sake.

So just over 2 & 1/2 years since my Love death I begin to adjust. It is not an easy adjustment. Half of me was torn away when he died and I did not grow that part back like a lizard. Instead
I ran trying to fill the emptiness with events and travel.

It is only now that I begin to feel actual joy and contentment. I am not faking for the sake of my son. I am not acting pretending everything is o.k. If finally is but it sure took its damn time getting here.

I still ache but I can smile with the memory of Love that I once had. I know that few really experience the love story that was my life. For that I am grateful. And damn lucky that not only did I Love him....He loved me back.

Jul 31, 2012
In there with You
by: Judith in California

Zoe, it's been a while for me too. It's good to see an old friend on here. I look for trish and Hope and others who used to be on here two years back when I first came on. I guess most of us two years down the road have felt like you. I know I do. I do read a lot of the stories but feel I have nothing to offer anymore. I thought after 2 years (me in Sept) we would be better. It seems, like you, I am feeling his death more lately. I told a friemd the other day that the more time goes on it's like he's moving furhter away from me and that hurts. Yes it's taken me all this time to say "died" too. I've tried to move forward and go out and attempt to meet a new persoon but afterwards I feel more lonely than before becasue it all reminds me of what I no longer have and never will again.
I'm in that tunnel with you Zoe, still looking for the light.
Take care and God bless.

Jul 31, 2012
by: Pat J

Dear Zoe,
Thank you for your inspiring outlook; where you have been in your grief and where you are now 28 months later.
It was 13 months for me since my husband,Red, of 46 years died of a massive heart attack. I have a great support system; my children, my spouses family, and three widows I met through a grief support group through our church.
I have done alot of things I would not have done if Red was alive. In the back of my mind; my choice would be to just be with him. That is not going to happen in this life. My faith tells me we will be together again in another life, when my time comes. I will wait for that.
He was and still is the love of my life. I carry him in my heart and talk to him everyday. I visit his grave, yet I feel closer to him at home, here where he died. I will always be his wife; yes I am his widow in reality; but in my heart I am and always will be his wife. I am going on, everyone tells me how good I look and how well I am doing. If they only knew how much I still ache for him amd I know I always will.
I miss my man in my life, but I don't need or want another man in my life. People say, you're young, you'll love again; no way! I miss Red! In my mind I know he died, but I imagine him in just another room, close to me.
This new life. If I had a choice, I would take my old life; like you said, in a split second our life is forever changed with their death. I did not choose this life; none of us did. We just have to accept it and go on. One day at a time. sometimes just a moment at a time
I come to this site everyday. I read all the posts. I relate to so much; we who have loved and lost do. We do go on; one day at a time.
Thank you!

Jul 31, 2012
In the tunnel
by: Doreen U.K.

Zoe, thank you for your post. I am only 3 months into this website and I post 90% of the time as this is "creative grieving" and it works for me. It doesn't postpone my grief. People here express how I feel. Why can't I do this? it is as if it is all stuck. This expression here is healing in itself. If someone mentions a catheter. or caregiver, or wheelchair, or something pertinent to them, it actually triggers off a memory for me and then I shed tears and my grief flows.
Every day is difficult. We don't have the life we want anymore when we become a widow. Husband and Wife are ONE. At death they are broken in two. That one that is left is just the other half of the ONE. It is like being AMPUTATED at the soul. It is painful. We can't go on as normal. EVER. I don't want to think too far ahead about HEALING. It is different for each of us, I may not survive the HEALING process. We are now the one's who have become ill. There is no CURE for Grief.
It is a process we live. We just live it out. If we were meant to be ALONE God would not have created man for woman. Companionship is as natural as the air we breathe. We were not created to live in isolation. So God would know how badly it hurts because he set it up this way. We all come into the world attached to an umbilical cord. which has to be cut. But the bond still exists. It is surviving without this BOND that is hard. this BOND can never be severed. I guess we just have to EXIST till things change. I am not motivated to do anything. I DON'T. I hope things will change for me so I can get motivated to LIVE again. Come out of this tunnel I am still in. I hope this website grows so that more people will benefit and benefit others in creative writing. IT WORKS!!

Jul 30, 2012
right on
by: Julie

I have been coming here since just after my Charlie died (yes I can say it) 4/9/12. I don't post often and it's not my favorite site, but your post today really resonates with me. I can well imagine I will feel a lot like you in time.

Thank you,

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