The Cold

by Zoe

It is cold

I was alone in the house yesterday, no children, no dogs, just me and I cried until I screamed. I want him back, there must be some way because this cannot be real, this cannot be, he cannot be gone from my life, I have to wake up because I cannot be living in a world without him, this is a mistake. I could barely breath the pain is numbing. However, no matter how hard I beg, or what I do, he is gone, and whatever God or universe there is, my screams fall on deaf ears.

With others around you make yourself hold it in; you have mechanical movement, but movement nonetheless. There are always those moments when you sit and look out a window, and the place where your heart was is now a weight, you feel the pain move up to your throat as you choke back tears that will not stop But the thing is, except for the pain, I feel nothing.

That is not to say that some things have not changed. I have become accustomed to the fact that other people’s lives have moved on. I watch with the detachment of a 3 am infomercial the comings and goings of the lives around me. This one got together, this one broke up, this one had a baby this one did not; I smile and nod appropriately, or feign sympathy as needed. The fact is, I do not feel any of it, I am in a vacuum of my own pain, John is dead, and why do you just go forward with your life if he is dead? Do not get me wrong, I do not want to sit and cry to all of these people. No one wants to see the pain of a widow. I remind everyone of what a house of cards we all really live in. In addition, I truly do not want to hear the platitudes from people who do not know what to say. I know they do not know what to say, I do not know what to say.

So why this, why now. Well we all know how it is, moments of their life, and death play over in your head, whether you want them to or not, and it is cold here. I keep thinking of the day John died. The nurses told me as long as his breathing stayed between 12 and 16 we were ok. I counted religiously. When the new shift came in, the nurse said, he sounded shallower than before. I said well his is still breathing between 12 and 16 so we are not any worse right??? I remember she smiled at me, but I cannot tell you what she said. Anyway, we ordered food and had it delivered to the room. My daughter took her order to go back to the hotel; I had not left John since he had gotten so ill. I got up and walked to the tray and was talking to him telling him what food was there and what taste I would be giving him (he could not swallow but I would take tastes and put them on my finger so he would have the flavor in his mouth) I remember saying Oh look they have yummy marinara.

Then I felt it... I cannot even describe what it was but I felt it go up my back and I froze in that feeling for a second, or an eternity, and then I realized he was not breathing. All I could do was cry and scream for help. But he kept getting cold and he hated being cold but no matter what I did I could not warm him. Was this nine months ago, or a week ago, or was it yesterday. It does not really matter, it just is.

So today, I sit in my office and look out over the city. Not the city I was supposed to be living in, but the city I live in since he died. The day moves forward the office hums, but behind it, all is the cold I could not fix for the man I loved more than anything.

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

Comments for The Cold

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Jan 21, 2011
I feel your pain!
by: Cindy

Oh, how I feel your pain. It has been two months and feels like eternity. I am in so much darkness on a journey I hate. We were married almost 35 years and I miss him so very much. He was my life. Why do we have to go down this road. It is not fair. We had such a wonderful marriage and he was my life. I loved him so very much. He was my best friend, lover and soul mate and I can't hardly take this life without him. I have nothing to live for except that he gave me two beautiful children. They are grown and have their own lives and I know that it would hate to lose both of their parents, but sometimes I think I just can't go on. It does help me to know I am not alone in this loneliness. I pray that we can some day find some peace...

Jan 21, 2011
The Cold
by: M Mack


I wish there was something I could say to comfort you. I feel your pain and sorrow. That moment of death is a chilling undefinable experience. It is amazing that our bodies can take on that volume of emotions in seconds. The pain don't end when we realize it's over, they are cold. Even then we are paralyzed with a numbness unknown to our own being. It's a wonder where we draw our strength to function day by day as the world goes on.

The truth is that we survived the initial shock (even if in shock for months or more) and manage to emerge wiser, experienced, and grateful for the little time we had with that person.....fortunate to have the love of a lifetime.

As for me, I'm doing a terrible job facing the day I found Ray dead. I block it out when the memory hurts too much. I'm working on that a little at a time, 6 months little at a time! So keep writing, reading and I know that your pain is felt & shared by many. We are here for you even if stumbling around into the walls......we're here.

Jan 20, 2011
How long till I am normal again?


I am supposed to be over it. I mean it has been One Year One month 14 days etc. I have used up the allotted grieving time and all sympathies have expired. There really IS no one left to talk to, except of course here...

It used to be that every Sunday at 10:55 I would go through a mini funeral in my mind. I would relive that day EVERY Sunday. As time passed, I would flip the calender ahead a month to the 6th. The day, and try to make it till then.

We can... we will! do this, there is no other way out of this hell we now live our new normal. One day we will smile a genuine smile and not the polite grimace so obviously fake. I wish I had wise words to guide you through this labyrinth of grief. It just isn't right without them. Even if you adjust on the outside its like driving a car with one flat tire.

Just know that we are here wishing you well. Wanting you to be comfortable in the skin your in.
Hoping that that emptiness will someday be filled with purpose and joy yes genuine joy for life.

Jan 20, 2011
It's Cold Here Too
by: Trish

My husband passed away on December 3rd. It's 7 weeks tomorrow. I relive the night my husband passed away ~ I cry hysterically ~ then I try not to think about it for a few days because I'm actually physically ill.

He was sent by helicopter (flight for life) from the small emergency room near I home. I kept telling myself the entire way to Milwaukee....he's going going to be fine....they wouldn't be sending him by helicopter if they didn't think there was something they could do.

There was nothing they could do. I begged the doctors to keep him alive until my son arrived. I wanted him to hold his hand while it was still warm and tell his dad that he loved him while there was still blood flowing through his veins. He was actually already gone (no brain activity). It's so hard to explain the reality of it being finally over.

They asked us to leave the room while they turned off the device that was keeping his heart beating. When I returned to the room his body was cold~no color at all anywhere. My life was over. I don't want to move on. I don't want to find a new normal for my life. I had the best and I will not settle for anything less out of loneliness. My friends are already talking about fixing me up with "this great guy." No thank you. Not interested.

You're so right when you say nobody wants to feel a widows pain. My friends are all there for me as long as I'm pretending I'm fine. I'm not fine. I'll never be fine again. My daughter doesn't even want me mentioning my husband's name~ she says it's too upsetting right now.
I'm really trying ~ but it is cold. One breath, one step at a time.

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