The Mask

by Zoe
(Maryland, USA)

There are those moments, early in the morning, when I am pulling myself out of the sleep that is induced by sleeping pills, when I look up and he is laying next to me. Somewhere in my mind I know it is not true, he is not there, so I hold myself, trying to cling to the image, knowing if I reach out it will be gone. But then it is gone anyway.

We were college loves, we were each other's first.. first everything. We broke up, and years separated us, but I never stopped loving him, I always looked for him, and then we found each other. He had always looked for me, and we were together. I had left a horrible marriage. It was like, I was suddenly blessed, I was happy for the first time in years. We loved so passionately, but so completely. Now was our time, we were going to buy a house, and we were going to be married. We were each other's first, we were each other's last. We were meant to be.

Then in the cruelest twist of fate, he is ripped from me. A diagnosis of cancer and death eleven days later. There was no time to do anything, he promised to fight, but the disease was too much.

The pain is overwhelming, I cry all the time. I have people coming all the time to try and help. They strangle me with their help.

I don't want to know who you know that has cancer, I can't feel someone elses pain, I cannot stand my own.

I hear I am intelligent and strong. But they are wrong, I was, now I am broken. I am Humpty Dumpty, and all the kings horses and all the kings men cannot put me together again.

I don't want to hear I will be happy again, or I will love again. I did love, I loved completely it will never be again.

What I have learned is that my time is different from everyone elses. My time has stopped. Everyone else moves, and they do not understand why I do not move with them. I do not understand how they can move when he is dead.

I am learning to hide in the face of everyone. I make sure the hair is right and the clothes look good. If the outside picture is ok, then people don't want to push into the inside.

I have been paying rent on our apartment, but I can't go clean it out. I cannot walk into the place we lived and loved. I thought I could, but I cannot. I cannot open drawers and look at his carefully folded socks and underdrawers then sweep them away. Lucky for me my daughter said she and her husband will go clean it for me.

So I put on my mask, and I pretend to move, but beneath it, I scream in pain. I want to be alone, I can hold him in my thoughts, I can cry.

I put one foot in front of the other, that is what they say, time heals. No, it doesn't, it gets worse and the numbness and shock wear away, the darkness grows.

What I know is that I cannot do this without him.

Comments for The Mask

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May 11, 2010
I do feel your pain
by: Jeannie

Zoe, I know a lot of what you are going thru, I lost Mike my husband almost 5 months now. NOTHING is the same. I like you cry constantly in pain and loneliness. Some days it does feel unreal and I do stay numb too. I hear that too, time will heal so the only comfort I have at this point is I take Mikes watch and sleep with it on my pillow. I hate going to bed at night, there is NO one in it. So I stay up and sleep more during the day now. I can't tell you it will get better, cause I would be lying, it's too soon for me to know.

One thing I do know is like you everyone else moves on and they forget the pain I am in. But I can't hold the tears back if someone does come over or if I go anyplace shopping and people talk about him, I will cry right there. I Don't care what people think at this point. Like you, I get up, put one foot in front of the other and pray for a better day. I will pray for you as well, this hurts more than anything I have known in my life. Prayers go to you...jeannie

May 09, 2010
Soul Mate
by: Down Under

Zoe, my condolences on the loss of your soul mate. Your words are so touching and truthful. Time will eventually make you smile again and make you laugh with the sweet memories which have remained. It will take time, how long . . . . no one knows. All you can do right now is take it day by day and grieve, don't hold it in. I lost my father Aug 2009, 2 months before my wedding. I went through the darkest cloud for 8 months, anger, sadness, suicidal thoughts, worthlessness, you name it, I felt it! I wish never to head down that track again. It has been 9 months and only now can I smile & laugh about the silly things dad did. You too will get there Zoe, but you need to believe in yourself and help yourself and know that he is around in some way. Look around for a sign, you will find him again. I wish you warmth and comfort in the days to come. Take care Zoe.

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