I feel like a ghost. Like an empty shell. 

It’s perplexing considering the chaotic universe of fears and thoughts and emotions which are in constant uproar inside of me. 

But mostly it’s all the turmoil I feel that leaves me in this bizarre reality where I feel like I don’t exist anymore. At least the “I” who I used to be, the “I” who I am familiar with. I feel like I don’t matter and that my life doesn’t make sense anymore. 

I know there will be people who deeply care about me who will be quick to say the opposite, who will try to convince me with kind words and encouraging thoughts that what I feel is not true, but rational arguments seldom change emotional anguish. 

A person in agony does not, cannot, make a reasonable decision to think differently in order to feel differently. Mind over matter is not as black and white as we think. 

Especially when the harsh circumstances of life, as it now is - as mighty waves tirelessly crashing upon rocks - relentlessly imposes the unwanted “new normal” reality upon a weary and shattered soul. 

That is what death does. It shattered my soul and somehow after 1 year and 11 days, I find myself still stuck, chained to the same mourning shackles as if it had been but only a day. 

The difference now is that, most days, I can outwardly function, but that doesn’t change the fact that this vast emptiness has engulfed my inner life leaving me feeling that my existence is insignificant. I am here, I go to work, I clean my house, I do the things I need to do in order to survive and to look after my kids, but everything that made me “ME”, seems to have vanished when my husband died. 

And I am so tired of people saying that I shouldn’t feel that way, that Jason would want me to to be happy, that I am a Christian and therefore I have to put God first (because mourning too much for Jason only shows that he was was in the centre of my life, not Jesus)...

So, let me clarify something: None of this helps! None of it! Mostly it just adds to the guilt and I am also tired of feeling guilty for upsets v people by grieving my husband in a way that seems socially disturbing to others. 

I have to grieve! I have to grieve and I have to do it my way, which I am not pre deciding, I am just finding out as I go. And I am actually finding more of God as I find the courage to face all this pain. So many times I found Jesus’ presence the strongest when I have been at my weakest. 

And if it’s like this for me, with all the support and care and kindness that I have received form people whom I have no doubt love me, accept me, and mourn with me, I cannot even imagine what it must be like for other people who lose their spouse but are not surrounded by love as I have been. 

The pressure to grieve appropriately is a ton of bricks crushing an already shattered heart. It’s cruel, it’s unfair. 

Because grief doesn’t go away after the first anniversary, if nothing else, it intensifies. 

I put a plaque in my husband’s grave and that felt like putting a full stop to my own life. 

Everything I was, all dreams I had, my whole future, is now locked into that granite plaque with his name and the dates of when he existed on this earth. Now he lives in another place which I one day hope to reach, but until then I am here. Overwhelmed by the simple tasks of living while having to re-learn to exist as one who have his legs amputated re-learns to walk. 

Crutches and mechanic legs may give an amputee the ability to move and live a seemingly normal life, but it will never, ever, replace the real limb. And at the end of the day when the helpful contraption is unbuckled and removed, he still goes to bed missing a part of himself, forever. 

But nobody wants to hear about that, no one has the time or the understanding for the tear cried for the missing limb. Everyone wants the hero story, the stoic approach, for anything less would be deemed as - God forbid - wallowing in a pity party, especially in the eyes of those who have not experienced such loss. 

Oh that I had lost all my limbs at once but still had my husband laying in bed as I wake up in the morning. 

But I cannot have what I most desire, what my heart aches for. I too like an amputee must put on my fake leg and I push myself to face another day, to force a smile when people ask me the simple question “How are you?”

Because it would be to complicated to answer with “I fell like I’m a ghost without a future and nothing in my life makes sense anymore. How about you?”

Tatiana HotereComment