The Ache that Lasts a Lifetime – Life After Loss

As I sit here in my very quiet home I ache inside, physically ache. I’m missing Erik in everything that I do. I look around and the sight of couples and families is everywhere. As I grocery shop, walk around a store, do anything…I feel as though I have a big “W” burned into my forehead. The sign of “the widow”. But I’m sure most people don’t notice me at all, they can’t see the heartache in my eyes or sense the loss in my voice. Life as they knew it didn’t stop the day my husband passed away like it did for me. They have their own lives, their own worries. The weight of the “W” is mine to carry alone. I don’t mind not being noticed though, I think I prefer it actually.

I see all the happy faces on social media, smiling couples and families. There’s announcements of anniversaries, engagements, pregnancies, pictures of trips taken together, mentions of Mother’s Day and simple posts about something that happened that day that includes their significant other. I’m happy for everyone, truly I am, but I can’t help but be jealous sometimes and think “Why didn’t I get that with my husband?” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want others to not have these things, I just wish I had them with my husband as well. I miss him and grieve all the things we will never get to do together.

I’m having a hard time accepting that this is real. That he truly won’t be coming home to me or his children. I long for my partner back, my best friend. When something happens during my day, good or bad, the first person I want to tell or talk to about it is him. It’s such a horrible feeling not to be able to.

I don’t usually share things my stepchildren say about their dad passing away because I like to keep their grief as their own and keep it between family and close friends, but I will share this one thing. I think it’s important and that many will be able to relate and also that others might get a glimpse into what this is like.

One of my stepchildren said one night as I tucked them into bed, “I know I’ll see daddy again in Heaven, but it’s just going to take so long before I get to.” This struck me hard. I feel the same way. I didn’t want to say any clichés to try and put some positive spin on it because you know what? It does suck and here on earth it is going to feel like so very long without him. I simply nodded and said, “I’m so sorry. I know it’s going to feel that way for all of us that love daddy and honestly, it sucks.” Of course we continued to talk it out with one another and I realized that sometimes simply being honest and open with each other (even kids) through grief is the best way. It bonds us. You aren’t having to pretend it’s all ok all the time with one another, you can just be you. There’s comfort in someone simply saying “I’m sorry. This does suck and I hate it for you.” No one trying to “fix” what can’t be fixed, just showing empathy and love. When you can acknowledge someone’s pain and not try to fix it just let them feel it, that’s something really special.

And while I absolutely believe we will have eternity with him in Heaven(and that does bring me great comfort), that doesn’t stop the ache we have here on earth. I know one day I’ll come face to face with our Lord and I’ll also be reunited with my husband and all the loved ones that have gone before me. That day will be a glorious day, there’s no doubt about that! But man…I wish it wasn’t going to feel so very far away…

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