I’m sad. I wear my sorrow like a cloak. It drapes my shoulders and gently rustles as I pass by you. You can feel it even if you don’t know me. I know because now I am intimately familiar with the tells associated with profound loss. I can spot those people wrapped in sorrow – I know the signs. I see it in their eyes, in the posture that appears defeated, the gentle sighs they breathe, the looking but not seeing, the hearing but not listening. A wistfulness in the eyes – I see it in my children when they remember something about their father. There is distance and detachment from the present as they go within to their own private world of memories.
I can recognize the fellow sufferer now, and I respect them. The uncertainty that they are shrouded with weighs heavy on them, a burden they have to unwillingly shoulder. I suffer the same trials, how will I get through this day, the next one? There are so many fleeting thoughts throughout the day, familiar thoughts, sorrowful thoughts, some may flit by others while may strike a nerve and dissolve my control. It’s a constant stretching of nerves in anticipation of the unknown, a sound, smell or image, a familiar gesture; these are the things that assail my resolve, that make me grief’s prey.
Grief, sorrow, anguish, these are emotions that most of us have experienced at some point in our lives, and assuredly will experience over and over as we age, as we live. An unfortunate reality for every single one of us in the here and now, and there is no comfort in this thought. For some, I am ahead of you on the journey and I feel sad that this path is so heavily travelled and that so many will follow. For others, I know will never be able to comprehend the sorrow, anguish and perhaps scope of your loss, it is yours not mine; but I recognize that some have suffered and lost far more than any one person should have to. I wonder how deep the dark hole actually is? I consider the notion that these loves and losses shape us, enrich us – maybe one day I will be able have these words ring true, but not now.
There is no other expressive outlet that I can use other than words, written or spoken, that will convey how I am feeling and how intensely my husband’s death has affected me. Writing has become my comfort and my release. So often throughout our marriage Kevin would utter the words, “Let it go honey, just let it go.” I’m trying Kev, but it isn’t happening.