For a couple years after my husband died, grief completely overtook my life. I was in a pain-filled fog. I thought about him around the clock. There were memories of his loss everywhere – in my home, my life, my routines, my habits, my comings and goings. Every store we shopped in, every street we drove down together, every restaurant and diner where we ate, every park where we went to write together was an emotional challenge. Rick’s memory – and the pain of his loss – was all-consuming.
There was an unfilled void that followed me to every family event, wedding, movie, party, trivia game. When a couple shares so much of life together, the absence of half the duo is glaring, awful, even scary. How was I to navigate a world and a future without my other half?
Eventually, I did just that. And, as always, I must stress how important grief counseling was in helping me to heal from the impenetrable sadness that resulted from losing the love of my life.
And now, as surprising as it is to me, I like my life. I even enjoy living alone, which is in stark contrast to the woman I used to be – sitting in the car in my garage for more than an hour upon returning home from some event. I couldn’t bear the idea of entering that too-quiet house. It was gut-wrenching to face the emptiness that awaited me, so there I sat, in my dark car, trying to gain the strength to enter my own home.