I have a place that most of the time is hidden as I walk through my days following the death of my beloved husband, life long friend, and soul mate. We started dating at 15 and were married almost 50 years. The constant in my life is gone. I call that “The Missing.”
Something can come over me and remove the cover I gently placed over that tender wound in my heart…’the missing piece’. Memories suddenly appear. Sorrow of seeing someone else walking in the valley of the shadow of death triggers painful times past. The changing of seasons as the leaves fall, snow swirls, flowers bloom remind me of the passing of time, and days and sessions of life gone by.
The ache will wash over me anew…sometime taking my breath away, this ache of missing him. Eyes and nose burn, throat tightens, heart seems to skip a beat.
I do not consider myself one to wallow in my grief. Those who know me probably would not describe me as depressed, bitter, or a woman of sorrow. But there are many moments, used to be days and weeks, when ‘the missing’ catches me unaware and makes me feel the cold fear that I have regressed in my grieving process.
Even as I move forward on this unexpected, unwanted journey, these grief attacks have become a part of my new normal. My life tapestry is now woven with lighter threads of joy and darker threads of sorrow.
After losing someone who was such a part of me, I feel I will always have a hole in my heart with loose threads that need to be woven together again in my heart tapestry. With all the loose threads, I felt like my life was unraveling. Hanging on by a thread took on a whole new meaning! The main thread of my life’s long story appeared to be severed.
Even though some time has passed, and some healing has occurred, I get suddenly struck with the remembrances and my tears still fall like rain sweeping in after the storm.
Even though I believe in the promise and hope of heaven, I have to accept the reality of ‘the missing’ and the lost reality of our shared life, shared table and bed, shared hopes and dreams, gone forever on this earth. It is an extraordinary thing that someone who was such a constant companion in your life day after day, month after month, year after year, can be so gone forever from your daily life. The truth that I can never find that missing piece here on earth-ever, never-sometimes takes my breath away!
Still, the missing piece of my life, of course, is not lost. The piece is buried deep in my heart tucked safely away. The treasured memories of the shared life, travels, children, grandchildren, baptisms, births, marriages, walks, talks, conflicts, favorite places, foods, coffee breaks, and shared experiences live on in photos captured, in my heart and in my memories.
I do not grieve without hope. God has been my constant grief journey companion. I am not alone on this journey. Amidst the sorrow, joy breaks through. I am slowly learning mourning and sorrow and joy and laughter can coexist. Both…and, not either…or. I continue on, knowing the ‘missing piece’ will not be restored, but rather stored in my heart.