Sunday, March 17, 2013

3 Years

Normally on each anniversary I pen a letter to Craig here on my blog, filling him on on what he has missed, what I want to tell him. Somehow I imagine these letters floating about in cyberspace, making their way to him by osmosis. I talk to Craig every day, but I like the ritual of summarizing my year for him on such an important date.

I've been crafting this year's letter in my head for a few weeks now.

Sadly, I didn't quite get to positing it yesterday. Not because I didn't have time or because I didn't want to. For some reason, this year above any other, I was sucker-punched by the anniversary. I spent most of the day trying to distract myself, trying to hold it together, trying to forget who I was, what had happened. Sometimes the anticipation of these big days can build and build, weighted with expectation, dragging you further into grief.

This year I felt especially isolated, particularly alone.

I had expectations about being three years out, I think. Ridiculous ones.

That, by this point, I would be fine, I would be ok, I would be better. As if "better" somehow has any meaning.

Except... I'm not fine, I'm not ok, I'm not really better.

By that I mean, I still feel every inch a widow. I still walk around, carrying it with me every day. I still feel that grief and that loss all the time. I still miss him, I still talk to him, I still wish he was here.

It still catches in my throat and breaks my heart.

I still feel that pinch in my chest and have to look away to swallow back tears.

I still feel the taint of death on my life.

I was asked yesterday if I had any peace over what happened. My answer?


I don't think that peace is possible. Peace implies some sort of acceptance. A sense of calm or ease with how things are.

Rather, I think I have, like the countless widows before me, found a way to live with the grief. It is my constant companion. I carry it with me because I never stop being aware of that loss. I function, I go to work, I live my life. I even have joy. But I still have the grief with me.

This is not a matter of choice.

Grief and loss shapes us. We can't help but have that nagging feeling something is missing. Imagine you are piling your family into the car before a long road trip but you left little Johnny at the kitchen table - instently you can feel that disorientation because someone is missing, that you are forgetting something very important.

That is how it has felt, every day, for 3 years.

So, because of this, my 3 year letter will be a little shorter than others:

Dear Craig,

I still love you. I still miss you. I'm still waiting.

Your Emily


  1. I'm single; I've never been married; and I've never been a widow. But I know what it feels like to lose a parent, and I can say that those 11 words are pretty universal. It's been six months, but I love my dad. I miss him. I'm still waiting.

  2. Emily,
    It's been 2 years and 7 months for me since I lost my soulmate Sam. He died unexpectantly. I have read many of your post on Hello Grief and then today clicked on your blog. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul. I feel this way too....I have good and bad days, but a deep sadness that I am trying my best to learn to live with. It's not easy, but losing a love that we had shouldn't be easy. I am grateful to hear I am not alone with my grief.

  3. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have written. My husband died nearly a month ago and I just found your blog today. I had to read every word from the beginning. I found us there so many times. I found me there too, with and without him. I can't thank you enough. To know that someone who cares and feels so deeply and sincerely and understands so fully actually exists in this world means so much to me. You have been an unimaginable comfort. Especially now, when nothing else is. Thank you. So much. For you, for your life, and for sharing. You have helped me more than I thought possible.

  4. I just found your blog and say ~ God bless your heart.

    This post really touched and encouraged me. I lost my dear husband of 43 years, 5 months and 4 days ago. I miss him terribly, but I know we will be reunited one day and I am looking forward to that. For now, I'm trusting God to be my strength and to take care of me with each new day I am blessed with.

    Grieving doesn't go away, how could it. It just becomes less raw. Sometimes I just break down sobbing for no particular reason, other than missing him so much. Other times I laugh at things we both would have laughed about. I write him too. I've been journaling our life for many years, now they are filled with thoughts and conversations to him about days events, etc.

    Thank you.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

  5. Lost soul; person alive but seems so much not real without my precious husband. My family was on a fatal car crash New Year's Day 1/1/2013. my husband waited to depart from this world into heaven a day after they went to his room in the hospital.He passed on the 19 th of January they got here the 18 th.So I say he waited for them. Thank you soo much for your words because that is how I feel. It is such a terrible feeling because now I am a lost sad soul.