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Strange Days


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It's so strange how these things work. One day I find a precious gift from Bill. It brought a rush of feelings. It was such an incredible gesture on his part. I'm still in awe of it, imagining the whole scene. I'm so filled with his love for me. But it also reinforced his absence in a new way. It also brought this unbearable sense of the emotional agony he endured. (If you're wondering what I'm talking about, it's explained in my earlier post, "Another Wow.")

Last night I did my "Christmas movie" night (I thought of you often, Kasey). The first one (A Christmas Carol) brought me comfort, remembering how Bill and I both loved it so. How Bill dreamed of living in Victorian times, writing by the glow of an oil lamp. The second one (It's a Wonderful Life) brought tears and a feeling of being totally without him. As it ended, I found that I didn't want to go to bed, and I didn't want to stay up. It was cold. I wanted to make a fire, but I've only ever done it when Bill was here, the wood is old and probably wet, and somehow I just knew I'd burn the house down. I looked for something physical for comfort. I found the comforter Bill used. I don't think it brought me comfort though, for there's no sense of him being in it any more.

Today the emptiness of "our" future, knowing he really isn't coming back is hitting me hard. But I can't cry much, even though I feel like I need to. For whatever reason, I chose today to order new return address labels -- with my name only. That was hard. That was probably harder than dealing with banking issues. Today I also addressed a few Christmas cards. That was weird too. although I was a bit on auto-pilot. The cards were something I debated about doing. Usually I put more emphasis on people I haven't seen throughout the year. This year, my focus was on those who have been near by. Those who "walked through the fire" with us.

It's so strange to me how some days I can feel very much a part of my surroundings. Even within this intense grief, I find joy, laughter, purpose, excitement, and even hope. I just completed a project that was a big deal for me (a magazine for my church), I have a new sense of direction I want to go with my career (at least for the near future), I'm spending quality time with friends and family, and I'm being proactive with financial matters. Then other days, it's like I don't know where I belong, and find it hard to imagine that I ever did. It's in those days that God feels distant and abstract, although I'm aware enough to know that it's me who has moved, not Him. He has brought me out of the pit too many times to count. And I know He won't stop now.

The good news is that tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I'm meeting an old friend of ours for lunch at the harbor. Tomorrow I will pray for strength. Today I decided to surrender to the "blahness" of it all.


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I am so sad for you. Finding that picture was so neat, I am so glad you shared that. I bet you felt so much emotion...

Tonight your coment about wanting to start a fire touched me. We bought a new woodstove last year, it has glass in front and I built a beautiful fire and knew Rod would have been proud of me. I have built alot of fires in stoves, but this one, the first this winter, was so beautiful.

I sleep with his comforter on the bed also. It does make me feel close to him. All of us who have lost the love of our life have so many feelings that are the same. I know God is there, he created grief just as he created love, I prefer love. I have raged at God and then asked him to help me. He has and he will help you. I hope you do build that fire, curl up in the comforter and just give yourself over to whatever emotion you are having. I am told that is the only way to get through the hardest part, told to me by a much loved sister-in-law who never got to say goodbye to her husband.

My love goes out to all of you who are hurting,

and to all of you who are carrying us through this painful time,


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Thank you, Barb. How wonderful that you built that fire! I too slept with Bill's comforter for some time (can't even remember how long, but a while). It was heavy and too warm for the summer, but I had it lying on the bed where he should be. It's there again now. This probably sounds weird, but I was so upset when I returned from the hospital after he died and the duvet cover had been washed. It took away any scent of him that could have been left. I searched everywhere. I can't find it. No clothes have it -- it's like it went with his soul.

Bill built our fireplace, as he did so many other beautiful things in our home. I don't know why I'm scared to build a fire -- but you just gave me encouragement to do so.

Hugs back...

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Reading your stories will be heartfelt by everyone reading them. Quoted on my Dad's headstone " Gone but not forgotten. " We will miss our loved ones that have passed away but we will always have the memories. Funny how most of the memories are not of the big milestones in our lives but of small things that seemed insignificant at the time. Those are the memories we will cherish.

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