I lost my husband
but unlike a cellphone
or a pair of glasses
I won't find him.
he shows up:
in my daughter's sweetness,
or my son's competitiveness.
He is missing; he won't be recovered
until I stand in the garage to ready the bikes,
water the plants inside the house,
or tackle the weeds with gloves and clippers.
I will never again live with his patience, his understanding
except for when I use
the good deal he left to me,
finally just keep my mouth shut,
choose kindness, be an optimist.
Never again will I see him
proud on Damen Avenue,
or perhaps in my repetitive dreams,
arising in the building where he invested his hope
where our niece lives now,
where we lived once, where we got married,
where I try to keep the dream alive,
even when it scares me
when I don't understand why I am alone in it.
He died at the Evanston Hospital
which is just down the street from our house.
Every time I go there
for an appointment, or to visit the sick,
or remember how I gave birth to our children there,
he wavers and shimmers
like a ghost, here and gone.
He will be absent at graduations, weddings,
vacations, family meals, health scares, proud moments,
storms, and floods.
Then I will say or someone will think
that you should be here, and you arrive.
In Santa Fe once we fell in love
with a painting we didn't buy.
I can still see it hanging over our mantel
where I still admire it
where it makes us happy,
where it never was,
where it never will be again.
- Jill Schacter
- My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.