About Me

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.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Loss Is Like A Vacuum Cleaner, Sucking Me Dry

I've noticed that I often compare my life since losing my husband to living on an alien planet. Where the hell am I? How am I ever going to build a new life here in this strange place? It's so damn empty.

What metaphors do you use when thinking about life after loss? Is your loss like a nightmare from which you can't wake up? Is it a black hole sucking you down? Does it look like a stark, white, empty room? How about a dark and tangled forest? Was it your last chance for happiness? Did you win the lottery only to have it taken away? Is it a car crash?

No need to be original or avoid cliches here. This is just fun and games in the medium of loss. Toss enough words around, change will happen. You'll move. Progress will be yours. Get creative with your sorrow, it's all yours.

I've assigned a certain mood and personality to my loss, and its shaping my world right now. So I think it's worth writing it out to see where the idea takes me. Give it a try.

My loss is like..........

My loss reminds me of........


My loss reminds me of an alien world where I have arrived alone, surrounded by unfamiliar people and places. I didn't want to come here. I arrived forcibly, against my will. I don't understand the language or customs; I wonder if I ever will.

I miss my home planet. Even though I once took elements of that old life for granted, I like to think that if I ever had the chance to go back there, I would be blessed with a whole new outlook. But I'll never get to go back. I'm stuck here in this new world. The air doesn't suit my lungs. It's too hot, then too cold. I am uncomfortable. Over time, I need to find a way to love it here because wherever I am, I want to like my life. I must adapt.

The hardest part of living here is getting used to the pervasive sense of loneliness. The darkness. Even that can be conquered. I will keep searching this barren place because I know there is beauty here too. I've already experienced it from time to time. After the destruction that occurred on my home planet, I find myself braver and more willing to explore this new world than I might have been had the loss never happened. What could happen here that I can't handle?

They say take-offs and landings are the most dangerous parts of any flight. I made it without crashing, without everything blowing up. I survived. I'm alive. I get to keep on going.


Carrie said...

Dear Jill,
I recently found your blog and find your writing tips to be very helpful. I lost my husband to cancer in June, three days before our sixth wedding anniversary and ten days before my 35th birthday. Our daughter was three.

You asked what our loss is like... My loss is like being in a haze. I can see things, just not clearly. It makes me feel uncertain and unsure of where I am. I feel like I'm stumbling around, constantly searching, never knowing exactly what to do.

Thanks for sharing.

Jill said...

Carrie: Thank you for writing. I am very sorry for your loss. Keep searching and stumbling and seeing...and writing!