September 29, 2010

Filling the void

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 2:39 am by letterstoelias

It’s late and I can’t seem to sleep.  I busied myself for a while on the computer, felt sleepy enough (I thought) and finally turned the lights out and closed my eyes, only to hear an unsettling, far distant, strange noise.  A bear rummaging through a garbage can?  No, garbage day is Thursday and most my neighbours are pretty conscientious about that.

Who knows.  At any rate, as I tried to listen – and waited to see if the dogs took issue – I really missed the ability to grab your arm and insist you get out of bed and investigate strange sounds in the middle of the night.

Another sound that grabbed me tonight was a simple, quiet, tick tick tick.  I put on a watch today for the first time in ages.  My mom has been bothering me to wear one for a while as I guess I ask her for the time now and then at the store . . . .   anyhow, as I was wasting time on-line, at one point I put my arm up to my head and I could hear my watch ticking.  Nothing unusual about that, right?  Only, as silly as it may seem, the last time I would have really heard a watch ticking,  it would have been yours.  I immediately was taken back to when I would be resting my head on your arm, or we would be snuggled up in some way, so that I could hear your watch.  A strange thing to remember perhaps, but I guess these are some of the things we hold on to.

The watch got me thinking more, however.  Back to our trip to europe when I knew something was really going on with you, but you wouldn’t tell me.  Whenever I would ask you the time, you would stare at your watch for an inordinate amount of time, only to get the time wrong.  You insisted that you were thrown off by the time change, but I knew better.  I would often ask you the time, just so I could see if it kept happening.  There were other things that bothered me too.  You hated that I didn’t trust you, I hated that you wouldn’t admit to anything.  Somehow you forgot just how well we knew each other.  ‘A wife knows’ I would tell you.

Just as the week earlier, right before we left, when we went to your oncology appointment.  You were asking questions that I knew were out of the ordinary.  You hardly ever asked questions at appointments – you always left it up to me.  And when I asked you about it, you insisted you were just curious.  Again, I knew better.  It was only the night before your seizure in Norway that you admitted to your brothers and I that you had been seeing ‘flashing lights’ now and then, and it had started just before the trip.  I was so hurt/angry/sad/frustrated that you kept this from me.  I know why and in a way understood, but was glad that you promised to never, ever, keep things from me again.

I almost feel the need to get up and find your watch right now as I’m not 100% sure where it is and I want to find it – but I’ll try to let that go.  It was hard, too, when you finally decided to stop wearing it.  It was getting increasingly difficult for you to put on yourself and you, admittedly, couldn’t read it any longer and decided there was no point.

I received some great feedback recently on my writing.  I’ll take much of it into consideration, but I still don’t know what to do some days.  I look into our closet.  My closet.  Your clothes are all still there.  The bathroom still holds all your toiletries.  Your socks and underwear in the drawers.  Everything in it’s place.

I stil often load the cutlery in the dishwasher the way you preferred.  I find numerous ways to ‘carry’ you with me all the time, and I don’t feel ready to let go of any of it yet.  Why do I carry your wallet??  I never was the one to carry it in the first place and you only had it for a very short period of time before you died.  But, I remember the night – just days before – when I got irritated with you for staying up so late so you could move everything from your old wallet to the new.  I kept calling you to bed as you would have such hard days when you didn’t sleep well, and sure enough the following day was rough.

The bed has become another story though.  For months after you died, I didn’t want anything else even touching your side of the bed.  I didn’t want the girls there, clothes, books, anything.  I almost beat the dog when I discovered she had jumped on the bed, messed up the covers, and ended up sleeping on half of your shirts I had piled neatly under the covers.

Now, your side of the bed has become somewhat of a dumping ground.  Still mostly at the foot, but I seem to have taken to piling any number of items there to fill up space.  Even the calendar is stuck on Dec 2009.    

I discovered the other day, however, that it holds a pretty great quote:

‎”The joy of Being, which is the only true happiness, cannot come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person, or event — through anything that happens. That joy cannot come to you — ever. It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and thus is one with who you are.” – E. Tolle

I had never read it before (New Years Eve was a particularly tough night for me, and I was resisting entering a new year without you, and so it stayed).  Perhaps it’s something I can work on a little more, which may in turn help me to put away ‘some’ of these things that are waiting for you.  Though I’m sure most women would love more closet space, I haven’t felt ready yet to take over yours, nor am I ready to see the void.

Well, a benefit to being up in the middle of the night – at least I’m already awake when C stirs . . . but now that she is back to sleep, and I think even my night-owl widower friend Dan is likely asleep now too, I should try once again.  I know full well of the other reason sleep is escaping me.  But I can’t even get started on that right now.  I highly doubt this has been coherent. . . .


P.S.  I Love You



  1. Wow. You reminded me of Gavin’s last spring, when he hid from me that he couldn’t write — for an artist, losing the use of his right hand was really the killer — and the fact that he hid it from me? Man did that hurt.

    Sorry, sister!



    • letterstoelias said,

      I’m SO late on replying to my comments these days – but, yeah. It’s hard to see them deteriorate, and also hide it from those that love them the most – I could only imagine what he must have been feeling too.

      Sorry you had to go through the same Supa . . .

  2. Kristin said,

    Chris’ clothes still hang in his closet; and his dresser is still full of his stuff as well. Everything is just as it was when he died. I’m not ready to put his stuff away yet. It still feels like it belongs right where it is. I simply can not remove him from our room. Not now; and maybe not ever. Thinking of you often –

    • letterstoelias said,

      Thanks Kristin,

      The ‘stuff’ is a hard one for me. It just seems natural for it all to be there for me still. Sometimes I question it when we have people over . . . I wonder what they think about it, but right now the thought of moving it out and seeing this huge gaping hole is worse for me than what others may think.

      Hope all is well for you,

  3. […] – a post which really touched me […]

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