Friday, May 2, 2014

A day in the life. This life.

This isn't what I signed up for. Five weeks today and you are still gone. You will not be walking back in the door. It's sinking in.

My days are a study in paradox; full of activity, all of which feels empty. I get up. I bathe, dress, eat, go do something useful. I smile, or bear an expression that is a reasonable facsimile of a smile. Some people smile back. Others look confused.

Most of my errands are somehow related to you not being here. Today I met with another young widow; while we couldn't offer each other any real solace, we at least spoke the same language. I went to your workplace and spent time with your boss. I cleaned off your desk. I returned your work computer. I walked the halls where you walked, where you smiled, where you were happy, creative, excited about the work.

I spent time with a friend, in preparation for our walk tomorrow, raising money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Four months ago I didn't know they existed. Now I will walk for them, wearing purple, meeting others who have been through something similar. I am part of a club I never wanted to join.

I didn't cry this morning, the first time since you died. I didn't cry at your work. I didn't cry as I walked. I walked into the house (our home, the place we created together) and within minutes was curled up, crying so hard my muscles hurt. A few minutes later the storm passed as it always does though I never remember that it will. I blew my nose. I drank some water. I turned on the television so I could hear something other than my own thoughts. I went on. I cried again later. And I expect I will cry more before I try to sleep. The crying always surprises me, since I am nothing but empty. Maybe it's the void speaking back.

I suppose it makes sense that the days feel empty. I envision myself as a hollow skin now. I know eventually I will reflesh myself, but I will never be who I was. I will be someone different and that will be good enough, but... I am not yet ready to be her. I am not yet ready to be anyone other than the woman who grieves you.

Tomorrow is another day in the life. I will get up. I will do things related to you not being here. I will do things to tell myself that I can move forward. I won't believe it. I will smile, maybe even laugh. I will cry. These things I know. I will slowly find my way back to some kind of self but in my own time, not tomorrow or even next week. I will never stop loving you, missing you, yearning for you. Not in this life. This, too, I know.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. I wish I knew words to say that would lessen your pain. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    1. Linda, thank you for witnessing. That alone helps.

  2. stay with it, Laura. This time is precious, and it will be gone soon enough. peace will be yours through the journey. {{{{{Hugs}}}}}

  3. Do you remember that we went to Japan in 2011 to see my exchange student brother? A big part of the motivation was that he had lost his wife to pancreatic cancer, he arrived home from a four-year placement in NYC to the news that she had just been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She lived, believe it or not, another two years. His two sons just could not talk about it at all, so when we got there, he talked about her -Yoko - for two days straight. He definitely knows your pain. Wish it weren't true x2.

  4. If you have the energy, check out my post Tokyo Day 3 at Kay's say on blogspot for a very sweet scene we were part of in memory of Yoko.

  5. When I look at your blog post labels, it pleases me to see storytelling and survival skills are the largest ones. Creativity is a big word, too. I love those things in you.Do what you need to do. Feel what you need to feel.

  6. Yes. Yes. I followed my own path of grief, our own path is the only one we can follow. Much love to you.


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