Friday, April 17, 2015


There are so many things I miss about life with Kevin. Having my back scratched. Not washing the dishes alone. Laughing. The list goes on and on.

These were all things I could have predicted missing, long before he died. If someone had asked me prior to his illness, what my greatest fear was, I would have told you it was his death. If they asked what in particular I would miss, back scratches, the dishes and laughter might have shown up on the list.

I never would have imagined this one. I miss being witnessed.

When you are in a significant relationship, part of what keeps it going are the mundanities. The things you quickly take for granted, such as being able to tell someone about your day. Having someone to celebrate the small victories (the sauce tastes good!) and console the small defeats (those shoes don't fit anymore). Without a partner I am unwitnessed. We need witnesses to help us understand our own lives and to offer us external perspective. A witness offers us a reflection through which we can consider ourselves and our actions. Without a witness I turn to my journal to help me mark the victories and frustrations. Today I....

I know this isn't particular to being widowed. Single people the world over have to contend with this, be they single by choice or by separation. I am finding that being single via death means I have become acutely aware of how much I depended on this one relationship. Because it didn't end by choice and because Kevin and I were very close, I didn't build the kinds of friendships that could witness my life everyday. Frankly, that isn't really who I am. I don't want to talk with most people every day. I want to talk with Kevin every day.

I want Kevin. I want his laughter and insight. I want him to witness me as I build my business, as I write, as I succeed and as I fail. His absence in my life is part of why I blog about grief; you have become my witnesses for some of this. Thank you.

But in the everyday? I am unwitnessed. My pet guinea pig doesn't care if I screwed up a gig, he cares only if I have carrots. My friends, beloved and wonderful, have their own lives. We catch up in chunks, not in the every day. I don't want the artificial construct of a daily call. My family, supportive and caring, all have their own concerns as well they should. They are all witnessed by their partners. Again, I don't want a daily call out of obligation. I want the one person in the world whose daily life was part of my narrative. My journal is as close as I have now to a witness. And that's okay. I don't want to sound like I'm whining that no one cares about me. I am blessed with friends and family. I am surrounded by people who care and I know how very lucky I am.

I am grateful. Thank you all.

And still, without Kevin I am unwitnessed and I sometimes wonder how much of life is due to an observer effect.

(c)2015 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. I hear you. Even with a multitude of caring people surrounding you, it is painful to be without "your person." Whatever the circumstances. It's lonely.
    I do believe that Kevin is still your witness, though I know you long to have him closer. I'm sorry, Laura. Hugs to you.

    1. Thank you sweetheart. I know I am so fortunate that I have so many people who care about me. And I know he is still with me, in his own noncorporeal way. But it is still lonely. I miss him.
      Thank you for understanding.


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