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It's The Little Things


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Today my two new living room chairs were delivered. I let the driver take MY old chair but could not part with Bill's so I had them put it in the guest room which had been his office and guest room and then the room in which he died. When I looked out to the truck to see MY chair sitting there waiting to go on board, the tears started....I knew making this change would be difficult...I had even written a poem about his empty chair...but somehow the reality of it marked another ending. The new smaller chairs support my back and fit my body. I had purchased the old ones in a hurry when Bill had his hip replaced in 2005 and I felt the chairs we had then which swiveled and rocked might be dangerous for him as he was already having balance issues back then. They were not great chairs. So, I sit here in the silence with a changed house (he is gone and now his chair is "gone"), my studio is under construction, and tears mark the pain I feel as another small thing trips off the flood gates. I feel like a drama queen getting tearful over a chair...but here I am...tearful over a chair. And it is ok. I so admire those of you who have survived selling your homes or moving.

Here is the poem I wrote last spring and posted here. It will appear in the April 2012 issue of Grief Digest:

The Empty Chair

It's a 24 year habit.

Every morning when I awaken,

I look across the bed

To see if you are there.

And if you aren't,

I look out at your chair

knowing you will be there,

that you have gotten up before me

and are sitting quietly in yourchair

meditating, being still, readingyour Bible…

waiting for me to awaken.

Oh, you would have made the coffee-

Silently-so as not to disturb mysleep.

(I never knew how you did that soquietly).

You wanted hot coffee ready

when I woke up.

That brought you joy.

Loving me brought you such joy.

But that chair is empty now.

Every morning when I awaken

it is always empty.

And every morning when I awaken

I am shocked…and tears fall

as another day stands in front ofme

like a Mt. Everest I must climb

alone.

How do I believe my own eyes?

Of course, I can,

and so I say to myself that

it must be Sunday and you havedriven

to the gas station

to get my newspaper.

You knew I loved my Sunday paper

and having it on my chair

when I awoke

made you smile…and me laugh.

And then, wide awake,

the dread hits…

just the way it did the day after youdied.

It hits hard and deep, again andagain.

You will never sit in that chairagain.

Never silently make coffee for us.

Never sneak out to get me a Sundaypaper.

This can't be true, my love.

You just can't be gone.

(But that chair is empty.)

It has been empty for almost tenmonths now.

And I, too, am empty.

A hole exists inside of me, acanyon.

No one can see it but it is alwaysthere.

No matter where I am,

no matter what I am doing,

no matter who I am with.

Oh, they think it is mostly gone now.

Little do they know

(unless they are one of us).

But I know

and you know

it will never go away.

Tomorrow I will awaken

and once again

habit, hope—

will drive me to look at that chair.

And though I know tonight

that it will once again be empty,

I will see you there

smiling at me,

blue eyes twinkling with joy

because I am awake

and we can have

a simple cup of coffee together,

plan our day,

talk about our dreams,

hug each other tightly,

and know that we will somehowalways

be together…

even though that chair

…your chair,

is empty.

And each morning

I will feel tears on my cheeks,

feel that awful dread,

that tells me again and again

that you are gone.

And those tears will flow

(I know they will)

until my chair, too,

is empty.

----------------------

*So now the chair is moved but still here....just as Bill is still with me somehow.

Mary mfh

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Wow. That is a heart wrenching poem that so aptly conveys what we all are feeling. One of the first purchases George and I made was a reclining loveseat. He wanted to snuggle, not sit separately, and when he was gone, well his side just seemed so empty. I hope my kids can keep in mind that when the day comes that my chair is empty, that I will be joyfully reunited with George, and it's not that they aren't important to me, they are, but they have lives of their own, as they were raised to, but George...he is my soul mate, and the only one I ever felt this with.

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I agree, Kay, snuggling on the sofa was our favorite...watching an old movie. I see my death and funeral as a celebration also....united again forever. I had the words Together Forever put on OUR gravestone....

Peace

mary

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Mary that reminds of the day I dealt with the car tires..........still havent planted anything in it yet, but still have the tire......and keep threatening to trade off his jeep.....yeah I am sure that will be easy! Todau while getting ready for work while in the shower I glanced at his empty shampoo bottles still as he left them, thinking I ought to do something with them.....but no they are just fine for the present....I love your poem as always, your words identify what you and we are feeling so well......look forward to pics of the addition,,,and chairs.....Dave

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Dear Mary,

That poem is just beautiful, it made me cry the fist time I read it, and even now it still bring the tears. It was I who was always up at 4 to give Pauline her medication and take her to the bathroom and back. We would get back in bed, and I would hold her until sleep fell on her again, I could never go back to sleep, so I would do the same thing, make her fresh coffee, and her breakfast at 8:30- 9:00. I would serve her in bed. We would eat, I would clean up the dishes, and she was ready to get up. I would wash her, comb her hair, always with a smile and telling her how much I loved her. She would go on the computer for about 4-5 hours. Then it was nap time. I would lay and hold her, until it was time to make supper. Everything Pauline had is still in its place where it belongs. I know some day I will have to face that also, but not today, or next week, maybe next summer, I do not know. I find such comfort having her things close by. She is part of my soul and always will be.

God Bless

Dwayne

Rose Kennedy, once said: "Birds sing after a storm. Why shouldn't people feel free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them"

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Hello To All,

Just some thoughts as I can relate to this thread on all levels as some of you may remember I moved in March from our Marital home due to Ruth passing without a will and issues with her children, but that's another story...I cleaned her closet out early I think within 2 months if I remember Brenda helped me, with her having gone thru the same with the passing of her husband she was a great help, it was the best thing I did to start my healing as it gives you the closure and acceptance at the same time, two steps we must take to conquer and control this grief journey...I had very mixed feelings about moving as I was both sad and happy, sad I was leaving our home but happy for the new home I was moving into, I'm really much better off with the outcome as we were in an old double wide on 2.5 acres, those homes don't last and the property required intense work something difficult for me as my best partner was no longer with me to help, the home was hers when we met and never really felt like home to me anyway for some reason, but we made it feel comfortable over the years by remodeling and making it our home.

The packing and moving was very hard as I had to decide what to keep and what to get rid of, I moved into a much bigger, newer home so furniture was no issue I needed more but with only 1/3 acre I didn't have the storage buildings for all the other items we had...

I sorted and packed slowly and if in doubt I kept it, after I got in my new home I had about a month of adjustment because I had no memories of Ruth here, no looking across the room and remembering she used to sit there, kinda like "the chair" thing, but with a positve mind set I slowly made it "my home" and began to have the memories of Ruth come to me in a new way, as the house was set her presence began to make it's showing, the decor was from "our home" so I began to remember her on the sectional sitting close to me and sharing our suttle "little things", we all move at our own pace and we need not be rushed but if we wish to expidite the process of continuing our lives in a somewhat happy manor we must face these things one by one day by day, and with a positive outlook we can and will survive and find the new us without our loved ones here in the physical sense but fully with us in our hearts, minds and souls forever...even as I love again I know Ruth will always have a special place in my heart just as Glenn will for Brenda as long as we keep them in our hearts we'll somehow survive until we meet them again in our yet another "new life and journey"...but for me the path of dealing with these issues head on is what works for me and so far it has been very helpful taking this approach...I wish the best for all of you and may you find your paths clearly...

NATS

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