mfh Posted July 1, 2013 Report Share Posted July 1, 2013 It's a bridge, this forum. When one loses a spouse the person they relied on for so much disappears in an instant, even if years of dis-ease preceded that death. Until the very moment of Bill's last breath, and even though he was not able to communicate except with his eyes and previous to that could not really track my words...he was there. He was there to attend to, to snuggle up with, to embrace. And I talked to him even if I did not know if he could even hear me...I could feel his heart beat and see his chest rise and fall with the spirit of life-his breath, the breath that breathed life into me. He was there when I left and there when I came home. Even if he could not respond, I knew he loved me and was receiving love from me. When I wrote a poem, I read it to him believing he could hear and comprehend. Sometimes he could. When I went to the store and bumped into so and so, I told him about it. When I was sad, I shared my sadness and when he could no longer tell me his sadness, I said it for him...for I knew so well what he was feeling. "I know you love me, Bill. I know it is hard for you to see me tired and taking care of you. I love taking care of you. I know you want to die and though I will miss you like I miss my own breath and soul or more, I hope your death comes soon so you can be peaceful again." When that exhalation happened, that final exhalation, there was no Bill in that body. His spirit was lifted though it also stayed and still does surround me, his energy a part of mine. But there was no one to hear my poems, feelings, comings and goings...he was gone...in an instant....the longest instant in my life. Oh, I tell him all I want to share but though I believe he hears me, there is no response and so...I go to the bridge. The bridge is here. I walk it over the river of emptiness and loss. I walk it to get to the other side of that raging river that carried Bill away. Stopping half way over, I share my pain and sorrow and someone on the bridge puts his or her arms about me and says, "I hear you. I am listening. Tell me fearlessly for I understand this loss of yours and I care about you." When I come home from a concert, I go to the bridge and see who is standing over their own raging river so I can reach out to them as they did for me just hours before. If I fall into those treacherous waters, someone drags me out, pumps water out of my lungs, and tells me they understand my pain...though they can't understand all of it. No one can. This bridge helps remove a bit of the loneliness. Friends no longer want to hear every poem, every story, every detail of what I did today. And though I tell Bill so much of it, the silence that bounces back to me only serves to increase my emptiness. Until one loses a spouse they will never ever know how silent this silence. They will never know how empty the house becomes though he is every where I turn. I could never have imagined this if I tried a thousand years. And so the bridge...I do not know yet what is on the other shore. I never get that far. I get glimpses of what I want to find there if I ever arrive but certainty alludes me. Each time I come to the bridge, I come with a bit more healing and am healed. I go to the bridge and walk part way and stand and look beneath me to the waters that have the power to carry me away were it not for the bridge solid beneath my feet, railed to prevent a fall into the treacherous waters of loss and pain and grief that I do know will never ever go away but which rarely totally devastate me now in part because of the bridge. Sometimes the bridge is crowded. Sometimes new people find it and are welcomed by those who walk it. No one wanted to be on this bridge but all who come are healed and embraced and understood. No one who comes has to worry about whether their pain and stories and emptiness are being judged. Instead they are reassured by those who stand here or sit on it dangling feet over the raging waters beneath. Like an Irish wake, sometimes those of us on this bridge are laughing and sharing stories, poems, videos, photos of our lost one. Most times, it is pain and fear and grief that is shared and heard and received without judgment. No one on the bridge says, "it is time to move on. Pull yourself together. Get over it. Start a new life. Take a trip. He is better off." No one would ever say that on this bridge. For everyone here knows what "they" know not. This bridge that takes us over the river of pain....what a gift it is, a place to share when the person who would have understood is no longer here to hear, to embrace, to respond. When friends show little interest or remembrance of my loss or when I wonder how they will respond...the bridge awaits and so I walk to it, interact with those who are there, and feel a sense of comfort and just a bit less alone. I thank Marty for providing and building this bridge and standing guard at its entrance and wandering to its center to interact with and help to heal those who come. I thank those who come with stories, pain and healing words...the newcomers who allow us to reach out and feel meaning in our lives by helping them as we were helped; those who have been around for a while with their experience and gained wisdom and understanding what none of us ever forget...and those struggling to heal and survive. It is indeed, a tribe and at night we gather around the fire and tend it and welcome those lost in night's dark loneliness. And in the morning when we must rise again to pain and emptiness, we support each other for only we really know...no one else knows...this gut wrenching pain we hold in our hearts and souls (what is left of them) each day, all day and each night, all night. How grateful I am for this bridge and those who walk it and those who tend it. mfh2013 I am reminded as I re-read this of Munch's painting: The Scream Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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