The night Adrian left this world, I came home to an empty house.   I could not sleep and found myself mindlessly pacing up and down the house until morning came.  I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for.  Although I knew he would never come back home, I wanted to find him in any dark corner of every room. I found him in the smell of his of clothes in the closet.  I found him in the living room, as I remembered when he painted the walls that chocolate-brown color he loved.  He was everywhere, and yet he was not home anymore.

I lay in bed that night with my eyes full of tears, my head full of thoughts and a broken heart.  It was too soon for me to understand that insomnia would be my new normal for the next 2 years.  There was no place for me in our bed that night.  It felt empty and foreign.  I felt lost.  Where was I? For the next several nights I caught fleeting moments of sleep on the living room couch.  But that also felt unnatural, so eventually, I forced myself to go back to our bed.  My bed.  Mine alone now. He was no longer here to share that bed with me. 

The first night I slept in the bed alone, a stripped naked and crawled into Adrian’s side of the bed.  It was a desperate attempt at feeling his embrace one last time, and I cried into his pillow.  The smell of his pillow was strong – beautiful, just like he was.  For months I could not bring myself to wash the bedding because it was the only way I had to feel close to him. I refused to simply wash him away. 

Two years.  That is how long Adrian has been gone.  Two years.  That is how long I’ve slept in his side of the bed.  I suppose I should have known that assuming his side of the bed came with more responsibilities.  While I was trying to find him, I have found ways to become more like him.   I have to admit that as difficult as it has been, I have reluctantly accepted life’s challenge to take on Adrian’s role.  Life has forced me to become the head of the household, a plumber, a gardener, and a carpenter.   Even in his absence, I have become his apprentice.  Although he is no longer here, perhaps his side of the bed somehow brought him close to me.   

On many occasions I have reached over to my (former) side of the bed in a useless attempt to find Adrian. It is a silly feat because, not only am I reaching to the wrong side, but he is just not there.  But I reach out anyway, searching for him, and I swear I feel him sometimes.  I feel his energy, and I know in my heart, it is him – reassuring me.

Last night, I spoke to Adrian in the dark.  I turned to my former side of the bed and tried to touch him.  Of course, I didn’t find him.  Instead, I found myself.  So I tried to comfort the Jessica who is still lost, confused and worn down.   I tried to reassure the Jessica who still, after two years, can’t imagine a life without Adrian.  I reached my hand out and touched her hair and wiped away her tears.  I promised her we were going to be OK.  I asked her to look at how far we’d come. I reminded her that Adrian would be so proud of us for not giving up, and assured her we were going to make it.  Together.  And although I could still see fear in her eyes, I could tell that she trusted me. 


Jessica’s life was shattered in March of 2017 when her healthy and athletic husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at the age of 44. Jessica became a widow at the age of 36.
Through grieving eyes, Jessica has become aware of the huge disconnect there is between the reality of grief, versus what others believe it should be. This has motivated her to share her story and hopes that by doing so, it may create a “safe space” for someone – anyone who might relate or who shares similar experiences. It took her so long to understand that she was not going crazy in the months after her loss, and hopes that she might help a reader understand the same thing: You are NOT going crazy. This is grief.