Grief and loss have a way of snatching the best of life and the best of dreams right out from under you. One day you stand before life- fully embracing all that you’ve planned, saved, and hoped for and suddenly its snatched away.
It causes you to realize all the unfinished business left behind after losing your spouse. It’s those unfinished dreams and conversations that confront you in everyday life. And often its those uncompleted plans that haunt you days and years afterwards.
I have many unfinished realities after my husband died suddenly in 2015. Like many widows, I was unable to have closure with the many, many components of our lives. We didn’t even get a chance to finish our conversation when “suddenly” he was unconscious on the bathroom floor, to never regain consciousness.
We had planned travel arrangements to cities and areas of the world that we believed would bring joy to our lives. Me, being the forever organizer and planner, had trips planned and paid for into the future. Those plans were stopped and ceased to exist suddenly. While I miss so many conversations, intimate moments, laughter and dreams, some days it is that “unfinished business” of life, that often takes my breath away.
Unfinished life stories, stories with my husband and daughter growing together. Stories about his grandkids and adult kids that he fondly retold to me allowing me into that part of his life I didn’t know. Blended families are like that. Playing catch up on former life events hoping to bridge gaps of time and space. Everyone now has their own memories of days and times past to fill their hearts and minds. Those widows that lost their loved ones during Covid-19 faced similar circumstances. Not able to say those last words of “goodbye” or share a last hug. It hurts and the pain lasts a long time.
To help ease the pain, some people do a good job of cataloging their travels, birthdays, celebrations, and events and are fortunate to be able to pull out pictures to reflect on those times. I’m not so lucky. We have few pictures of those special events to help close the gap with faded memories.
Those unfinished experiences of life are torn away from me and the subsequent loneliness that haunt me daily. It is as if life as I once knew it stopped in its tracks- holding plans, memories, thoughts, dreams, and futures.
The reality is that it takes time to unpack that life full of promises only to attempt to create a new life void of those same hopes. It’s so difficult but with God’s grace, it can be done. Birthing another life as a widow full of unfinished stories while making way for new experiences without my loved one to share.