Today Is The One Year Anniversary of The Death of My Wife

And It Is The Littlest of Things That Bring the Greatest of Pains

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Typing that title just now was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I still struggle to comprehend the enormity of it. I am intimately familiar with the pain, the sorrow, the loss, and the grief. They have been my constant companions this entire year. Each takes it turn sitting on my chest crushing me, lodging in my throat choking me, and sinking in my gut smothering me and they have not stopped their relentless assault since the day I lost her.

And it is such a huge thing, the bigness of it is overwhelming. The massiveness of the loss, the enormity of the impact of her death on so many other lives. It is too much to think about and the sadness is so great, the hole in my life so vast as to seem incomprehensible. But that great sorrow is not what hurts me the most still. The bigness of the loss is not what makes me cry sometimes for what seems no reason or darkens my mood for days at a time. It is not the enormous loss to the universe or the thought of the rest of my life without her that keeps me awake all night for nights on end. It is the smallest of things that are the hardest, the most painful, the littlest of things that are the most difficult to bear.

There are so many examples I could give to illustrate what I mean by “small thing” or “little thing” but I can share one from not more than ten minutes ago. I am leaving for a business trip in the morning so I needed to pack. I am an absolutely terrible packer and whenever I would go on a trip when we were together she would always help me, really she would almost always end up starting over and packing for me because I would make such an awful mess of it. As I start packing I am thinking about all of this. Of course I am doing a shitty job as always when I get to the part that ripped my heart out of my chest, threw it on the ground, and crushed it underfoot. The part that caused so much emotional turmoil that I turned into a blubbering invalid for a good ten minutes, unable to move, unable to thing, sitting on my bed rocking back and forth balling like a 2 year old baby. Surely the significance of this thing to our lives together must have been enormous to warrant such a response. In fact it was folding shirts.

It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? How can folding long sleeve button down shirts induce so much emotion, cause so much pain? She had a really special way that she did it and she taught that method to me. I usually messed it up somehow because I am not very good at that sort of thing. We had sort of an inside joke, you know what I am talking about, a couple’s joke, one of those things only they share and no one else in the entire universe would understand or find funny in the least. Basically it was about how every time I packed she would have to show me how to fold shirts like it was the first time all over again. She would show me on one shirt and then I would be able to finish the rest. Only now I can’t remember how to do it. I can’t fucking remember and she will never be around again to tell me how. My God, its simply not possible to express in words how painful, how sad, how devastating that is to realize and saw I dissolved into a mass of hurt and sorrow and sat and cried until I couldn’t cry anymore.

Those sorts of little things still happen at least a few times each week. They are no longer daily occurrences but they still happen regularly. They always end the same way, with me incapacitated, curled up in a little ball of hurt, paralyzed by pain. To make matters worse I have not had a single dream about her (that I remember) this entire year she has been gone. Not even a dream with her in it. It’s not fair, I don’t understand, am I being punished? Why can I not at least see her in my dreams? One year she has been completely gone from my life, both waking and sleeping, and yet I am still here.

I love you baby. I miss you so much. We will see each other again. I swear it on any and all Gods that may or may not exist in the whole of the multiverse. If there is a way I will find you, I need to see you again, to hold you in my arms just one more time.


Written by

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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