Sunday, August 18, 2019


Since Tom died, I am not myself. I hardly know who I am. After being one of a pair for so many years, I seem to have lost my identity. When I fill out forms, I check off "single" rather than "married" now, and that doesn't seem right. I have also joined the ranks of widows, a group in which I do not yet feel at home. I go through the motions of living everyday life, but I feel like a displaced person in my own life and my own house. Even so, I want to stay in my house as long as possible. The thought of moving is quite daunting.

I've never had difficulty being alone. In fact, time alone has always been a necessity for me, even when I had very little of it. I remember retreating to the bathroom when Tom was home in the evening, and the children were young. I'd lock the door and spend as much time as possible in the bathtub. That was my time alone to recoup and recover.

Tom and I shared interests, but we both had different interests, too, and went our separate ways to follow the interests that differed. Yet, all the while Tom was the strong thread that ran though my life even when we were physically separated, and I knew we would be together again. Now he's gone forever. I'm not drowning in sorrow missing Tom. I have my sad moments, but, the truth is I'm not quite as sad as I think I should be, and I feel a bit guilty about it.

To complicate matters, when I stopped going to church several years ago, I gradually lost my religion. By religion I mean I lost faith in church and Christian denominations. Then I lost my faith in God. I say "lost" because not having faith is a loss. My faith was a comfort to me, and it left me at a most inconvenient time.

It is said that faith is a gift. Job said,"Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." What's not there is not there, and wishing or saying it's there won't make it so. At the moment, I don't feel like blessing God, if there is a God. I don't call myself an atheist, because I have no certainty that God or a First Cause of some sort does not exist. I assume I now fall into another unfamiliar group of agnostics.


  1. My heart goes out to you, June. Whether together 5 years or 50, losing a mate is like losing a limb, and of course it hurts like hell. If you weren't hurting, something would be dreadfully wrong with you. As someone has said, "Grief is the price we pay for love." Sooner or later.

    But do stop worrying about other people's opinions. There is no right or wrong to grief. It's yours, no one else's, so let it be what it is, as long or short as it may take. There is no timetable, no Official Guide. Just let it be. I think that is the best way to go, and healing is at the other end. But first you have to walk the road, step by step - no shortcuts.

    PS - I did not realize you had stopped going to church. (I haven't been in 15 years.) But many saints as well as non-coms and privates have written about the Dark Night of the Soul, which I'm sure you could search out if you thought that sort of reading would be helpful. Bless you, dear.

    Just hang in there.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Russ. You're the nicest blue trucker I know, and I'm always pleased to hear from you.

      I stopped going to church mainly because of physical challenges. I have a bad back, and the steps and the pews became too much for me. Since I was already becoming disenchanted with church before I had to stop, it wasn't difficult. What I miss most is congregational singing and some of the people in the church I enjoyed seeing.

      The opinions or expectations of other people about how to grieve don't concern me all that much. It's high standards I impose on myself. I've done that for most of my life, and I should know by now that I will never meet my own unrealistic expectations and give up the effort. I mostly do take one day at a time and not worry if I'm doing grief right.

      If God wants me back, I remain open to her invitation.

  2. June

    This post is from your heart. I hear and feel your loss. Both of Tom and of your faith. Being agnostic isn't something to worry about. Not being sure is something that I had for over 20 years, after the loss of a marriage in the eighties and loss of contact with my Kids as well. I was a Catholic in those days and the Church was no help at all. They told me that I was a sinner and that I would suffer in hell from leaving an abusive wife, which who I no longer felt safe.

    Eventually, after 20 years or so, I had an experience with Jesus, which left me convinced that he had spoken to me personally into my life. It was during a tragic episode while I cared for the family who had lost their son and partner in Afghanistan. As I left their home after a truamatic and emotional meeting to arrange repatriation of his remains to the UK, I spoke to the accompanying Padre saying as a joke to relieve the tension "This could make me gt God", he responded "that this could me me become an atheist" it broke the ice and tension, but I heard an inner voice speaking to me saying "I'm here - let me in" somehow I thought, why not, and was immediately comforted with a warm feeling, which ran right through my body.

    Certainty wasn't immediate, but I just felt that I needed to be praying, and I managed to speak with the Anglican Padre and we prayed together. And the rest is history. Now, some eleven years later I am a Licensed Minister in my local church and am able to know that even when I was agnostic towards God, he and his grace were alongside me all of the time. I can recall times in that wilderness when his presence was around, I just refused to acknowledge it.

    It took my involvement with a family, who despite their loss, were Christians, who believed in the resurrection and were able to articulate it in their hour of direst despair. Jesus chose his time when I was both vulnerable due to the serious issues I was coping with, but also receptive to his voice.

    This experience will stay with me for life. I didn't return to the Catholic Church, because I no longer felt part of it, but perhaps an Anglican Priest and Military Padre enabled me to see more clearly that God wasn't just for the Catholic Chuurch, but was God of all of us, he loves us unreservedly and forgives as well.

    I will pray for you, if that is OK with you.

    I know that grief is something that you have to live through. My younger sister died two years ago having lived with early onset dementia for a number of years, and I still haven't got used to her not being here any longer. But I believe that we will meet again on the other side of this life, and she has gone to prepare the way.

    1. UKViewer, thank you. I always welcome prayers. I don't worry about my faith, or lack thereof. It's either there, or it's not, but it was a comfort, though less and less in recent years. The loss was gradual, not abrupt. As I said, I remain open to resuming the relationship.

  3. I have a partner who is the center of my life, and I know that what you have experienced awaits me, both the intense loss, and the times when I'll feel guilty for not feeling as much loss as I think others expect me to feel.

    As someone else has said, it doesn't matter what other people think - you are grieving in your way. I suspect your Tom would understand, and possibly does understand.

    I am already an intermittently believing agnostic, who also has flashes of atheistic wonderings. My loss of faith, after a very faith-filled young life, came years ago, so I can't claim to understand the sorrow and confusion of dealing with that loss around the same time as losing a beloved, but I can imagine its' hard, hard effect on one's soul.

    My thoughts are with you, if a stranger from Chicago's thoughts are worth anything.

    Kathy Routiffe

    1. Thank you, Kathy. The stranger from Chicago's kind thoughts mean a lot to me. To love is to risk loss. Tom and I had 58 years together, more than most, and I'm immensely grateful for those years. Now, I feel as if a part of me has been ripped away, that I'm not quite whole. I know I will never "get over" Tom's death, and I will not rush to "move on" from my grief. Each person's grief has its own time and its own ways.

  4. June take one day at a time. You will think of Tom every day... even after one year, five years and more. Thats what being apart of something, with someone else. If we did not have those shared times there would not be anything to remember. The "one"nous as I call it is very real and often others don't see it or understand it. AS was said previous there is no right way to grieve or correct way There is YOUR way.

    1. Thanks, kent. I do believe that good thoughts, best wishes, and prayers are efficacious. Whatever way one chooses to comfort another with words, there is something in that kindness that goes beyond the physical and seems to work for good.

      Tom looks down at me from his picture over the clock on the mantel, and the urn with his ashes sits quite near. One day, the ashes will go in the church scatter garden, but not yet. I like having them here for now.


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