When People Are Gone


I started to tell a story the other day, and I realized I wanted to be vague.

Instead of saying “my husband” or “my ex-husband” or “the guy I thought I’d be sharing the rest of my life with but was drastically wrong,” I said, “I know someone who…”

It’s easier.

But it’s odd.

There was just over a year between the time my dad died and the day my husband announced he wanted a divorce. A year seemed like a long time until I lost my two favorite men in that span of time.

It’s odd because I feel welcome to share things about my dad, mention him when I talk about memories. I enjoyed sharing life with him, and I’m comfortable recalling and sharing memories. In fact, it’s an honor. It reflects his life and our relationship.

I enjoyed sharing life with my husband, too, but sharing memories is different. He’s no longer in my life, not because of a physical death but because of rejection, because of the chasm he chose when he decided to live life without me.

He chose the chasm that I now live with. I will forever be separated with much distance between us. And that doesn’t make me a victim; it’s just reality. But it places my memories in a different context because of the way the relationship ended. I think about, remember, and relate everything about him in a different context now. It’s not filled with anger or bitterness as much as a void. Even the memories that include him don’t seem as personal as they once did. Everything now slides through a filter that, at first glance, might appear to make things cloudy or messy, but in reality, I think it might just clarify things a bit.

So, I might be a bit vague at times as I share memories. But that’s okay. Sometimes memories take on a slightly different context because the perspective of looking back and looking forward shifts. I could view it as sad, avoid some memories, or simply choose to remember what has been and will be important.

Adjusting to people being gone, regardless of the circumstances, is difficult.

Grief is difficult.

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