“Every one can master a grief but he that has it.”
- William Shakespeare

Today I woke up next to my son. He cuddled with me in the wee hours of the morning. Is it wrong to allow him to climb into bed with me? I believe not. He told me this morning, “I don’t want to go to Daycare. I want to stay home.”

“I know Oliver. I would like to stay home with you too.” I had to promise him gummy bunnies in order to get his cute butt outta bed.

Some days I feel just like Oliver. Actually, it’s most days. OK, every day. Each morning, I don’t want to face my life. I don’t spring out of bed and joyfully thank God for a brand new day. (Maybe that’s my problem!) I don’t shout with blissful anticipation, “What’s the world going to bring me today? What can I do for you today?” Instead, I dread the daylight. Morning? Already? Five more minutes. Give me 5 more minutes of delusional ignorance.

An hour later I open my eyes. Shit.

My feet hit the floor and I say Thank and You. One word per foot. As I take my day’s first steps, I thank God with each shift forward. Still, joy eludes me. On occasion, my spirit is lifted as soon as I am induced with caffeine, but even then, my heart beats a little too eagerly and I fall headfirst into anxiety. Pathetic, isn’t it?

Grief. It wraps its long arms around you and cloaks you in a shrouded veil until you can no longer see the world without Grief shadowing every single picture. The cunning thing about Grief is that I never know when it’s going to strike me down. Take today for instance. At lunchtime I went in search of chocolate. All was well. Yet, once I was back in my car the sky darkened. I bore down and my entire soul wept. I asked Matt, “How can you do this?” I pulled out of the parking lot, tormented by fear, my vision blurred.

. . . . .

Oliver has been clinging to me lately. His grip is so tightly wrapped around me that I am locked into place. My therapist said Oliver watched his dad leave, so he thinks maybe I’ll leave him. Almost every day he asks me, “You’re not going bye-bye are you Momma?” He repeats this question throughout the day into the night. His cup of needed assurance is bottomless. Matt says Oliver poses the same question to him. Oliver truly believes he is going to be left behind. Again.

I struggle sometimes. I struggle with the past and the present, with the present and the future. What is my reality? Which of these do I cling to? The oppositions are not resolved in my mind. My present is the complete opposite of my past. My gratitude is for the past. So are my regrets. Shall I still cling to the past? Can it return, only better? Some would rather see me let go, forget the past. I’m not able to yet. I have this little boy. He hurts. His future is at stake. His dad is also in flux. Matt shared with me at one point, and I hope he wont mind me sharing this with you, that no decision is a good decision. I can live with that for now. I’m hoping Matt will come to his senses.

When I go into the future one of three things happen:

I’m full of fear — fear of the end of my marriage and all I will have to face and walk through when / if that happens. The years ahead terrify me. The reality is, if it we had to make a decision based on where we are at today, there is no marriage. It seems impossible to fix, almost cancerous.

I’m full of hope — hope for my marriage reconciling. This is the outcome I come back to often when the fear gets to painful. Hope melts my fears, calms my heart and takes my mind off things. I actually put my trust solely in God when I hope because only a miracle can make the impossible possible. I don’t even need to figure out the how. I just focus on trust. Trust God.

I have hope — hope for myself and Oliver and our future. I envision being happy, secure and fulfilled. I see me with a man who really loves me, who believes in me, is handsome, everything Matt was and more. I see Oliver being OK, happy, loving, safe, secure. God has His hand in this one. This is the hope you all give me. This is the hope I have been promised, and I know will come true. This I do not doubt for myself.

The future is too risky, full of more than I can handle right now. So mostly I stay in today. Today is not always so great tho. I miss my husband. Life is a little bit difficult. I feel rejection almost every minute of each day. When  I am busy, I am OK. When I am around others, I am OK. When I am home, I stay busy... I clean, I read, I watch a show, I cook, I write. When I’m with Oliver, I try to focus on him. There’s not much joy in my days, but then again, I’m usually OK.

It’s just that Grief is always nearby, whispering by my shoulder. {He left you. You’ve been rejected. He doesn’t love you. You are all alone. Your dreams are ending. He no longer cares.}

. . . . .

I read recently that all marriages have three phases:

1. falling in love
2. falling out of love
3. falling back in love

A lot of marriages stay in phase #2. Some marriages end because people don’t believe that #3 can happen for them. It takes a lot of work. I know it can happen. I experienced it this summer.

Matt fell out of love. Want to know a secret? I think I did too. I used to fantasize about moving out, moving on, living alone (with Oliver). After all, his unkempt, unshowered self was not too attractive to me. He worked in the trenches most days keeping company with the likes of sledge hammers, plumbing pipes and spider webs. After 10 years of marriage, one gets sick of another’s annoying habits. I got tired of picking up socks, rinsing beard trimmings from the sink, scraping off dishes, finding candy wrappers tucked in the crevices of the couch. I had begun to loathe the television — the constant football, crime shows, sports news. I hated the damn Blackberry attached to his hip — especially when it was glued to his ear as he walked in the house. He smelled. He farted. His feet sweat. I tripped over his shoes, his jackets were draped over the dining room chairs and his dirty clothes never found the laundry basket. He was crabby. He was messy. He was disorganized. He was a bull in a china shop. He was a guy! He was, he was, he was. Was. 2. Falling out of love.

It was just a fantasy though! I didn’t mean for it to happen. And when it did, I realized just how much I really did love my husband. 3. Falling back in love.

Dr. Phil was right. I got on his case a lot, and now he’s gone.

I know. It’s not my fault. Matt even told me back in October. It’s not me. It’s him. While that made my day, my whole month in fact, it doesn’t remove the Grief.

In my dark moments, I think Matt’s happier now. No one is nagging him, no one is getting on his case for the litter box not being cleaned (I now understand his reluctance), no messy home to come home to, and if it is a mess, it’s his mess. In fact, he’s living the lifestyle of a bachelor. His apartment is decorated the way he likes, mismatched although it might be. It’s his place. He’s no longer a guest in his own home, surrounded by his wife’s tastes which have been dictating home decorating style the past 10 years. 

I wish there were some men reading this blog so I could get a male perspective. Any men out there? Ladies, ask your husbands why they stay married to you. Ask them if they’d prefer to live alone the way they’d like to live.

In order to calm my fears, I move to the negatives of bachelordom. There is no one there to welcome him home with love. No one to run up to him and shout, “Daddy’s home!” (He has to pick up Oliver from Daycare to hear that one.) No more scents of dinner in the oven as he climbs up the back stairs and walks into the house. No Sunday afternoon cookies being delivered to his throne, the couch. No one to snuggle with at night. No one to hold hands with in the car. No one to hug him, rub his shoulders, be intimate with. No one to talk to. No one to accompany him to events. No one to come home to. He has an empty apartment. He’s all alone. It’s bitterly quiet. The mornings are silent. No one delivers a cup of coffee to him while he’s still in bed. His evenings are void.


I married a man who proved, absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt that he could stuff his feelings. He obviously did that with me and I never noticed. Today, there is no doubt in my mind that he will wake up. I know he will. He will. Some day. There are some things I just know and this is one of them. Trust me. He will regret this some day.

.  .  .  .  .  

This doesn’t help with Grief. It just takes time, that’s what I know today. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, how strong your faith is, how many friends you have. I have more support than I could ever ask for. My walk was shoveled yesterday! Someone took care of me! I don’t know which neighbor did it. And it made me happy! It made my life easier! But it doesn’t take away the pain of a man walking out of my life and a young 2-year old’s life. This journey has not been an easy one. But I do know I will be stronger and better for it. I already am.

“Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows.”
- William Shakespeare


  1. This is an incredibly important post, Andrea. Your journey has made you so wise. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge, painful as its gain has been.

  2. Sending hugs to you... seperation is such a roller coaster ride.. sending you wishes for a moment ... if only one... free of grief..


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