Saturday, September 11, 2010

He couldn't contemplate it

I keep remembering a scene. It keeps replaying itself in my mind. Crystal clear.

I had just rung my late Aunt to let her know that I was thinking about her. She had lost her husband (my lovely uncle) some months earlier and I would call her every couple of weeks ... just to say hello ... just to let her know that I cared ... and to listen.

On this occasion, she sounded so defeated, so uncharacteristically quiet, so lonely. So lonely. Her voice was so little.

Straight after the phone call I said, in a waivering voice to Cliff, "she sounded so lonely. I could hear it in her voice." I was about to recount our conversation and he responded, "don't Boo. It makes me so unbearably sad. I don't want to think about it."

And he was so affected. I could see a dark cloud pass over his features. I could actually see the pain he felt, and hear the emotion in his voice.

He was visibly upset by the thought of this, and I now understand that he wasn't thinking of her alone.

He was thinking of me being in the same situation, where I find myself today, and he couldn't contemplate it. It didn't bear thinking about. Literally.

His heart broke for me. Today.

And his sorrow was for me, not for himself. So selfless. Love.

His thoughts were of me, not himself.

My beautiful strong husband.

I miss him.

I miss him so much.

I cannot find the words to explain how much I miss him.

This song goes some way to describing my feelings for him, but as powerful as it is, even it fails to adequately show how much I love him. How much I miss him. How cruel this separation is. How much it hurts. Lonely. For him.

This song was Cliff's anthem. We used to play it often and even if we had company, its significance was truly known to us alone. It was a song that would always be accompanied by his own voice. He would shut his eyes and let the lyrics wash over him. It was a song that never failed to remind me of just who I had married, and the man that he was. It brought a sense of the bittersweet and tugs on my heartstrings today. But it additionally reminds me of adversities that he overcame. And today? It feels as though it applies to me.

Our bond is so unbreakable. He is still teaching me. More importantly, I am still hearing him, still hearing his voice.

Wild Geese ~ By Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -- over and over announcing your place in the family of things.


  1. i have no words to help other than i am out here reaching out a hand to you. i am feeling very despondent myself, but know that i hold you in my thoughts and wish you peace.

  2. and I can feel you near. I really can. Walking beside me x

  3. Sending you love and hugs. I've been feeling overwhelmed with how much I miss Austin lately. I've been crying two or three times a day since the end of August. I wish I knew why we swing between being able to cope, while still missing him, and being just overwhelmed by his absence. But it is important to recognize what he's still saying, even now. It does bring some comfort, though obviously I'd much rather he be here in person. I just miss his physical presence so deeply...

    Ok, enough of that. Sorry for rambling on your blog! I hope you have some peaceful times this weekend. Love you. Deb

  4. Dearest Sister - holding you close right now and through the weekend. My heart flies across the miles between. I hope you can find some peace, a bit of comfort today - golden light to you dear Boo. xoxoxox S.

  5. my heart feels so deep inside of me after reading this. like i would have to reach deep, deep down, into a black abyss to find it. i just have no words my sweet boo. he is beautiful. everything about you two defies gravity. i love you.

  6. I think I may have finally accepted that he's gone ... this is insufferable, truly. Being confused, unsure or numb is far preferable.

    Love u all for your thoughts and support x