Just after my partner died I remember reading a book which suggested that grief was like a black hole. All consuming yet over time it’s energy shrinks and eventually it disappears allowing new life to replace it. I’m still waiting….

Everybody is different. Everybody deals with grief differently. This approach worked for the author but not for me.

Maybe another way to look at it could be that life exists outside the black hole. The black hole is always there. Somedays it’s powerful and sucks so much life force out of your universe. Other days not so strong. But the key thing is that although it never disappears a new life exists outside it – it’s your choice, your journey that determines how far you move from it. – that’s a bit of my inner Carl Sagan coming out in me.

My current take is a little different. It’s a dark place with doors – maybe it’s inside the black hole. My thinking is that when Bereavement occurs doors begin to shut (many permanently) on my old world. My old world will always be there I just can’t go back to it. It’s up to me to decide if I want to continue to stand next to these closed doors. As well as doors I will also discover windows into my old world. Those windows are too small for me to re-enter my old world but they do allow memories to enrich my soul. In the darkness other doors are created. They lead to new worlds, new experiences. On my grief journey I will come across these new doors. It’s my choice whether I decide to open the new door opportunities or not. Maybe I will make a few drinks, pull up a chair and take my time.

I carry my family’s trait of not having any sense of direction. What could possibly go wrong with me stumbling about in the dark trying to find some random doors…..

93 thoughts on “Searching in the dark

  1. I think you have expressed yourself amzingly.

    You are right about how different grief can be for different people.

    I hope that your wife continues to provide enriching memories. Its good to live, to forge friendships, new ones, or stronger ones with those around you already – and keep sharing someone who is such a special part of you.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Your feeling is very similar to mine. My grief is ever changing. I know I won’t ever go back to anything similar to what my life was like. This was very refreshing to read knowing that you and I are having some of the same feelings. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss there are so many people who choose to shut down and not talk about the loved ones they have lost. I have no idea what it is like to lose a partner. I have lost family members some closer to me than others. I think you expressed yourself wonderfully. I pray that you and your family continue to heal and find doors of opportunity.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. It is both. But the way forward can be found when you give yourself enough time. It’s the time which you need. The direction will become apparent by itself. Wishing you all the best.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Grieving I think has no limit for us. As long as we keep and remember the memories, but the good ones will always remain. It may take sometime for us to adjust to a situation without our loved ones but we will get there somehow.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. My husband is very ill and has been for a long time. I find myself trying to prepare for the day he is no longer by my side and I grieve what has not even happened yet. I have been through grief too many times not to know how painful it is. But I think the death of a spouse or significant other is the most intense and painful. (I don’t know that for a fact, but I suspect this is so.) I really loved how you expressed your truths about grief. I especially liked this line: “Those windows are too small for me to re-enter my old world but they do allow memories to enrich my soul.” If I survive my husband I hope the memories we’ve made will serve to enrich mine.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Maybe grief delivers us to a lost place because a part of our soul leaves the material world when a loved one dies. That connection goes on on a different level then. I really love this post. I am so glad you wrote it. I love some of the imagery and analogies you use. I think of dark matter and its where we appear to go where when we die though those who passed and returned say its full of light. Is this the dark place then?
    The important thing is to make a relationship with your grief. And yes somedays in my experience the hole sucks you right down. But I only know losing parents or siblings and friends, not the life loss of a partner who I loved as deeply as you loved yours.
    Thanks for being here. I gives me so much comfort that you are. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Keep writing, keep living and keep loving those around you. Just keep on going. And not that one ever, ever wants to forget them, one morning, you’ll get through to breakfast and realise that you haven’t had a sad thought about them. And alongside the guilt that you hadn’t thought of them the moment you opened your eyes, it will also feel ok … Sending hugs. Katie

    Liked by 3 people

  9. There are no rules to grieving or when it might become a little easier. When it becomes that dull throbbing ache rather than the stabbing pain it seems to be most of the time. From what I have been reading you are doing a wonderful job navigating your grief and raising your son. You are an extremely courageous man and you are doing a phenomenal job with your son. I won’t tell you that things will get better because again we are all different as you say and there are no rules/no timelines. Just remember that you have a whole lot of people cheering you on from the sidelines wanting nothing but the best for both your son and yourself. One day at a time……that is what I tell myself and if that is too much than I concentrate on the next hour/minute/second whatever it takes to get where I need to go. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  10. A good post. I have only known the loss of my parents, not a soul mate and partner. IMO, Time doesn’t heal, it smooths the edges off the pain. I like the idea of doors and windows letting in memories and shutting other things out. We are all different as is the way we grieve, but pain is too familiar to all of us at some stage.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Powerful stuff; grief is such a personal thing. For me it felt like the rawness eased as other newer memories and experiences overlaid the grief but never in such a way that the layers couldn’t get pulled back and the original rawness exposed again. I’m not really a believer in the time heals scenario but it does help cover it for a while. Your analogy is a lovely one though too and I can see that as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You never get “over it”. Your partner was and still is part of your life and always will be. Her death left a hole in you. The space she occupied is still occupied. As time goes on the space might change shape but will always be with you.
    I hope I have articulated this correctly. ❤️🙏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  13. As every one of us is a different individual, living different lives, all of us experience grief in different ways, but just as all of us need Oxygen, food and water to live so too there will be some similarities between our grief and that of some others we share this planet with.

    We can learn from this and what you write helps not only yourself, but all those who read it! Just as it can help you to read of the grief others feel or describe. You have to make what sense out of what has happened as you can and you have to be the one to find your way to a better place than what the Black Hole (personally i’d use a ‘whirlpool’ comparison, but that’s just my scientific background) offers (as well as be the one strong enough to help your son do what he has to to deal with his loss – for a time at least.)

    Grief is a very common and long-lived human experience and much has been written about it – there is lots of help available to help us find a way ‘back’ to something approaching our life, even if it won’t be anything like the one we had before our grief swamped us. You have to be the one in charge – but you don’t have to do it totally alone.

    It does take time, more for some than others, but there is no set time you have to wait before coming to terms with your loss. None of us are so strong as to be able to make it happen when we want it too but we can do what we can and even surprise ourselves sometimes with how well we can do, maybe with a little help?

    If in doubt – ASK! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s so hard to describe grief–we can turn to metaphors and sensory images. I’ve been writing on grief that comes from a shocking loss of life. I find that my descriptions are close to those of love–comes in waves, all-encompassing–for there is no grief without love. Grief also changes shape over time.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Of course you should take your time. You may find candlight flickering beneath one of those doors. You may feel a little breeze that smells sweet, kind of refreshing. Or maybe you’ll see a doorknob that’s a bit broken, and you’re pretty sure you know how to fix it.

    You’ll find the right door when it’s the right time, my friend. xxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  16. This is beautiful and a great analogy, even with you including more doors than that Disney song from “Frozen…”

    Maybe you could also go with the idea that you have a portal gun, like from the game Portal? Same idea but more sci-fi to liven things up for you and your son? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Your black hole illustration is spot on. It’s like you can see your old life, you can taste it and smell it but you can’t touch it again. I’m sorry for your loss. The pain of losing a loved one is unmatched. When I lost my grandmother the thought of seeing her again in God’s Kingdom got me through it. Revelation 21:3,4 and John 5:28,29 were very encouraging to me. Also, here’s an article that may be helpful:

    Liked by 1 person

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