Sunday, June 22, 2014

Empty Spaces

There are so many empty spaces in my life now.

There is an empty chair in my living room. Sometimes I sit in it...especially when I blog...but most of the time, it remains empty. I feel like it is mourning Rick the same way I am. Even the cats don't sit in it unless I'm in it. When I sit in Rick's chair, sometimes I pretend he's in it too. I move my body so that I only take up half of the big chair, or I lean my head to the side the way I would if I was sitting in Rick's lap. It almost feels like the chair is holding me. I want to pat it comfortingly and say, "It will be okay."

There is an empty towel rack in his bathroom. It may have a towel for guests at times, but usually it mourns Rick too. His bathroom looks stark. It's too clean and it's devoid of life. No more evidence of shaving or hair combing. No more toothbrush. There used to be a painting in Rick's bathroom. It was a painting of a ship on the sea and Rick told me it had been in his room as a child. It made me too sad to look at it, so I took it down and replaced it with something else. 

There is an empty spot in our bed. The king sized bed feels massive now. I continue to sleep on my side of the bed, even though technically the entire bed is now mine. I stay curled up on one half of it, crying, thinking, and remembering so many things. The other day I propped extra pillows on Rick's side, just so the bed would feel less empty. Sometimes, in the dark, in the middle of the night, I reach my arm out as far as it will go to the other side of the bed, just hoping against hope that my fingers will come in contact with him. It's silly, but I do it anyway, like my bed might just be the one magical place where reality will fade away.

There is even an empty spot I'm dreading in advance...

The decals on the back of my car which represent my family made me laugh the day I got them, but now every time I see them, I hurt inside. When is the right time to remove the Rick figure from the scene? Why isn't there a handbook for these things? How long do you wait to peel the "husband" decal from a windshield? 3 months? 6 months? A year? At which point does it become ridiculous that  it is still on my car? I dread that empty spot so much. The "Rick" decal is not even at the end of the family scene. The empty spot will be obvious. Painful.

In a lot of ways, it's fitting. When I peel the decal away, the empty spot next to "me" on the back of the car will represent all my pain. My missing piece. A void. 

There's a spot next to me in the chair...the life...and it is empty. There's a spot in my heart that's empty too. It feels hollow, as though I could whisper the word "Rick" and hear it echo within myself, bouncing around with nowhere to go...because there is no one next to me left to hear the name.


  1. I'm always here for you. It doesn't fill the void but I will do whatever I can.

  2. I don't know if you will find this helpful or not, possible tacky, buy they make car decals to honor family members that have passed. Perhaps, when you're ready, you could replace Ricks' sticker with one of those. Here is a link to one site just to serve as an example.

    There are other options though. Final a symbol that represents Rick to you and put in the empty spot. It's just a thought. You have to mourn in your own way and do what feels right to you, whether that means leaving the sticker up indefinitely or taking it down today. The right time is when it is the right time for you.

    Thinking of you.


Help me feel less alone.