Friday, July 25, 2014

A Cushion

I am still surprised by how suddenly grief can strangle me. I can have a good day, I can smile a real smile, maybe see friends, I can do chores at home and make dinner, moving through my day ...and then, just as I reach for a napkin, halfway through a television show, there's a lump in my throat and I'm choking on instant tears. Sometimes, I look around, shocked and confused, as though I'm trying to find the thing that just made me start crying.

There is nothing out of the ordinary, nothing extra on top of what I've begun to call "normal, every day grief." There's just a sudden tightness in my throat, a sudden heaviness in my chest, and all at once, I'm crying...

I've realized that lately I'm not crying over Rick. I'm crying over myself. I drown in that pool of self-pity sometimes, so weighed down with the cold hard facts of my life. Widowhood. Extra responsibility. A childless existence. A vast future of unknown proportions. The concept of starting over moving forward when I was happy where I was.

I see tons of people every week. I meet up with friends. I drive to Connecticut. I see my family. I am busy. I do things. And yet... I'm painfully aware of my own solitude. I don't mind being alone, except for those times late at night when everything is quiet but my mind and the darkness outside feels so heavy. For all my bravery and positivity, there are times when I feel like I'll die if someone isn't there to hold me.

But no one is there.
And I don't die.

Instead, I look for a cushion...

I find comfort in the steady rhythm of my feet on the ground as I run. I find comfort in the spontaneous mid-day laughter shared with my coworkers. I find comfort in the two little cats that so sweetly sit with me every evening. I find comfort in the positivity wall in my office. I find comfort in the very kind words of friends and even strangers. I find comfort in music.

The comfort is a cushion so that when the grief crashes into me like a wave and I stumble, I fall into something soft and reassuring. If I bother to look, it is always there.


  1. Hugs. I hear you and I'm always willing to listen. Sending love

  2. Dear Arielle you are really brave you still find positives with all that you are going through truly inspirational I don't know if you realize how much of a impact you have on our lives. I know you don't know me I feel like I know you because you share your life with us which is a priceless gift you do everyday you teach us endurance and there is always hope even when you are struggling .sending love and hugs xxxx Ann richardson

  3. Somewhere I read that "No one can save himself alone" ... well, I don't think it's true.
    You can save yourself alone if you don't have someone who can do it at your place. And you can go ahead, beyond all the tears. Because when you face the difficulties of life, it's like you're walking through fire. And fire hardens what it doesn't burn.


Help me feel less alone.