Limbo is a Real Place

So, here I am. I am back. Am I back? I don’t know. I don’t know much these days. Grief will do that to you.  It’s been a little over a month since Bill left and there are still times when I cannot fathom he is gone. Experts—people who have travelled this path before me—tell me this will continue for quite a while, maybe even until I myself go on to, as Bill named it, the Next Big Adventure.

This week, as I continue to live in limbo, I look to those who lost loved ones on 9/11 for inspiration. Their journeys offer many pointers as to how to survive crippling emotional pain. Perhaps the most important clue is that you put one foot in front of the other and simply keep breathing. Sometimes that’s the best one can do when facing profound loss.

Those 9/11 families I have learned the most from are those who have found forgiveness and given up bitterness. When a loved one dies, the natural inclination is to look for someone to blame. Who’s responsible for this?  Who can I be mad at or hate? Who’s going to pay?

In the cases of the 9/11 families, there really IS someone to blame. Some have moved through that to the other side. That’s a courageous route.  Getting to forgiveness is a freedom that initially feels like pure relief. It takes a lot of energy to hate and it hurts the hater the most. It’s as if you have taken poison and are waiting for your enemy to die.

I can only feel gratitude that I don’t have a similar dilemma. Bill died of pancreatic cancer.  No one knows what causes it and there is no cure. There is no one to blame and no one to hate. There is only a deep well of sadness. And, when all is said and done, that’s what’s underneath all grief: a seemingly bottomless well of sadness.

You have all helped so much. You wrote (some of you multiple times) to let me know you are here, right beside me. You wrapped your virtual arms around me and reminded me I am loved. Thank you for that.  What may seem a small gesture to you was huge to me. I never felt alone through this. Not once.

And so I guess I am back, forever changed and deeply appreciative. I loved a great man who returned that love and who gave me many gifts.

Thank you all for sharing this profound journey with me and for caring about Bill.

“And in the love you take is equal to the love you make.”  

                                                                                                  – The Beatles

Click here for PDF of this post.