Solitary

She’s alone now.
Only memories and ashes
remind her of the one
who held her heart.

There are no arms to embrace her
in the long, dark night;
no soft breathing from
the pillow next to hers;
no warmth to ease the chill
in the bed they used to share
as temperatures fall
and winter approaches;
there is only
silence and longing.
Some days she feels
a wave of overwhelming grief
she can’t control.

There are moments when
she wonders
if the pain of loss
was worth their time together,
if it would have been easier
to never have met him,
loved him,
shared his life…

Then, in her mind’s eye,
she sees his smile
and it reminds her
of the love they shared;
the touch of his hand,
the feel of his skin against hers,
the sound of his voice,
how he said her name
like nobody else could…,

And she knows
It was worth it all.
©pfreitag2021

Alone

Silence explodes
enveloping my world
like the mushroom cloud of an atom bomb
now that I am here
without you.

In youth I craved solitude –
the stillness, a lack of expectation,
no mindless chatter to clutter my thoughts….
now, like an old friend who has
outworn his welcome,
its presence dogs my steps
and demands my attention.

The emptiness created by your absence
overwhelms me.
I wander aimlessly,
night flowing into day,
nothing making sense.

There is no reality for me
any more
but the chasm of your loss.

I am alone.

©9-28-2016

Gratitude

Your smile lingers in my mind.
I can still recall the sparkle in your eye
and the sound of your laughter.

Memories comfort me
when missing you threatens
to overtake my heart.

I remember how we laughed
and loved
and gave each other strength
in the hard times…
how much we cherished
not being alone
any more.

We didn’t have it easy.
Our lives were constantly
challenged by circumstances
that could have broken our spirits
or even our bond….
but we had been through worse,
and we knew how precious
our togetherness was,
so instead they made us
stronger.

I look back
and think of the things
you did for me out of love,
things you wouldn’t have done
for yourself –
the vegetable garden,
that silly chicken coop –
and I realize you did those
because you wanted to show me
how much I meant to you.

I hope you understood
how much your love changed me.
I hope you knew being with you
made me a better person.

Thank you for loving me.

©4-10-2018

Interment day

The silence was palpable
as I placed your ashes in their niche.
I wonder –
did they see me kiss your urn
or hear me say, “I love you”?

I should have spoken at the committal ceremony
but I didn’t know what to say.
How can you sum up years of memories
in a 15 minute window?
What could I have done
to show what our time together
meant to me?

You taught me unconditional love,
acceptance without judgement,
sacrifice,
faithfulness,
devotion,
humility,
all parts of what love should be –
the kind I’d never known before.

You helped me accept myself
for who and what I was
instead of feeling like my life
had been a series of failures.

You loved my children as your own
and cherished our grandchildren
as much as they did you.

You were a living example to me
of a godly man
even though you never claimed to be one.
You didn’t have to –
your actions spoke volumes.

There was no way
to put that into words
so I left it unspoken.
Your life spoke for itself
in those who loved you.

©10-23-2106

emptiness

I searched for you in the night
and my hand only met the air.

I listened for the sound of your breathing
but heard my own instead.

I made your favorite meal –
somehow it’s just not the same.

When we were first in love
I remember telling you I’d like to
open you us and
crawl in next to your heart.
Now I feel as if
I’m the one who’s been dissected,
left with a gaping hole in my life,
my consciousness,
my being,
where you used to live.

Sometimes it’s almost unbearable
going through the days without you.
I’m like a robot executing
expected movements without emotion
…….except I miss you
so badly it hurts.

©4-1-2018