Suddenly Alone

Survivors Blog Here is pleased to welcome Guest Contributor Heather at The Starting End.   Heather was first featured here with her poem, “Night,” a look into the grip of restive dreams.  She spun waking dreams in the reader’s mind with a soft touch and vivid imagery.  Heather’s talent at expressing love and life through poetry and prose is a masterful stroke from the artist’s soft sable brush. 

Today we want to share Heather’s personal insight into her eventual discovery of a new life after the unfortunate loss of her husband in, “Suddenly Alone.”  Recovery from trauma and loss can take years.  Each person is different and must take whatever time necessary to come to grips with the truth of their life’s story.  At some point we realize we are no longer walking our path looking over our shoulder but lightly afoot, eyes forward to a new horizon with untold promise of brighter things to come.  Please enjoy, “Suddenly Alone,” and visit Heather’s website. You will understand why we are so excited to have her as our guest.

A special thanks to Randstein for writing the beautiful introduction.   XO M


Suddenly alone, we find ourselves. Be it from divorce or perhaps death, the chapter of our lives that we never read in our imaginary “Book of My Life” now puts on an unknown page.

The trauma of divorce, or the trauma of the reason for divorce is as individual as our fingerprint. However as everyone has fingers we do therefore share the common denominators of the result. Pain, fear, loss, relief perhaps?
Is the time spent in the cyclone of a failing/abusive marriage related to the time spent until we heal? Is living a year of abuse less damaging as living years with it? I am sure that each would have their own “fingerprint” opinion on that one.

I believe abuse is abuse. Period. However, as a nonprofessional, my voiced opinion would be that I would conclude that mental self-worth would be chipped away more and more the longer the abuse had taken place. That the abuser has had sufficient time to demoralize his victim creating a perhaps, much more difficult and lengthy recovery.
But recovery and learning to write the new chapter begins.

How did I do it when my Husband died in an accident on the first day of Spring 10 years ago? I can’t say I remembered. The mind has a funny way of letting us lose details when we no longer need to look back. Perhaps it was how hard I needed to focus of my then 3 daughters under the age of 8? My dearest friend that would call me each night to ask how my day was. To talk about the kids, the weather, or listen to me cry aimlessly.

I do remember it took me a long time until I was able to venture out to places once shared. It took me a long time to venture out at all. I would start for a couple of hours at a time, until an anxiety attack would strike and find myself back within my walls. I never went far anyway. Local shopping at best.

I was afraid of the night. The utter loneliness and solitude it brought. So I would go to sleep before the sun set. Everyday. The days rolled by, the weeks and the months. I learned a new routine. I accepted the walk alone. I took my new lease on life while regretting the years prior to his death having lived without life.

It was 6 years before I took a vacation alone. I was home 24/7 for those years. By the 3rd day I was so exhausted and really wondered how I ever managed to keep up the pace. I realized the strength and devotion that I gave endlessly and seemingly effortlessly. I felt something completely new and it baffled me…..I felt proud.

I realized I was capable, something I heard for years in very indirect ways that I wasn’t. I wasn’t crazy and it was my life and marriage that had me swallowing sleeping pills at the end of the day and eating antidepressants for breakfast for almost 6 of our 11 years together. When he died….I suddenly with time realized that so did my depression.

So it is out there and at your reach. Recover very kindly contains the word “over”. With each step forward you have the power to lose sight of a step from your past. It is not a race, but the finishing line is there for each and all of us.

2 thoughts on “Suddenly Alone

  1. I cannot escape the stark similarities in Heather’s story to my own experiences with loss, trauma, and eventual recovery. For me, recovery was never returning to a way of life familiar and comfortable. It was about leaving everything on the table and quietly walking away from life as I knew it. I can say that I haven’t had a lifetime of dark moments but rather a lifetime of accepting that living in the light is possible for me because I allow the darkness to give way to the light. Acceptance is a difficult thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

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