‘The grief is all consuming, and in it, comes the unbearable fear of forgetting.’: Young widow candidly shares painful aspect of grief

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“How long does it take to learn about someone? Their likes and dislikes, goals and dreams. To know their fears, their insecurities, their desires. How long does it take to memorize every inch of their face and know the depth of their soul? And then, how long does it take to forget?

I’ve always believed Joe and I ‘got’ each other. We may not have won a newlyweds game or made the best team at charades but I’ll tell you, we knew each other. We understood what the other needed to hear in the moments of doubt and uncertainty. We knew how to make each other laugh. We knew just what to say to get under each other’s skin and press each other’s buttons. We weren’t afraid to tell the truth. We celebrated each other in the big achievements and the little wins, and without a word we could comfort the other in the hard times. And now, here we are in the wake of the hardest time and he isn’t here. In this life-altering, gut-wrenching moment, the grief is all consuming. And in that grief, comes the unbearable fear of forgetting.

Forgetting him, forgetting who we were. In 5 years will I still feel the weight of his hand on my back at night? In 10 years, will I still hear him call me ‘babe’ and call Vienna ‘mama?’ Will I hear the way he said, ‘I love you?’ In 20 years, will I still hear his laugh, smell his smell on the pillow, know the curve of his thumb and the way his hand closed on mine. Will I close my eyes and still see every crease in his laugh lines, every color in his beard, and the different flecks of brown in his eyes? The rational side of me knows, I could never forget. But that grief stricken, emotionally drained and frustratingly numb side isn’t so sure.

At some point, I know the life we knew will feel like a lifetime ago, and while I may forget specific dates and what I wore one day, I pray I never forget the big things, the little things, our things. The love, the feelings, the us.”

Groom dips bride and kisses her while pulling her close with his hands around her waist.
Courtesy of Meghan Abate

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Meghan Abate. You can follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read Meghan’s backstory:

‘We have your husband.’ A pit formed in my stomach. Looking back, my heart hadn’t really begun to break yet.’: Widow shares ‘the pits and peaks of grief’ after losing husband

Read more from Meghan here:

‘How do I go from living with him to living for him?’: Widow shares personal meaning of living life for deceased husband

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