... for those who mourn the loss of a soul mate
"He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began." - Leo Tolstoy

Friday, October 30, 2015

It's your road

After I lost my soul mate, my best friend, my Love, I found everyone had an opinion about how I should grieve. I read a lot in those first few months. Most of the books on grief seemed to give me timelines - when I should take off my wedding ring, when I should get rid of John's clothes, when I should start to date again. Many friends had opinions too and for some reason had no problem telling me what they thought I should be doing.
You know what? They were all wrong.
There is no timeline. There are no "shoulds". Just as your love and relationship was personal and unique, so it your grief and the feelings you have about the loss. Don't let anyone force their ideas on you. This is your path. Feel no guilt by saying "No, I am doing this my way."

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Meet Me Here

Grief and loss inevitably draw an outpouring of love and concern but not everyone knows how to help. All too often, rather than do something wrong, concerned friends choose to do nothing. It is a choice that can leave you lonelier than ever. On this gentle Sunday morning, perhaps these thoughts will help you tell them what you need.

I know you want
To help
But only I can
Shed these tears.

I know you want
To soothe
But only I can
Know this broken heart.

I know you hurt
For me, for you.
Let me be okay
With the grief.

Meet me where I am,
Help me with …
… a kind word
… a gentle touch
… a fond memory
… your open heart.

                                                                  ~ Cathy Marley

Friday, October 23, 2015

Dream visits

Many people who have lost their mates to death report seeing their loved one in a dream and that it felt so real that they thought it was actually a visit.
Has that ever happened to you?
What do you believe?
It's good to see more people talking about this.

Friday, October 16, 2015

What to say

Remember what Thumper's mother told him in the movie Bambi? That if you can't say anything nice, it's best not to say anything at all? Some people who think they are helping those who mourn might do well to remember that.
Do you really believe that saying "You need to move on" is going to make us slap our head and say "You're right. Why didn't I think of that?"
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is just be there, give a hug, or sit with in silence. In truth, you can't fix this hurt.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


[from Joy]
There are some words that are supposed to be associated with grief.
I hate them all.
I looked them up in the dictionary just to be sure I understood them properly.
A survivor is “somebody who shows a great will to live or a great determination to overcome difficulties and carry on”.
Closure signifies an “ending”, a “finishing”.
And finally, support. Something to “prop” you up, “buoy” you up, “sustain” you.
Those definitions were not written to describe grief reactions. Not to me. Not by a long shot.
Even after five years there are still some days where I do not feel like I want to carry on. And I know I will never be "finished" grieving. And there is nothing that props me up and sustains me.
This grief can at times still be all consuming.
And sometimes, I really don't care. I think the extent to which I don’t care frightens some people so I find myself not being totally honest when I am asked how I am or how I am feeling.
I remember early on someone thought they were being understanding and acknowledged that it’s something you have to take “day by day”.
When I answered sometimes it’s really “hour by hour”, I could instantly see the change in her face. She didn’t want to hear that.
"Well, it takes time," she said. And moved on to talk to someone else, someone not quite so upsetting.
So I learned to not be so honest with my words.
But each day is still a reminder of being alive without John.
This man who was an absolute part of me as much as my heart or my arm or my head is not here anymore.
It’s as if I have had a body part amputated and the stump hangs there, bleeding still. And I experience phantom pain in the missing piece. So many times a day I start to tell him something or I find myself thinking I need to relate a story to him that I know he will enjoy and then the cold reality hits me that I can’t do that. There will be no more shared stories, no more inside jokes, no more anything.
My mate is gone. My soul mate is no longer here for me to hug and love and take care of and share with and just sit and be with.
No more.
No more.
But I put on my "brave" face and go forward each day.
And some call me a survivor. 
I call me a ghost.
And somewhere in the middle, perhaps, is the reality.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


This is so true. Sometimes, the cats will hit the laundry room door just right and for a second my heart thinks that John has come home from work. Just for a second, the world is right again.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Waves of grief

                                                                                                      © Cathy Marley

Losing the love of your life can be one of the most solitary, lonely experiences you will ever know. While you may be surrounded by caring people who want to help you through your grief, at the end of the day, you are still alone.  Your grief is unique to you.  No one else will ever experience a grief quite like yours.  You and the one you have lost were unique in the history of the world.  How can anyone expect your grief to be anything but equally unique?
But still, you do not have to grieve alone.  There are those out here who do understand.  They have each experienced their own unique grief.  And they can help you find your way in an unfamiliar solitary existence.
In many ways, grief can be like the changing faces of the ocean.  In the early days, you may feel it is akin to a tidal wave sweeping in and engulfing you. You are tossed, helpless, in the waves, unable to breathe, to control your direction.  Your only choice is to allow the turmoil to take you where it may.  In its aftermath, thrown gasping on the shore of your life, you see only destruction and chaos wherever you look.  But over time, you begin to rebuild, much like those communities that have lost all to the mighty wave. You will never be quite the same again, but in many ways, you will be stronger.  And you will never forget.
Eventually, your life will begin to take on the ocean’s gentler rhythms.  You will be able to see a larger view to the blue horizon and perhaps understand a greater purpose for yourself as you come to terms with the new existence your loss has forced upon you.  The ocean’s beauty and majesty reassert themselves and your life goes on, one gentle wave after the other.  Oh, there will be times when the waves become stormy and your grief will threaten to overwhelm you once again, but storms do not last forever.  The sun comes out, black clouds grow white and blue skies do return.  Treasure those days of sun.  They are your respite from the sadness you have known.  Allow yourself to wade in the gentle waves the ocean sends you that day.  The soothing feel of the water on your feet, the sand beneath your toes, the breeze caressing your skin and ruffling your hair are all the stuff of healing.
                                                          © Cathy Marley