I lost my husband of 35 years nine years ago, and the overwhelming grief that I felt is somewhat of a distant memory. “Yes, somewhat of a distant memory, until something triggers that gut-wrenching heartache,” I mutter out loud as I write. It is strange how it manages to creep back into our lives, out of the blue, shattering our day, and reminding us that we are here without the love of our lives.

The triggers can be something as simple as seeing a couple walking together holding hands, or watching a football game and remembering those autumn afternoons when we watched the game together. I’ve learned how to handle most of these triggers. I will have a good cry, and try tokeep busy with something to get my mind off of it. Most days that works, and then there are days that it isn’t so easy to shake the sadness that fills my heart.

My daughter can usually tell when I am feeling this way, even though I try to hide it from her. She must hear it in my voice, or realize it when I’m in a hurry to end our phone conversation. She will always say, “Are you alright?” And, I will reply as I try to hold back the tears, “Yes, I’m okay, just a little blue.”

She knows why and understands. Even writing about this now brings tears to my eyes. You see, as much as we try to deny our sadness, it finds a way of entering our lives. In a strange way, I feel that the sadness is a gentle reminder from spirit of the love that we have in our hearts for our soul mate. This love is never-ending, and we stay connected through our love. I call it the “Love Connection.”

Now that I’ve written that, the tears are gone, and I feel myself smiling. I tell myself, “You have to look for the positive in everything, Paula. That sadness brought back the feeling of love, and that is a good thing.”

Those triggers are felt by our family members too. Sometimes I forget how much my daughter misses her dad. She is always talking about him, and that makes me feel good. She will say things like, “Dad would have liked that movie.” Or we will just talk about all of the fun times we had, or crazy things that happened. We laugh, and we feel good remembering. Remembering brings back the love that we felt. I just had one of those, “Ahhh” moments. So, memories are also a gentle reminder from spirit of the love that we have in our hearts, the love that is never-ending. So, memories are also a way that we stay connected.

My family is small, and my daughter and granddaughter were very close to my husband. So, certain milestones for my granddaughter, like becoming a teenager, entering high school, or going to her first dance become triggers for heartache and sadness – for my daughter and me. We know how excited he would have been, how proud he would have been, and we miss him terribly.

Again, my tears return as I write… and I say to myself, “Paula what did you tell your daughter?” “I told her that he was there, he knows, he was there…” I whisper softly. My tears pass, and I feel myself smiling once again. Yes, he was there, I know he was there… and, the love that I hold for him grows stronger and stronger everyday. We have a Love Connection that can never be broken.


Paula Ezop

Paula M. Ezop is a spirituality commentary columnist. Her inspirational columns Following the Spiritual Soul have appeared in Oconee Today, a South Carolina Scripps Howard publication. They are currently in: Celebrating the Success of the Modern Woman, Esteem Yourself, and Open to Hope. She has contributed to such popular books as Chicken Soup for the Caregivers Soul and she has written the foreword to Whispers of Inspiration, a collection of both poetry and prose gathered from voices around the world. Paula also co-authored a book in the Mommies Line, Spirituality for Mommies. Her Ebook Sparkly Bits of Spiritual Wisdom is available online, it is a collection of her inspirational columns. She has also written Sparkly Bits of Spiritual Wisdom – 29 ½ Ways for Women to Get In Touch With Their Spirits. Closest to her heart is her most recent book, A Widow’s Journey – Healing a Broken Heart. Wiggles Press has published her children’s chapter books, The Adventures of Penelope Star and the Mystery of the Three Dragons, and Lee McKenzie’s Summer to Remember – both are the first in a series. Paula holds the Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Elementary Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Her heartfelt and meaningful writing began as a means to overcome the loss of her husband. Paula has now written hundreds of articles and several books centering on life and faith. Her sustaining philosophy is that “we are more than the woman we see in our mirror.”

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