How Death Transforms Love

I always had a pre-conceived idea that loving your husband meant complimenting him, cooking him dinner, taking him out on dates…and that is what it meant to me… when he was alive.

Now that he’s passed, my love changed. It had to change. For a while, my love poured out of my eyes, in the shape of teardrops, streaming down my face and forming puddles on the ground. My love carved a hole in my chest, leaving me feeling empty and anxious. My love sparked flames of anger as I lashed out at friends & family due to the frustrations of being misunderstood & feeling alone.

Then my love caused me to isolate myself. My love made me curl up into a ball and grieve every day. My love caused me to stop working and stop taking care of myself. My love tore me to pieces.

Then my love made me preserve my house as it was. I kept my husbands glasses on the side table, his car keys on the floor next to the bed, his razor on the bathroom counter. My love caused me stress as I tried to remember how he smelled, how his forehead crinkled as he laughed, how his hand felt as it embraced my own.

After a few months had passed, my love led me to celebrate his birthday in the same way I had when he was still here— waking up early, cleaning the house, making breakfast and baking a lemon cake, even though he wasn’t going to be here to eat it.

Then my love changed again. It showed me a glimmer of hope for my future. My love made me get a job again to support myself. My love made me reach out to old friends to reconnect. My love made me put my best foot forward in life. Living for the both of us. Doing things that I love to make the most out of my time on Earth.

I read this quote.

“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go” ~ Jamie Anderson

My love transformed and materialized in many different ways. Some of those ways did not resemble love, and instead, resembled pain. But the pain was really just that…love with no where to go. The way I loved my husband is different from before, but it’s love nonetheless.

Marissa Martin