I’m sober now.


It only took 19 months.

But now I’m Andrea again, no longer a walking talking cloud of shock and grief and excess weight.

The immediate shock and stun of loss has worn off and now I feel more like me than I have since he died.

Except my sober self is more grieved than ever.

And I’m realizing sober grief is even harder than sudden grief.

Now that I think clearly, and the pain is less sharp–

The pain is actually deeper.

The pain is more painful.

Now I can fully see, fully realize, fully grasp everything I’ve lost.

All the losses.

My husband.
My lover.
My best friend.
My partner.
My future,
My entertainer.
My encourager.
My biggest fan.
My accompanist.
My handyman.
My champion.
My IT Guy.

And our home
our neighborhood
our city
our home
our apartment
our grocery store
our yoga studio
our farmers market
our pharmacist
our diner

the church we left behind
the friends we left behind
the life I left behind.

My entire life.

My whole life.

My whole existence.

I had it all. I had it all it all it all.


And now I try to look at my current life–


And I see how I just have nothing.

No semblance of a life.

No church. No husband. No community or deep set of friends. No career or vocation. No sense of place. No home. No city of my own.

I feel very very out of place.

And very very much missing the rich beautiful life I had twenty short months ago.

Maybe I’m whining, or maybe only now am I able to feel the deepest grief I’ve ever known.

It’s as if the first 19 months was place-holder grief until the REAL grief settled down.

Year 2 is harder. Life is harder. Grief is harder now.

I’m so sad.

I’m more normal. I’m more myself. I’m more vibrant.

But now I’m more deeply sad, more deeply grieved. It’s like heavy armor that rests on you ceaselessly.

It’s all so much worse now, it seems. Because now I really get how much I had and really grasp how desperately I want it all back.

I used to believe everything happens for a reason.

Now I just desperately want my old life back.

(Which is impossible to get.)

I’m stuck making decisions about my future, when all I want is my past.

And so I’m stuck.

Angry life isn’t going my way, and yet paralyzed to change my life because the grief is still so heavy.



  • Elizabeth Rondthaler Jolley

    Your words make me shiver. I am so lucky, never to have felt what you are living every day. I know, in my heart, that you will not be stuck forever. But it doesn’t feel that way when you’re in it so deeply. I cherish what I know of you; what you have so willingly shared here. One step at a time, one day, another year….keep sharing what you can, so we can keep reminding you that it takes time, and that you will continue. You will take steps toward your future, which is still there and always bright with potential. Sending love <3