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CompletenessCompleteness. This is what I miss today. The feeling that you have all that you need and that all is well and safe. There were many moments that I remember feeling complete in our life together. From the early moments when we held each other to the final moments when we let each other go. What a gift feeling complete is. Contentment with all the peace that everything I needed was with me and around me. That gift of feeling complete is now a memory to me that makes my days and moments now less bearable. The incompleteness screams in my face. It takes my being and surrounds me with the idea that my needs for love, safety, peace will never again be met…not only for me, but not for my children either.

Our vacations were always our respites. Four days, a week, or a stolen weekend when things were complete. Walking on the boardwalk in San Diego, through an amusement park or sitting on a couch watching some foreign news, I had everything with me that I needed. The world could disappear and we would be fine. It’s that vacuum that love and family can create. The vacuum that you exist in when it’s just you and your kids. Its an inner place, for me at least. I remember many times thinking how blessed we were…to find each other…later in life, second marriage, all the things that stacked up against our eternity. We survived them. We survived them one at a time and then were able to absorb our completeness and the joy we had been given in certain moments.

My heart longs for that again. My heart longs for Dave to come and let me know that all is well and as he said…”never worry…you’re with me.” I still worried, but I knew that things would be OK. I banked on that. I believed him with all my heart. Now he’s dead. He’s dead. Completeness shattered by complete separation.

So much time together, yet still not enough. My selfish brain can not wrap around the joy I should feel for him…he has made it, he has done his job and rests and will wait for us, but my longing to be complete again clouds what may be better for him. I want what was better for me. Dave alive was better for me. Dave standing in my presence, touching my shoulder, smiling at me, laughing with me, playing with our son…that was better for me. How can there be a place that is more complete? How can our next voyage be better than that which God has given us here? If we truly accept the love we are given here…how can there be a better place? How can this separation while we wait to be together again be good for either of us, any of us?


Copyright Christine Thiele. Originally published in The Journal of Student Ministries, May 2006


| Grief Author

Christine Thiele, M.Ed., is a freelance writer, middle school teacher, and a former professional youth minister. She began writing her blog, Memoirs from Widow Island; A Journey Toward Healing, in 2009 to reach out to others who had exper...