What Does Goodbye Feel Like?

The morning I found my husband’s body, I expected to get ready for work and pick up an argument we were having later that evening. I woke up in my children’s room, the alarm on my cell phone blaring. I was tired to my bones. The uncomfortable feeling of unresolved conflict sat deep in my belly. I hated fighting.

It was still dark outside. I went into our bedroom expecting to find my husband asleep, perhaps snoring.

Instead, I found bullets strewn across the bed. I found the gun safe unlocked and open. One was missing.

I went downstairs, not comprehending what was going on. My brain discarded the scene.

I realized I had a text on my phone.

If you don’t want me around, I’ll just leave. I’m better off gone.

‘Did he go to work early?’ I wondered. I walked out of the house and saw both cars in the driveway. Maybe a walk. I went down the sidewalk and then turned back. Why would he wander around this early.

I remembered the missing gun, the bullets. Dread settled in and I ran through the house.

He wasn’t there.

I walked back outside and looked into the cars. And that is where I found him, found the end of our marriage. That is where I found the end of my husband, the father of my children, and the end of life as I knew it.

Goodbye feels like the coldness of a winter morning. It’s the darkness of a morning that hasn’t seen the sun yet. There is no warmness left.

Goodbye feels like a heaviness that is slowly crushes your chest. It’s a boulder placed on your ribcage. Goodbye is heavier than you’d ever imagine.

Goodbye feels like a rusted knife twisting into your heart. Goodbye is a gutteral wailing that begins before you realize that you’re pouring your grief out into the world. Goodbye drains the tears from your body.

Goodbye is a wild animal caged inside of you. It’s restless and anxious and won’t settle down.

The unexpected goodbye wrecks havoc because you don’t actually get to say it out loud. You don’t see it coming, it blind sides you. It hits you like a cheap shot.

Goodbye feels like the edge of death.