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Is Life Without You Unendurable?

Is Life Without You Unendurable? 

By Patricia Flasch

Yesterday, I was reading a novel by Eileen Goudge called, “The Second Silence.” There was a paragraph where an older couple were sitting on a park bench holding hands, saying that each wanted to die first because living without one another would be “unendurable,” and I began thinking “is life without you unendurable?”

Yes, oh yes, sometimes yes. Yesterday was one of those days. It was an empty day with no structure, and I bore this ache, this hollow, this place that I couldn’t name, yet knew it was the absence of you. Missing you is a living breathing thing. Some days, I don’t know how I will get from early morning to late at night. I don’t know how to endure. I break it down. Let’s just get from 7-8 AM, maybe write or walk, and it goes on all day, hour to hour. Covid-19 has revealed how deep this hollow is and how pervasive.

I cannot look into the future. Life without you is unendurable. I can see that after four years and one month, I have endured, but only with your presence, your messages, and your loving kindness.

It is seemingly impossible to endure the loss of your body and our soul connection is so very real. You promised, dear man, when you were dying that you would find a way to breakthrough the veil and join me. Thank you for keeping your word.

Life Without You Is Endurable

A few years ago, Stephen and Ondrea Levine, favorite teachers of mine, were in the midst of their dying process. Since they were in the field of death and dying (see “One Year to Live”), they offered fireside chats, sharing their wisdom about what dying is like. The part that most touched my heart was that they both wished the other would die first to spare their partner the grieving process.

 It’s been almost 1500 days now that I have lived without you. At first, I thought I might have a mental breakdown so severe that I would be bedridden. That sure didn’t happen. From the first day since the moment you died, we have remained soul mates. The very moment that you died in my arms and I looked into your eyes, I remembered the day I met you, and I could see my reflection in your eyes. I KNEW YOU and I knew that I had been with you before, as if we had always known one another.

This very real sense of connection is the ground from which I endure your loss. Two days after you died, I was sitting in your rose garden, which was in full bloom. Suddenly, the song, “Lullaby of Broadway” was playing in my mind. It is not a song I am familiar with, yet the lyrics came through perfectly. That was the first time I received a message and I knew I could endure from there; I was really not alone. 

Then one day just after you died, I was eating breakfast at the Chocolate Maven with all the friends who were at your bedside through the dying process, and I said, “I think I need a miniature pot belly pig.” We all laughed until we cried. It was you, David, coming through and it sustained me. It was your humor and your capacity to bring light to a sad situation. 

Just the other day, I was so down in the morning, just running around the living room yelling, “Help! Help! Help!” I asked for a sign that you were here. Then, while watching “The Mentalist,” the song “What a Wonderful World” came on, and that was one of our favorite songs. The song came on again ten minutes later, just to make sure I received your message.

Whenever I bring my troubles to you, you respond. It’s your voice that guides me through them. The English garden saves me. Your generosity of Spirit, throughout life, death, and in the afterlife make my grief journey endurable.

Saying “yes” to anyone that offers support has made me resilient. Prayer and meditation are also places of respite for me. My sense of love and companionship has buoyed me up.

I have the privilege of talking with two soul companions every morning, and I have a much wider circle of friends who are always willing to listen. These dear friends cover some of the space you left, though no one can replace you. All of these things make it possible to endure your loss one day at a time. 

Patricia Sheaves, Deleted user and Deleted user have reacted to this post.
Patricia SheavesDeleted userDeleted user

Hi Patricia,

I like so many things about your post. I felt as if I right along side you on this roller coaster of emotions. Your life seems fueled with spirit and courage. I admire your strength in sheltering memories and getting out with friends, accepting help, looking for signs and asking your beloved to watch over you.

Thank you for your work.


Thanks Madeline for responding to my writing.  It's important to be seen as a writer..  Patricia

Dear Patricia,

What a beautiful paean to your late husband, David!  The refrain (life without you is is unendurable) repeats like an incantation, touching deep chord in the reader, your sadness and longing so palpable (your relief at the ongoing connection with D, too).  Thank you so much for sharing this with us.  As far as I know, Ondrea is still alive (she was a couple of weeks ago when a mutual friend and I were talking), living in Chamisal.  What an extraordinary being she is!  I will never forget them together onstage, Stephen holding forth like Jewish teddy bear, Ondrea silent, cross-legged, on the chair beside his, communicating with us in silence.  Powerful people. Big teachers.

Enjoy this beautiful day,


Patricia Sheaves and Deleted user have reacted to this post.
Patricia SheavesDeleted user

Dear Patricia


I feel so honoured to have a portal into your experience of life and love and death via your beautiful writing, Patricia. What you write is so vivid; looking into each others eyes as your husband dies and seeing yourself reflected just like when you first met. Utterly real and magical at the same time. What an extraordinarily gorgeous relationship you describe. And the joy you exude as you remember the connection moments both living and after death. Truly up-lifting. I am sorry for how unendurable it feels to you and you articulate so well that heaviness and sorrow, and I am grateful for this window into your love and joy.

DevonB has reacted to this post.

Thank you for sharing this, Patricia. This is so beautifully written and is a testament to the love soulmates share. I just recently lost my mother, and it has sorely shaken my faith that there is a place after this. I am fortunate to be married to my own soulmate, and yet my mother's death has filled me with fear about being separated from her forever. Your piece tells me not to be afraid and brings me so much comfort at this time. Thank you. <3