“Channeling” Those We’ve Loved and Lost

A couple of days ago, Marty and I were sitting on the couch waiting to watch Representative Kevin McCarthy lose yet another vote for Speaker of the House when one of his colleagues rose and gave an impassioned speech, using a sports analogy to bolster his point.

Giving an exasperated snort, I turned to Marty and asked, “Why is it that straight men can’t make a point without using a sports analogy?” Then I realized I’d just said something I’d never say, but Michael always said in situations like this.

Shortly after Mike died, I realized I’d never really lose him because I’d internalized who he was. Whether I was contemplating a rack of shirts at Nordstrom or deciding whether to move across the country, I knew what Mike’s opinion would be.

Since he’s been gone for three years now, I’m used to hearing his voice inside my head whenever I have options to weigh—not so much the small ones anymore—that’s slowed with time. When a weighty conundrum looms, Michael is right there, ready to tell me what he thinks I should do.

But lately, something else has been happening. I’ve been channeling my dead husband. Oh, not in a Miss-Cleo-Psychic-Network kind of way. I’ve just surprised myself by expressing ideas that were Mike’s.

The first time this happened, I was standing at the sink rinsing the dinner dishes and had just put a bread knife on the top rack of the dishwasher when a hard and fast rule of Mike’s snapped into my head. “You should never put knives in the dishwasher because it dulls them.”

The fact that it was a judgment call doesn’t surprise me—Michael’s opinions were nothing if not definite—and he had them about everything. It used to drive me crazy, but now I miss it. There’s something grounding about having someone in your life who never doubts their beliefs, no matter what.

Unlike many things on my grief journey, this phenomenon hasn’t lessened over time. Almost every day, I’ll catch myself saying something Mike would say, even things I couldn’t stand him saying when he was alive.

Why is Michael speaking to and through me at this point in my life? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a way of keeping him around when my memories of him are getting hazy at the edges. Perhaps it’s because I’m now knee-deep in a life that has less and less to do with him. Do I need his guidance? His blessing? Maybe I need all three.

9 thoughts on ““Channeling” Those We’ve Loved and Lost”

  1. Loved this. I can so identify. I find myself coming up with sayings my husband always said. Is it because we so much want to keep them alive within us, or are they reminding us in our subconscience to keep them alive? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think both are true. What surprised me the most about this whole thing is that it’s happening this far into my grief journey. A lot of things are happening for me right now, and I think Michael is just putting his two cents in. Subconsciously, I’m also making sure he’s still an integral part of my life. I’m glad this entry spoke to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Charles. Remember, grief is love, so it will never go away. We tuck it into our hearts and its always there, and reminds us sometimes 🙂


  2. Those who we love, never really go away. That is so true!

    What a beautifully written post, Charles. You’re words simply flow….
    I wish you peace, happiness and may your love always brim your heart with cherished memories 🤗💕

    Liked by 1 person

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