Posted by: CeCe | March 17, 2012

Empty spaces

Yesterday would have been the 31st birthday of a friend of mine, who unfortunately was killed almost 13 years ago in a car accident.  I recently found his older sister, and it’s hit a raw spot in me (and also in her, I think) to talk about her brother.  It’s gotten me thinking about everyone I’ve lost, and how hard it is not to feel bitter.  At this point, the last major loss I faced was of course my mom, which was almost three years ago.  Although I’m no longer as raw as I was immediately following these losses, I still feel their absence very keenly.  I know why.  If you’ve ever lost anyone you love, particularly if it was far before their time, you know why too.

It’s because of the empty spaces.

When you really love someone, and they leave this world behind, you’re left with an empty space where they used to be.  Sure, you have your memories as consolation, but it’s a hollow consolation.  Nothing can ever take the place of that smile, that laugh, that shared joke, the phone calls, the hugs, the comfort you derived from them.  And even years after the fact, if you see someone that even vaguely reminds you of them, you can’t help but feel a bit let down that it’s not them, that they haven’t returned to you, that it wasn’t some sick joke.

There are some days that these empty spaces are more painful than they are on other days.  For me, it’s birthdays, the solemn marking of the day they passed, and holidays.  For some reason, the rest of the time I can fool myself into thinking that they aren’t that far away after all… but then some landmark passes, whether it’s their birthday, the anniversary of the day they left my life forever, or a holiday that I should be spending with them, and they seem more far away than they’ve ever been.  There’s an empty space where they should be.

Most days, I can ignore the empty space with more than a bit of sadness.  But on those other days, I find myself angry about it.  There is an empty space where they should be!  On those days, it’s like I’m losing them all over again.  It’s as though I’m faced with my first day without them once more, with unknown years stretching out in front of me before I can see them again, if indeed I do ever see them again, because to be honest, heaven feels very far away when someone you love is snatched from you.

And there is still that empty space.  Even if heaven exists, and I believe it does, even if God exists, and I believe He does too, there is still that empty space, and all those of us who are left behind have is that and bittersweet memories.  Cold comfort indeed.

As I’ve said before though, I am grateful for the time I had with those I’ve lost.  I’m glad that I have wonderful memories of them.  I hold those close to my heart, and they give me a bit of comfort when I need them.  But nothing, nothing can completely fill that empty space.



  1. Well said.

    • Thank you very much. 🙂

  2. My best friend died a couple of years ago in a car accident. You have hit my feelings so head on with this blog. I still see him all the time and get so excited for just a brief moment that it was just a sick joke. Then I look again and realize I’m only teasing myself. I have things I want to say to him and it hurts so bad to know I can’t hear his voice in response. What I wouldn’t give to spend just one more day with him. 😥 May God wrap his loving arms around you whenever the burden of the losses of those you love becomes too great for you to bear alone.

    • Oh Kari, I’m sorry, that’s just terrible. How old was he?

      And thank you. Most of the time I don’t feel alone, but there are days when the pain is very sharp indeed.

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