It’s my third Christmas without Maggie.  So far, it’s unique in that I haven’t been overwhelmingly sad: no meltdowns, no wallowing, no misery.  However, don’t misread what I type as a description of Christmas joy or, hell, even joy.  Her absence still cuts a deep emotional wake.  I feel like I’m coated in some sort of waxy substance that makes everything feel gray and dingy and blah.  Christmas cheer definitely has found no home here at the Weaver house.

What’s noticeably absent this year that was so prevalent the years previous is pain.  I’m really not hurting, per se, and that’s different.  Instead, what I feel is just emptiness, plain ol’ emptiness, like there’s just a great big hole right in the middle of me where something super important should be.  It’s not pain.  It’s just empty.

Maggie used to surprise me with the greatest gifts on Christmas morning.  She’d sneak a real zinger onto my pillow when I ran to the bathroom or let the dogs out.  (She was sneaky!) When I’d return, she’d offer a grin and a giggle as I opened it.  I loved those moments.  But this morning, no gift, no grin, no giggle.  Just silence.  So instead of spinning up for a fun day of Christmas festivities, I laid in bed alone for two hours, pondering what’s left of my life.  (It’s just remarkable how I’m still very profoundly affected by all of what has happened.)


But empty beats crippling sadness and pain.

24 thoughts on “Emptiness

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for years. I lost my husband in November of 2008 so I really understand everything you write. I am always glad to see a post from you. Your honesty is so refreshing in this fakey (?) world that we live in. Please keep writing.

    1. Hi, Joan, thanks for letting me know that you are out there. I’ll see if I can write more often. For you.

      I’m sorry about your husband.

      Also, please check out Widow’s Voice and Widowed Village, if you haven’t yet.

      1. Hi. I don’t know of you know who I am. But I’m Maggie’s sister, I never got a chance to met Maggie. But she’s in my heart.

        1. Hi, Alicia- Thanks for reaching out. For weeks after Maggie was 1st diagnosed I tried sooo hard to find you. I’m sorry you and Maggie never got to meet. 🙁

          What brought you to this blog? How did you find out about this?

  2. Chris,

    I’ve also been reading your writing for years at this point, and have often found myself thinking of you and Maggie. I am glad to know that you’re hanging in there as best you can, and very much hope that soon you will find the emptiness filled with more memories of her and the wonderful life that you shared to the greatest possible extent.

    If I might offer something that has had a profound impact on my life and my losses; look for the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, if you feel inclined and have the time. Perhaps it will help you as much as it has me.

    I hope for continued healing and comfort to you.

  3. Chris,

    I left a comment for you a long while back about how I thought you were moving on a bit too quick after Maggie’s death. You turned around and wrote a blog entry about my comment. I think about that a lot and I am sorry. The depth of your love for Maggie goes on and on. I have such a love as that for my own husband and he for me. I can’t fathom your pain still. Despite my original diagnosis and prognosis I remain cancer-free for almost 3 years now. Everyday is a gift.

    1. Of course, I remember you, Amy. I’ve thought about you no less than 100 times since then wondering how you are doing and hoping that you are making magic happen every day. I’m very glad to read that you are still with us.

      I was not angry about your comment although it did strike a nerve, as was probably evident from my follow-on post. But you and me, together we gave some perspective to the world that without our help many people would never understand. We made a good team.

      Please don’t be sorry any longer. Don’t give it another thought. Life is too short, as we both know. You have my warmest, most sincere eHug and my hopes that you live a wonderful, very long life with your loving husband.

      Thanks for writing this. It was especially good timing for me because these last couple of days have been harder than some others. Eight years ago, yesterday and today, we were celebrating our first days together as husband and wife. How fondly I remember those days. I still love her and miss her so, so much.

  4. I stumbled across this page when I saw that pretty, pretty lady (about my age) in the obits (where she surely did NOT belong). I’ve hugged my husband a little tighter (with a little Maggie-oomph) every single day since I read your love story. I’m rooting for you, Chris.

  5. I just read your post on Widows Voice. I lost my husband in October after 25 years together. My kids and I just moved near Austin and I was wondering if you know of any good support groups for younger widows?

  6. Hi Chris:

    Im a comrade on the widow/er journey(we’ve acknowledged each other a little in blogland). i keep looking to see how your are doing. Don’t know what to make of the long absence without a post, but i deeply hope it is a good thing

    1. Hi, LN… you type the truth – it’s been a while since I’ve spoken my mind here. I’m still writing but it’s to a different audience: to widows and widowers specifically. You can read my latest post here: http://widowsvoice-sslf.blogspot.com/2012/10/pushing-toward-happiness.html

      You of all people will definitely find some comfortable words in the pages of that blog. Good people. Difficult times.

      I’ll make the time to write soon. It’s been a long time.

  7. Chris………..I think of Maggie so often and still talk about her to people,and wonder how you are doing. It’s been a while since I wrote, but happen to look at my tabs today and checked on you.Your memories are so sweet and wonderful that will remain forever. That no one can ever take away. When 2 people love each other like you and Maggie it will be hard for one of them because one will leave before the other. Please think about what Maggie would want for you. She probably told you. Keep that promise. As you know I see so much of that in my business and see young husbands left with small children. We are all fighting battles. I think no one escapes. As you know I don’t have to tell you life go’s by quick,please make the best you can of each day and your life., like Maggie wanted……….

  8. I think of her every xmas. How busy with the holidays she would probably be. How she may have filled your calendar with weekly events had she been in better health. May you be w/ the angels singing chorals above somewhere over us.

  9. Hi, Chris: I have been away from “Maggie’s” messages for a long time. Her Aunt Pat Valente of Daly City, CA still misses her joy and talents. In spite of the large hole, I hope you are going on with your family and friends in your life. And, I hope that my sister Mary in Austin, TX still has contact and support for you.

    All My Best Prayers,
    Pat Valente

  10. Hello! How’s it going? I hope you are doing great. I just noticed that you weren’t posting new blog posts. I just miss all your stories about everything that is happening in your life. I often can relate with your posts. Someone told me a few days ago that some things come into our lives as a blessing, while some come in as a life lesson. Cheers! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Stacey. I’m still around. I can’t say things are great. I wonder every day if my life will ever be “ok” again. But I’m around, living my days. Maybe I haven’t learned my life lesson yet.

      Thanks for the message.

      1. Hi! I think of you quite often and wonder how you are doing ! I often think about Maggie too! From the last post I just saw you are still somewhat trying to get your life back in order . I hope you have found somebody who would be worthy of your love and realize what you have To give….I know Maggie would’ve wanted it that way and vice a versa . It’s good to at least see you online again . Are you still in the same house and have the same dogs .? You don’t have to answer me just as long as I know that you’re still around here doing your best you can ……..

        1. Hi, Bonnie-
          It’s been a long haul and I’m definitely not even close to done. I wish I had an uplifting magical story to tell you.

          I sold the house two years ago and moved downtown to try to get a new-ish start. I heartbreakingly lost my sweet Niko in a pretty bad incident but Kali is still giving loving licks. And I can assure you that the dating opportunities have been essentially nonexistent. I met Maggie through friends but now all the friends are married with their own families so those types of introductions don’t happen. Re-inserting myself into what some would call normal life has been an experiment in futility.

          But I’m still here. I look forward to when I can respond with happy, joyful answers.

          1. Thank you so much for answering me , i’m sorry that life hasn’t been getting slowly more livable for you . You are an unbelievable man and any woman would be thrilled to have you in their life …. I’m happy to know you’re still in Austin and doing the best that you can yes I hope the next post will be a better one . My heart really hurts for you and I know Maggie would not want this for you . You were blessed with a beautiful soul❤️ in your life that not many people get to experience , that you will never lose ……. Stay well and safe , and hold onto your little fur baby🐶!

  11. Hi Chris,

    Have you seen this story about MD Anderson?

    I don’t want to go into details here. Suffice to say that my sister’s experience at the godforsaken facility was nearly as horrible as Maggie’s. And yes, my lovely, good-hearted 34-year old sister is now dead. Oh, and my mom and dad have nearly $600,000 in medical payments that they owe.

    I hope you are well. I think about you every day. I’m not a religious person, I admit. I believe life is essentially random, and I believe the evidence bears that out.

    That said, you and your beautiful Maggie deserved better from the universe.

    With love,

    1. Thanks, Alexa. Stories like that one and worse are everywhere. I try really hard not to look at them because they just don’t add anything positive to my life.

      I’m sorry for the suffering and loss of your sister. The medical bills are just another insult. As a sad aside, last week I received a letter from MD Anderson asking me to send a “…contribution of $20, $50, $100 or even more today.” I almost vomited.

      Hugs, Alexa, for your and your parents.

  12. “Please, please, please cherish every single moment. Turn every meal into a banquet, every trip into a journey. Life is right here, right now. Milk it for everything you can. You’ll never regret taking the extra time to make every moment special.”
    I came across this quote I had posted on my Facebook page back in 2009 when my memories of the day popped up.
    Your story of true love and loss affected me profoundly. I forget more often than I would like, especially lately, but I’m trying to live your quote the best I can with my own true love. ive experienced the pain and excruciating anguish of losing someone special and having regret & guilt along with it. I don’t want that to happen again. You haven’t commented in a while but I hope you have found something to keep you going, if not joy, maybe a bit of peace.

  13. Hi, Chris:
    I am our late Maggie’s Aunt Pat Valente who lives in Daly City. Thinking about you during this coronavirus shelter in place. Hope you are doing fine. I still miss Maggie who lived in Austin, TX until May 4, 2009 near her mother, my sister, Mary.

    My Best Regards,
    Pat Valente

    1. Everyone still misses Maggie! And I’m sure it’s the hardest for Chris! She was a beautiful soul ,pretty on the inside and pretty on the outside. One thing he left everybody was memories that you can never forget or replace. She was an angel that Was placed on this earth to help other people at certain times and to fulfill their memories of good moments. I waited on her when she had cancer and needed a wig. She automatically became my friend and invited me to her house a couple of parties ..she was one of the most special memories of the many people I have served Her smile lit up a room when she walked in and I still think of Chris at this time.

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