Hopes and Dreams

Jennifer Estes
3 min readDec 15, 2021
Photo by Isi Parente on Unsplash

Writing helped me so much when my role was the caregiver. Now that my role is the widow, and mourning is my constant companion, I don’t have much to say or write. I could write volumes on grief, but I won’t, not today anyway.

Most people allow you a small window of time for grief. Once that small window is passed, you are expected to move on. To get over it, to stop talking about it.

They are uncomfortable and don’t know what to say so they disappear. All of those “I am here for you’s” and “let me know if you need anything’s” are left hanging in the air at the funeral.

I need help, I’ve needed help, and I won’t ask. Besides, I lie when anyone asks how I am doing. Nobody wants to know how I really feel.

My therapist challenged me to write about my hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams are the furthest things from my mind. I am trying to figure out who I am right now and what direction I am headed. No longer half of a couple, my days are spent figuring out how to be alone.

My world went from being super stressful and busy. Days full of anticipatory grief and worry that he was dying. From always reminding myself to cherish each moment with patience and love because one day he won’t be here anymore.

To today, he really is gone. To being all alone. To so much time….it’s all just me. Only myself to take care of and worry about. The empty space is so open, wide, lonely, and dark.

Here goes, think about it….what can I hope for? What can I dream about?

I hope I can mourn in a healthy way, giving space to the painful feelings. I hope I can figure out who I am now. I hope I can make a life for myself that involves fun, I forgot how to have fun.

I dream of the night I can fall asleep and stay asleep. I dream of nights that are not filled with emptiness. Or the strong, raw, bitter feeling of such a giant loss.

I dream of waking up in the morning happy with anticipation for something fun. I dream of the day when I wake up and don’t feel such a profound and painful ache in my heart.

I hope and dream of a life free from the fear and anxiety of living alone. I hope and dream of achieving the goals I have set for myself. I hope to find some new hobbies. I gave up alcohol sometime in October and I’ve been incredibly bored.

I really hope the second year of mourning is not worse than the first. I am in several support groups and it seems to be the consensus that year two is more painful. I can’t imagine it worse so I will do my best in year one.

Honestly, I hope I wake up to learn it’s all been a bad dream.

Jennifer Estes

I started writing about 2 years ago to cope with my struggles in life. I write about grief, caregiving, substance use disorder, and the death care industry.