Creating a Future Without You

October 27, 2021

You died and suddenly I’m forced to create a life without you. As if I’ve been given a blank canvas in which to paint a new vision of the future, and one that isn’t allowed to include you. 

As if someone came in and set fire to my carefully crafted map of all that was to come. 

As if someone came in and erased you from my family portraits and the pieces of life that were always meant to include you. 

As if someone came in with a permanent marker and scribbled over you in each moment that follows the one where you took your last breath. 

As if I’m demanded to create a future that can’t and won’t include you, no matter how hard I resist.

As I stare at this blank canvas, this empty map, and this blurry photo of what’s to develop, I simply cannot manifest anything that doesn’t include you. I cannot sculpt anything that isn’t chiseled by your love or manipulated by your influence. I simply cannot design anything that cannot hold your presence and beauty. 

Who is it that left me this task? Who is it that burdened me with this empty space? Is it God? Is it a different higher power? Who? For I must inquire how they expect me to keep writing the future without you.

Living without you seems unnatural. Living without you feels like a horror that is meant for movies and not for people to actually bare. 

My work, my plans and my visions all include you. They cannot be changed or erased, so someone tell me how I can keep stepping into the future, into memories that have gaps and missing pieces and devastating grief? 

How do you even attempt to paint a masterpiece that doesn’t include the beauty and source that created the artist? How do you step into a future that the foundation has been ripped from? 

I stare at this blank sheet, these blank maps, and I wonder how I’ll ever get the courage to build and organize a future without you. 

Your death created the hardest task I’ve ever been handed, the task of creating a life without you. Even harder is the duty of living that life. 

Can you help me create this new life from eternity? I think it’s the only way I’ll be able to do it. 

Until then, I’ll be waiting. 

xox, Chels 

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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