One In A Million

by Lori Dwyer on February 3, 2012 · 30 comments

“They say love only comes once in a lifetime, but once is enough for me. She was one in a million, so there’s five more just in New South Wales.”
I’m spending my life waiting to die, and that’s unpleasant.

I know it makes people uncomfortable when I tell them that, makes them squirm and they become unable to look me in the eye. But it’s true, and that’s the problem with it… that’s why it makes people so disconcerted.

I’m not suicidal. Please, no one panic. This one has been run by my shrink and we’re all OK with my safety. I have no immediate plans to take my own life, nor any in the future. I can’t, even if I wanted to. It’s frustrating and feels patently unfair, but I don’t have that option. Not after I’ve seen what it leaves behind.

And, of course, I have children. My babies. Removing any emotional weight, removing the fact that leaving them would break my heart, looking at it from a purely objective point of view… they deserve better than that. They have already lost one parent, which means the odds are stacked against them. I’m certainly not going to contribute to that any further. I never planned for any of this, never even considered this eventuality… but parenting doesn’t come with an opt out close, a gimme button you can push when things get too tough. Tony and I used to say we were in our marriage for the long haul…. we never even needed to verbalise that thought when it came to our children.

But I still spend my time waiting to die. I know, that’s sinful and self absorbed, but allow me to show you this from my perspective, please- from where I stand, right now, with the rest of my life spreading out before me, long and hard and all by myself.

Pretend, for a moment, you are me, in the years Before the Purple. You’re smart and sometimes funny, but your self esteem is mostly non existent and the thought of anyone actually choosing to love you for their entire life seems not only far fetched but laughable.

Then, one blessed day, after twenty five years of feeling not good enough, not pretty enough, all different kinds of wrong, you find someone who loves you. You marry, you have babies…

And for the first time in your life you can really, truly say you are happy. Happy and content and often joyful, with  no disclaimers or “if only”‘s, never really wishing for more.

And then the person you love leaves you, in the most violent, horrific way possible; and in doing so takes it all with them, everything they gave you– confidence, self esteem, belief in yourself.

And you’re alone again. Not really alone- you have two children who you adore, to keep you here, to remind you every day that you are physically needed, depended upon.

But there is no one you can cry to. No one who can help. It doesn’t matter how far you pull your socks up, how much you try and rebuild a life for yourself and your little ones. The person who made life a more wonderful place to be is gone.

And what are the chances of meeting another, when it took twenty five years to find the first one? Who else out there could put up with you, tolerate you and your mood swings, and still love you unconditionally?

Odds and probability say there is no one. Odds say you will be alone for a by, very long time. 

So… If you let go of the hope of meeting someone else, and you accept that life will be dissatisfying for an unspecified amount of time, maybe forever…. why wouldn’t I want to die? It just seems like a long, dark, warm, black sleep… wrapped up in my husbands arms. Heaven, as it where.

As I said, I’m not suicidal. I lack the conviction and the detachment required, having seen the actuality of it. But I am not afraid of dieing. Why would I be, when he’s waiting for me, and every thing will be OK again?

The plane starts to dive, a truck comes head on, there’s a big dark shadow on an X-ray… And maybe I smile, and whisper “Thank God”. Because it will finally, finally be over.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I read your message and my husband took his life two weeks ago, i to have children i love and i dont want them to go through this again but i to am waiting, my husband was the only one who really knew me, he was the kindest gentlest man, he was 12 years older than me but he is my soul mate. i dont know how to get through this. we were only married 5 months and the day he took his life he was talking bout us getting re married so my family could be there. reading what you wrote was like i was writing it as its exactly how i feel


Shellye February 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I understand why you would feel that way, and I am praying for you.


Trash February 7, 2012 at 2:04 am

I think there is a greater acceptance of the fact that life ends by those of us have seen death up close. We know. In whatever the circumstance, we know.


Ivie February 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Oh, Lori! I've been reading your blog for several months now, but I don't think I've commented yet. I'm so sorry for all the loss and pain you've gone through, and it touches me to see the thread of hope you are (unconsciously?) holding on to through all the tough times. Hang in there, hon! It may not seem possible, but I'm sure that you will find the love and acceptance you are looking for when the time is right. Thank you for being you and sharing your feelings – good and bad, and remember that there are bunches of us out here rooting for you and the kids.


Dorothy Krajewski February 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

It would be such a relief, to die. Without having to worry about the impact on others, on children left behind.

I know it's a cliche to say that "I could have written that", but I could have written that. Except you have a way with words I don't.

It's hard to admit to yourself how little, if any, hope you have of ever feeling any better.

I don't have any advice, because I feel the same. I feel like no-one understands. Because no-one died. Just an idea of someone. An idea of a life. An idea of me.

I hope time does heal you, Lori. I really do.


Anonymous February 5, 2012 at 8:24 am

I am so glad you are writing this blog, Lori. It really will give you some perspective when you look back and see the changes that happen.
I understand. Really, I do understand. I can't feel what you are feeling but I am many years ahead of you and I have seen so much.
Yes, you were 25 when you met Tony, but you weren't 'looking' for him for 25 years. Were you? I don't think so, it just seems like that from the side of the fence you are looking at it.
And even if it does take another 25 years to find love, you'll still be younger than me!
I am not down-playing your pain and I know the day to day slog of single parenting can kill you emotionally, but there is a future, I promise.
Grief is not a prescribed time, but I know you know that, it just feels like forever and never ending.
I have known many widows (many with tragedies) who have loved again (one who has out-lived THREE husbands – just came back from Las Vegas w her g'daughter) and their lives are no less loved than any other.
I sometimes think death and separation is harder for younger people because they have not had enough experience of life to draw on to see the possibilities in the future and believe me you have more productive years ahead of you than I have.
Keep writing.
Mrs. C.


NestleChip February 5, 2012 at 3:25 am

I am ABSOLUTELY feeling everything you said in this post. Everything.

I'm not suicidal. But I'm just living to die. If I got struck by lightening tomorrow and died, I think I would be happier.

It's brave of you to put this post up! My sister hates it when I tell her these things. :)


Mirne February 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I feel like that too. I'm just waiting to die. I felt like that immediately after the death of each child, and the feeling hasn't gone away. I feel like I have no purpose any more. No career any more. No reason for living. And I've seen death up close and personal, and it doesn't scare me any more. I don't fear death for myself (but it scares the shit out of me when I worry for my hubby). I see death for myself not as anything to fear, just as an end. Because I fail to see the point of my existence (for however long I live) any more.

So, I think I understand how you feel. xx


Maxabella February 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I can't write what I feel, but I want you to know that your words were heard by me today. x


Sharon @ Pandamoanium February 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Waiting to die…I know exactly how that feels. If a truck hit me head on or I had an aneurism and fell into my soup tonight I would be so relieved.

I want to die, but cant do anything about it because… The Kids. I've already lost two brothers to suicide and I too know the wreckage it leaves behind. But the wanting to, that doesnt go away.

Today I stayed alive thanks to Facebook and Twitter. You do what you gotta do.

I love your honesty. Keep telling the truth Lori. xx


Vicky February 4, 2012 at 9:58 am

When you have no expectations, you are not disappointed, but can be pleasantly surprised.

Regardless of who says to you it's been 12 months, move on, I say it's ONLY been 12 months! There is no instaneous fix.

Until someone has walked even one step in your shoes, Fuck 'em. I think you're doing bloody amazingly. You're breathing, loving your babies, being… Yep sure, some days it's second by second. But you do things and go places that I couldn't even begin to imagine to do. I think you're a bloody legend!


Melissa February 4, 2012 at 5:07 am

Oh Lori. I wish you didn't have to feel this way. I wish there was something, anything, anyone could say or do to lighten this burden. Lots of love to you.


Claire February 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I have no words, sweetie, but a whole lot of love and respect, being sent straight to you.


KellsBrady February 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm

As many have already said. There's nothing I can say except that I don't think you to be selfish and I can ONLY IMAGINE I would feel the exact same way. Except probably moreso because you are incredible.


A Daft Scots Lass February 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm

You put it so eloquently. Your honestly is infectious. I understand what you're saying but you must know that there just MIGHT be another person to love you and you to love them out there.


Miss Pink February 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I understand completely what you are saying.
The thought of having felt how you felt in the purple life is dreamy to me.

But take it from me, there are A LOT of people out there who think many wonderful things of you, that you are smart, and funny, utterly gorgeous, and wise. Perhaps in a way that you should be free from.

I feel like every love is different. There are no two that are the same, so you probably won't find someone to love you the way that Tony did, but it doesn't mean they won't love you in just the way that you need them to, and possibly surprise you in loving you in ways you never knew existed.


Gina February 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Sorry I mean that we couldn't make her happy.


Gina February 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I have been with my husband for 20 years this year, and I'm only 36. I have learnt that it makes no difference how happy they make you or how wonderful they are, if you aren't happy with yourself, you won't be happy. It's not about anyone else but you. It sucks but there it is.
I have lived my life with a mother who seemed like she was waiting to die and then she got her wish (which I'm sure she changed her mind when it was real) and she died a long slow agonising death from Motor Neurone Disease. It alwasy sucked knowing that we were not enough, that we couldn't be happy. If only she had discovered what she did in those last doom filled years of her life, earlier. I hope you discover it soon. Not just for your kids sake but for you too.


Stephanie February 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm

This may sound like a very strange question to be asking you at this time and I feel selfish in asking but I'm just so curious to hear the answer. I also spent most of my life feeling awkward and wondering if I would ever find someone that would want to be with me forever as a husband. I have, kind of, and I'm wondering, if you had to choose between having what you had and losing it or never having had it at all, which would you choose?


Debyl1 February 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Becca is right love.It didnt take 25 years so please see the positive in that.There is time to find another.You now have the proof you seemed to need that you are lovable.I cant believe out of millions there is only one for each of us.I totally understand where you are coming from as have been to that place.I wish you peace and hope.x


lori February 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm

You're so honest it's painful to read. But I understand – it's how you feel today, right now. But it won't be forever. And you will find love again, or, it will find you. As always, love and good thoughts to you and your kidlets.


Elizabeth @ wobblywibby February 3, 2012 at 11:44 am

I get it. Sending you so many hugs. xxx


becca February 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

it didn't take 25 years! maybe 10 if you where seriously looking at the age of 15…I'd say closer to 5 if you are talking about actually wanting to spend the rest of your ife with some one! so really, you don't have long at all to 'wait' xxoo (I understand that feeling of "waiting to die" waiting and wanting are 2 different things


Lys February 3, 2012 at 11:25 am

My great-grandfather died in his 40's and my parents always told me that although Great Gran (his wife) was happy, loving and caring, really despite all that she was just waiting to die so she could be with him. So I understand just a small piece of what you are feeling.

I've spent the last 2 days reading your story and it brought back memories of 2 years ago when my husband saved a stranger, a young man from doing exactly what your husband did (right place right time, thanks to the grace of God if you believe, good fortune if you don't).

Thank you for finding the courage to speak up and live each day, for yourself and your beautiful children.


Marlene February 3, 2012 at 10:33 am

I know there is nothing I can say. xoxoHUGSxoxo


anthony February 3, 2012 at 10:30 am

I feel that emptiness, I get it completely. To read your blog today on my partners b'day, 9 months since, was somewhat a relief, that someone else feels the same. I have 3 young children whom I love & will be there for, but the longing to be back with my partner makes my heart bleed. Everyday I'm waiting to find him again. I don't fear for death as I know I will be with him, safe & loved. But until then I have my 3 children that need me more than I need him for now. CS


Sophie February 3, 2012 at 10:04 am

:( Big hugs. It will get better Lori. Really, it will. In time. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other.



Pandora February 3, 2012 at 9:42 am

Oh God, I wish I could hug you, or offer some meaningful words of solace, or…something. But there is nothing.

I can't pretend to understand for a second how you feel, but I can only imagine (and, obviously, only wish to ever imagine) that I would feel precisely the same in your position. It's not selfish or self-absorbed, it's just how it sadly is.

But I hope this will not always be the case for you.

*hugs* x


MaidInAustralia February 3, 2012 at 8:50 am

I understand. xo


Toni February 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I totally get that, Lori. As Becca said, waiting and wanting are two very different things.
I told my husband last week that if anything happened to him, I would cry till the kids grew up, then lay down and die.
I don't know if we'd be together after that, but life would be so empty without him.


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