Empty – Is that How You Feel?

Connecting The Dots

Things always connect in my mind. Seemingly obscure thoughts, posts, conversations even billboards along my route to work always eventually connect. Dots along the way, never empty statements, even though they stand alone in the moment.

So when I read articles and posts on blogs, in my Facebook news feed, on Twitter – wherever – in the moment they might seem just like words but I would successfully wager a bet that eventually they connect.

Case in point: the suggestion to ask you, readers of this blog, to tell us some of the stories you would like us to do. Taking the advice seriously, I created a survey that might have already popped up to the left of your screen, asking you “What Women-Related Topic Should We Cover Next?”

Emptiness was the first response you gave.

empty
Clara Brown

Always responsive to your suggestions, requests and feedback, I immediately got in touch with my Contributors to see how best to present our understanding and experiences with the topic. As I type, at least two are actively mulling over the empty feeling that at least one of you is having and one has begun writing about it.

Clara Brown will share with you in a week or two what she knows about emptiness in the context of losing a child. At this point, I am not sure where the others will take the conversation – and that is good as my desire is that our Contributors share only what they truly know and understand. We do not repeat mantras of celebrities here – our aim is to always be inspiring, insightful and in-depth and not empty vessels.

That Empty Feeling

As for me, waking up this morning, after my morning “prayer” of gratitude and roll around in my bed, the next thought to my mind was what does feeling empty have to do with:

  • My being single?
  • Finances: having very little, plenty or being bankrupt?
  • My only child having left the nest empty for 10 years now?
empty
Empty eyes and heart

These are some of the areas where I have felt empty. Thinking about them and having a real need to not go too philosophical on you today – I thought to use visuals and quotes instead to express my first take on this topic. But, before sharing those let me say this – for the longest while now, emptiness is not a feeling or a state of mind that would accurately describe my emotional state.

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There are moments, very few and far between, that a sadness that could be associated with emptiness does come over me. I had that sense of sadness as I rouse from a dream earlier this morning. It bathed my memory as I thought of a lost love – a man who I knew as a 20-year old university student. He was the first to evoke such emotions from me that I would have abandoned everything, my studies, my country, life as I knew it then and run off to his home in West Africa.

The beauty of Life is that – nature truly abhors a vacuum and years after letting go of his empty promises, I look back with a smile as the circle is complete. My daughter is the mother of a beautiful baby whose father hails from the same country. Thinking about that leg of my journey and my daughter and my current paths, what I would like to ask you in response to your request is,

Is there truly emptiness or merely gaps to be filled by time and love?

Feeling Empty When A Relationship Ends

empty
Lonely…

“I said nothing for a time, just ran my fingertips along the edge of the human-shaped emptiness that had been left inside me.” ― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

We have all experienced this feeling. It ends and no matter how long it lasted, there is a hole, a space, an expanse in your heart that feels like it will never be filled.

Some use drugs, alcohol or even quickly enter into new ‘relationships’, attempting to cover the empty feeling. In my case, food was my filling but aside from increasing my waistline and dropping my double-chin lower – nothing worked.

Only time.

The Emptiness That Death Brings

“Grief … gives life a permanently provisional feeling. It doesn’t seem worth starting anything. I can’t settle down. I yawn, I fidget, I smoke too much. Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time, empty successiveness.” ― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

death
Filled with memories

I have never “lost” a loved one. Death has not visited my door – not yet – in such a way that has left me reeling in the void of emptiness. Yet, reading the words of C.S. Lewis and having sat and wiped the tears of so many who have had their soul mates make their transitions, walked the corridors of homes made empty by Life’s companion, Death, this I am sure is one of the most profound experiences of emptiness.

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Learn To Live With It

As we here ponder our responses to you, this last quote says all that I have learned over my now 50-year journey on Earth: “Youth always tries to fill the void, an old man learns to live with it.” ― Mark Z. Danielewski

“Old” women – if not necessarily in age but in spirit that most of us now are, we have come to the point in our lives that while feeling empty is real, not food, not money, not fair-weather friends, worse yet not drugs or alcohol will fill the void left by broken promises, relationships ending, loved ones making their transitions, or any other endings in our lives.

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Have an awesome rest of the day and be a blessing in some small way to everyone you meet.

Namaste

Claudette P. Esterine
Claudette

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49 thoughts on “Empty – Is that How You Feel?

  1. […] interests you, that too is okay. This conversation on emptying is a post-series one, as we ended an emptiness series last month, but it is also relevant to the holiday season. I will explain how in a […]

  2. […] that Contributor, Alexis Ali, has ever written for us to date. This post was part of our series on Emptiness and as Alexis shared: “I wish I could say that as I grew older, I was able to accept it and […]

  3. […] state having lost over 30+ pounds in less than two months and emotionally and mentally broken and empty, by December 2006 after my second suicide attempt, I knew I had to heal. My faith had forcibly yet […]

  4. […] of the worst parts of depression, worse than the bitterness, the moodiness and the weepies, is the emptiness.  The numbness that spreads through your bones until you realize you have been slouched on the edge […]

  5. […] of the worst parts of depression, worse than the bitterness, the moodiness and the weepies, is the emptiness.  The numbness that spreads through your bones until you realize you have been slouched on the edge […]

  6. […] master here but what is certain is that the reader’s request for us to discuss the issue of “Emptiness,” has rich teachings and opportunities to learn for all of us. As was the case with the first […]

  7. […] #1. My Baby Died: How Do I Go On?: “Twenty four hours later, my Obstetrician-Gynecologist came to my bedside and delivered the devastating news…The doctor went on to explain, in the best way he could…It was clear that he was having a difficult time speaking to me as by then I was uncontrollable, bawling my eyes out.” Contributor Clara Brown in her most intimate post to-date, shared her loss for words and the utter emptiness she experienced when her second child died. This was the most read post of the past week and the words were the most powerful. Do read them and share with us your thoughts about the words the Clara used to respond to a reader’s request that we discussed the subject of “Emptiness.” […]

  8. […] experience with emptiness. This is one way that I have learned to deal with bad memories that would leave me empty, wasted on an emotional heap that I no longer wish to climb. If that is where you are – lying […]

  9. […] in response to the request of one reader we will be doing this kind of post again. Two in fact. The first will be on “emptiness” as I mentioned in a post earlier this month. Our Contributors, including Alexis Ali, will open up […]

  10. […] most intimate piece she has ever written for us. When she was told about the request from a reader, responding to our survey “What Woman-Related Topic Should We Do Next?” I asked her to do this piece. Since Baby […]

  11. I have felt emptiness at different times. I love these article. Really nice. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ms Claudette

      And thank you for visiting! Stay tuned for the upcoming parts to this series. 🙂

  12. Great post you have here… thanks for sharing.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are welcome and thanks for visiting. 🙂

  13. kleebanks

    I have definitely experienced that emptiness at different times, including the deaths of my parents, the loss of relationships, and the “empty nest” of no longer having kids at home.

    1. Ms Claudette

      All those big life moments can bring on the feeling of emptiness. The art and skill is to find your way out – to refill. I hope you have done so. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  14. katrina g

    I’ve never felt empty but I know people that have and it make me so sad.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Sad and sinking are good ways to describe the emptiness that some experience and I am glad that it has not been yours. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  15. I think it’s normal to feel empty from time to time. The key is to get help if you feel like you can’t rise above that feeling.

    1. Ms Claudette

      That’s the part – getting help – that some do not do. Thanks for you visit. 🙂

  16. I think we all feel empty every once in awhile.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Would agree with you on that. 🙂

  17. Eileen xo

    Beautifully written. My family iscurrently grieving. My sons best friend was tragically killed 2 weeks ago – His 18th birthday would have been this week. Someone hit and ran his car, when he got out to check the damage, another car hit him. Someone asked my son yesterday why he was so down and he said I am still so upset and the other person said, “Still”? We forget the pain others have all to often. We really don’t know what is going on for other people. Not everything is obvious to see. I love how you write and bring out the sense for others to really think about the lives and the paths they are on – beautul and thank you for sharing!

    1. Ms Claudette

      First Eileen, my condolences to you and your family on this tragic passing of a friend. As for the “still” comment, it is one that many make not understanding the depth of pain some feel. We are all different and so experience things differently. I might grieve for a brief period or not at all but that does not mean you should do the same. IT is a larger issue in our societies where we want everybody to be the same otherwise they become “the others.” Again, my condolences to you and thank you for sharing with us. 🙂

  18. I think we all have times were we feel empty. For me the only true way I have found to fill the emptiness is when I turn to God. HE has a way of filling me to overflowing with peace, love, acceptance, understanding and self worth no matter what I am going through at the time.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am so glad that you have a way to fill up when emptiness comes or threaten. That is such a blessing. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  19. I love that you write about such powerful topics. These articles will help so many people. Everyone feels emptiness from time to time so it’s great that you are making us think about it instead of burying it deep inside. Thank you!

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome Shaylee! We try to be in-depth here and do topics that affect us on our daily walk . Thanks for your visit. 🙂

  20. […] and Canada’s relationship with Jamaica at a rocky time in our political history. Being the connector of dots that I am, my thoughts also went to topic of the second most visited post of this Roundup: […]

  21. I have been feeling empty for quite some time now after my mom passed away over a month ago. It’s an emptiness that only I can understand but your emptiness can be filled if you decide you want it to. Take part in activities, go out an do things with friends and stop moping around. It’s what has been helping me lately.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am so happy that you have found a way and exploring how to be at peace with what is happening in your life at this time. Remember, we are always here to talk if you needs be. 🙂

  22. I’ve never been in this situation, my family, children and friends makes me full and contented.

    1. Ms Claudette

      That is totally awesome! 🙂

  23. I think feeling empty is synonymous to feeling lonely.I am very thankful that for a very long time, I haven’t had this feeling. I feel sad, yes, but not empty.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, in many ways it is and like you, I have my sad moments but they do not last for long and emptiness is hardly ever my experience either. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  24. victoria

    Feeling empty was a hard feelings. My life is full of happiness because of my family

    1. Ms Claudette

      And mine is by reading comments like this! Keep filling up on your family’s love Victoria! 🙂

  25. About any negative feelings, I live by the rule that it’s part of my life and of the process of healing. I often look forward to my recovery and keep on working on it, one day at a time.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Amen to that and blessings along the way! 🙂

  26. I think emptiness is synonymous with a void. I think we all have a void somewhere in our lives, whether we admit it or not. The question is how do we fill that void. Do we turn to a God greater than us or do we turn to other things to fill the gap.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Not everyone is religious and that’s okay. Each and everyone of us must find what fills us without compromising or harm our lives. For some, that is being out in nature, for others that is spirituality and for even more it is all of the above. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  27. Angie@chasingmyhalo

    Very thought provoking! I prefer to think of emptiness more like the gaps you mentioned. It is not s comfortable feeling, that’s for sure,but I think growth is in those moments we accept the feelings and try to not cover them up (food etc). It’s a journey for sure!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Indeed it is! So pack a bag and enjoy the ride! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  28. I think this is going to be a very powerful series, and I look forward to reading more. Being in support groups of many mothers that have experienced loss, I know all too well what emptiness can feel like. I’m hoping my work with prematurity awareness can erase some of that.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I know you do work in that regard and you do great work! My granddaughter is/was a preemie and we are eternally grateful to the doctors and nurses on both NICU here in Alberta, Canada that saw her through. We came so close to “losing” and I am sure the light would have been put out in our lives. Today, at 15 months old – she is such an angel and goddess of love, laughter and kisses for us all. I look forward to reading and hearing more about your work Shann. 🙂

  29. Elizabeth O.

    I think emptiness is a feeling you can very well translate to loneliness or longing. It can be filled up by simply looking at what you have right now and being content with it. I, too, have sad moments but then, I think of all the things I have right now and that’s enough to blow that sadness away.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are correct, except I would never use the word “simply,” as what might be simple for you or I is not necessarily the case for another person. We all have our journey and our “cross” to bear. Some are heavier than others. As always, thanks for visiting! 🙂

  30. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I would be sad if I didn’t have a family to fill my life with happiness and joy!

    1. Ms Claudette

      I think most people can empathize with that. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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