On Bullet Holes and Uninhabited Spaces

Looking back, over a twenty five year time span, it can feel like there are more empty parts of me than there are that are occupied.

It has felt like my body was caught in a war zone and that what is left is holes and empty spaces that still remain unoccupied!

Some of the empty spaces seem apartment sized.

Multiple loss is the hole/apartment sized space generator!

Life can shrink as you spend your time looking at the holes!

You can find yourself hole obsessed and focusing on the negative space.

At 60 it felt daunting that so many things that had been an essential part of me, were emptied, leaving holes and big spaces.

It is tough to rebuild.

The good news is that rebuilding can be done.

However, the bullet holes remain a permanent feature, a reminder!

Facing another, admittedly smaller, bullet hole I ponder on my resolve to expand my life beyond the holes.

Note to self: It is possible!

7 thoughts on “On Bullet Holes and Uninhabited Spaces

  1. I know those cavernous spaces well, my friend. Dec 11, 2005 was the beginning of the end of life as I’d known it. The rug was pulled out from under me and set afire. When my daughter died on Aug 11, 2006 the rest went up in flames with it. At first I thought I was an empty shell altogether. For years. Then more empty spaces than anything solid, real.

    In the last couple of years I have said, “I’m back. I’m doing meaningful things. Look!” But they were actions. Not feeling. I didn’t seem to be disappearing naturally, as I thought I would, out of grief, so I figured I’d better start going through some motions of living. Trying to fill some of the spaces. But they cannot be re-filled.

    Those empty spaces were meant for what originally filled them. They are sacred. And…not truly empty. Look again. They are sacred receptacles of memory, love, compassion, and they are the ways that Wisdom has entered. Bless them. Honour them. Set up virtual altars in each of these spaces left by sacred loves and give thanks. I have learned to – shockingly for me, so deeply aggrieved by some of them – periodically visit the spaces left by Seanna, Indra, my mother, grandmother, siblings, and give thanks for little or big ways or memories of them that have shaped me positively. I don’t need to recall the pain. It will remain and remind of itself by itself from time to time.

    Re-building. I tried to rebuild. Tried and tried. To no avail. I gave up. Recently in fact. What is happening instead is that I’m recovering. I’m recovering myself, my original self, and discovering the rooms, the spaces that I had covered over, doors locked away in favour of adulthood responsibilities and pursuits I thought I was supposed to be, “should be” following instead. BAH! No more of that crap.

    Yes. There are bullet holes all over my life. Ugly reminders. I still cringe to see them. I do. But I don’t weep for the empty spaces. I had the kind of life that makes it a blessing and an amazement that such large spaces were ever filled up with great love and great projects at all. I’m one of the lucky ones that I ever had so much to lose in the first place.


    • You are so right Stephanie. Those bullet holes. They are sacred! I am not sure I will ever really recover. I don’t think people do! Rather, we manage the holes. Attending to them, making altars, giving thanks, calling for support from those who are gone from this world helps. They are always present when we own the holes they left. Thank you for your heart felt comment.

  2. One of the things I like about Project Life is I can go back, on the anniversary of something that occurred or I did years ago, and make a Project Life or SoulCollage card with a picture from then along with some memoir journaling on the front, on a different card or on the back. This helps me to remember all my now-empty spaces, and to honor and acknowledge them and me.

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