Coming Out of My Bedroom

After John first died, and after all the flow of visitors stopped dropping in, and after my daughter went back home to California (nearly a month later), I pretty much holed up in what was our bedroom.

My big house (9 rooms, 2.5 baths on 3 floors) was so empty.

John wasn’t home.  He wasn’t going to come home.

Since it was November in Maine at that point, I turned the heat down as low as I dared on both the first floor and in the man cave.  It didn’t matter how cold they were because I was living in our/my bedroom anyway.

The man cave in particular has been closed off.  It is a finished daylight basement that seemed like it had been built with John in mind:  there was plenty of room for his desk & file cabinet, a sitting area of leather furniture in front of an entertainment center with a big old TV that was usually turned on to an oldies channel, space for the band to practice (and built in bookcases for his music) although he’d given up playing when his hands betrayed him, more bookcases for his extensive library, a dry bar that was a catchall for paperwork and junk, and even a built in desk area that he used for building his model airplanes.

Not only was the inside space perfect for my husband, but it led directly onto our 1200 square foot, two-level back deck overhanging a gully.  The house is built into a hill, so even though it wasn’t the Hill Gully farm John had owned and loved for decades before leaving it for me, he still had a hill gully of sorts.  Johnny spent hours on that deck, staring into the woods.  Pondering… well, apparently pondering blacker, far more painful thoughts than I had realized.

I have a hard time being in the man cave.  But I have to go down there several times a week because our wireless printer and our photocopier/fax machine are set up in Johnny’s space.

It hurts every single time.  It hurts because his man cave is cleaned up and not messy the way John usually left it.  The television isn’t on for background noise.  The windows and French doors are covered to minimize heat loss.

It feels sterile.  It doesn’t feel like my husband.  He was a tall man; he was larger than life. Although most of his stuff is still there, it feels empty.  John is not there, and it’s just another big room, in a big house, that I prefer to avoid.


I no longer stay in just our bedroom…  I’ve started using my second floor office, on the other side of the hallway landing from the bedroom I’ve lived in since October 21st.

I open the door to my office, and turn on all the lights, and sit at my desk, trying to pay bills and organize the pictures and papers that will go into the timeline of John’s life.  I can’t bear to throw away a scrap of paper that has his handwriting on it. I cry – sometimes with great gulping sobs – over odd notes and memories.

But I’m out of our/my bedroom for a while.


In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.

The Warrior Project will eventually become a warm, welcoming drop-in center for those living with extreme emotional and/or physical pain coupled with hopelessness, and a resource for families and friends fearing for the life of, or grieving the loss of, the person they love so much.

My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting demons no one else could see.  I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the demons got the better of him.

The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those wounded after September 11, 20o1.  Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.

Fair winds and following seas, Husband.


We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground.  You can find us there at

We are accepting blogs and articles written on topics relevant to suicide, hopelessness, grief, and similar topics.  Please contact Linda at or

Follow us on Twitter!  @WarriorProjME.


The Warrior Project is NOT an emergency program or service.

In the event of a crisis, please call 911

Other numbers to call include:
Maine Crisis Hotline:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
Veterans Suicide Hotline:
Domestic Violence Hotline:

This entry was posted in Coping Skills & Resiliency, Grief, John K Snyder, Loneliness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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