Living in Empty Spaces

By Cec Murphey


After the death of my wife, I lived in empty spaces. I had been disconnected from my old life and from the person I loved most. I called it grief, which it was.

But it was something more.

All of us have those times when we can’t go back to the old and we can’t get a secure hold on the new. The tendency is to fill the time with activities and busy-ness. Anything to divert us from living with nothingness.
In the past that was my pattern, and it worked. Eventually I pushed away the artificial changes so I could flow into the new direction of my life.

After Shirley died, I walked through vacant spots and experienced lonely hours. I tried different forms of writing and widened my social connections. But I was aware of the emptiness, and this time I determined not to run from it.

Beyond the tears (and there were many in private), I focused on seeing life differently. I stood at a place I hadn’t been before, and each day I decided not to focus on beautiful memories of our relationship. Instead, I chose the path of intentional loneliness.

When I felt alone and like an alien to myself, I took long, solitary walks. The emptiness passed, and I now see those months as a special time. I learned things about myself— insights I wouldn’t have grasped any other way. My life is richer and fuller for having done that.


I need the emptiness in life
to accept the fullness of life.



Veteran author Cecil (Cec) Murphey has written or co-written more than 130 books, including the New York Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). His books have sold in the millions and have brought hope and encouragement to countless people around the world. To learn more about Cec, you may visit his website at


KRC News

KRC Magazines

KRCM in Other Languages