I have a Facebook friend who recently loss her husband. Like I did then, she feels all alone on her path of grieving. I wrote the below a few months after the loss of my husband. As others who walked the path before me reached out to me, I share this now so she knows she’s not alone on her path either.
What Is Proper?
I look over these years of my life from childhood until now.
Intellectually, I know I’m just a brief dash of eternity. But in my heart, half of that “dash” was my entire life with him.
What is the proper form of grief? I’m being told how well I am doing, how strong I am. If I don’t look as though I’m going to huddle in a corner and sob my eyes out any second, is that sufficient token to gauge my passion? I sometimes feel as though, I was expected to immediately fall apart and because I have not, it’s as though all these years with him have been a farce. For every few sets of real flowers he gave me, he also gave at least one artificial one “because like me, they will still be here when everything else is gone.” But since no one is there at night when I’m falling asleep exhausted clutching those same flowers on the bed, is that form of sorrow any less worthy? So who was pulling the masquerade? Bill? I honestly thought the artificial flowers would be gone first.
What is the proper time of grief? My mother passed away years ago and I still deeply feel her loss, but there is no expectation of a potential replacement for her. I’m expected to carry on and someday find a replacement for the irreplaceable. But when is ‘someday’?
If a year from now some new form of happiness enters my life, am I in too much of a rush to dismiss what was by pursuing it? What if a year from now I find I still cannot take off my wedding ring, am I flat out holding on far too long?
Oh God, a year from now – another dash of eternity I can not comprehend when I’m trapped in pseudo time warps.
I hear a song on the radio and for a moment we’re dancing so close together. But then it’s over and I’m forced back into the reality that he’ll never dance with me again. Then I’m feeling even more the fool for once again letting myself get sucked into a happy memory when I know the end result of such reminiscence is pain. I know it won’t always be like that, but right now I feel like I am wading and wading along a shore of my own tears, trying to find an answer in the tide, but it’s on a crest just out of my reach. I’m so close, yet so far from the solace there.
“One day at a time” I’m told. Right now, I’m just trying to get through one minute at a time.
I’ll work on getting through a whole day later.
I also offer this:
In Smiling Silence