It’s sometimes strange being in new places with people we both knew and loved yet knowing I’m the only one there. I examined the pastel painted walls of my parents’ new home, a reward of long, strenuous years of hard work and determination.
It’s just another one of many places, many things Linzi will never be here to witness or experience.
She lingers. Not in some dominating and overwhelming way. Her presence is just…missed.
My daughter is the absolute greatest thing to emerge from what was our love story, and while I adore her, and am excited to see her progress throughout the course of her entire life, each new accomplishment, each new goal met, each new milestone…all of it comes with tears attached, both happy and sad.
There’s a phase of grief that is seldom spoken of that I think all of us visit at one point in time or another: annoyance.
I hate comparisons. Don’t get me wrong. I understand people’s wont and need to empathize when they hear my story. I do. I know that most of them, for the most part, mean well.
I also understand people have experienced loss, and on whatever level, that brings them a bit closer to knowing how I feel. Even closer still, I understand that people have lost their spouses just as I have.
There’s a difference between empathizing, however, and comparing. What I won’t understand is people’s need to compare.
Someone’s pet dying was just as hard on them as me losing my wife. Someone losing their grandfather they hardly ever spoke to supposedly carrying the same weight as my wife who I sat and watched take her last breath. Someone losing their childhood friend, or a sibling, or...insert anything, the list is endless.
In my head, I make attempts to rationalize their meaning and why they’d feel it was on the same scale and sometimes I can get my head to wrap around it.
The one comparison that irks me the most out of all of them, however, when being stacked up against the love of my life: divorce.
I had someone close to me, not but a few days following Linzi’s death, say to me, “I feel like my pain is so much worse because I have to live with this rejection and watch this person live on and be happy without me, whereas what you had was beautiful, ya know?”