Language has changed for me in this time since Chuck died.
I'm certain I'm not the only one who has heard people say "Your fillintheblank would want you to be happy".
Happy is one of the words that has changed for me. Happiness is a fleeting thing and I'm not concerned about being happy. Life is deeper than that for me now. I hope someday I feel peaceful again. Serene. Joyful. Content. I'd like to feel passionate about a man again. But happiness no longer seems to fit what my future might be. I'll always miss my husband and that will always tinge whatever else is going on.
But maybe all of those words add up to happy. I don't know. And I don't really care.
Anyways, how the hell do they know what Chuck would want for me? Though, yes, Iknow, because I had conversations with him before he died and his intent while living was to add to my happiness in whatever way he could and that didn't die with him.
BUT. Given my emotional state these days, he wouldn't tell me something inane like that. He wouldn't say a damn thing because he was educated about grief. So he'd say nothing. He'd hug me, though. Just hug me with his strong arms and I'd relax into him. When I responded with that answer to someone a few months ago who had just told me about Chuck wanting me to be happy, it kind of threw him for a loop and he really didn't know how to then respond to me. So he just, well, walked away, mumbling something.
In chipper tones, I've also been told that, if nothing else, I must be grateful to be alive. Once again, they are taken aback when I say actually, no I'm not grateful to be alive. I'd rather be with Chuck but a broken heart hasn't killed me and so I'm still alive and therefore I must create a life for myself. But I don't like any part of it and I miss him unbearably and would rather not be here. That throws people off big-time.
As I travel the roads Chuck and I traveled in our first year out on the road, I've met so many people (and we're just one month into it) and my daughter and I both have gotten so many hugs and it's been so beautiful and I wish I could tell you that it takes away the pain but it doesn't. It's beautiful and I'm so very glad to give and receive hugs and I'm so fortunate to have such a strong support community and thank goodness for it. But underneath it all, I'm still struggling not to throw up constantly and my chest still feels as if a meat slicer is chopping away at my insides.
I met one of my daughter's extended in-laws recently on our travels and heard the mostbodacious words come out of her mouth when we sat down to talk. She said (can youbelieve this?) I don't know the language of grief. I haven't been where you are. I want to support you but I don't know what to say. Tell me. Teach me the language of grief.
It was one of the most powerful conversations I've had since my husband died.