.... for mostly .... everything.
Even time for things that at other times .... look very negative.
There is a time for selfishness .... and I had that time. I needed that time. I needed it in order to survive.
Grieving demands selfishness.
At no other time in one's life must a person think ONLY of her/him self, sometimes at the cost of losing friends, upsetting many people, or even not parenting in the best possible way.
But when one is drowning in grief, the only thing they are able to do .... is breathe.
And sometimes .... even that is almost too painful.
So yes, I've been selfish.
And yes, I've upset people and even lost a friend over it.
Some people do not, cannot, or will not understand the very thin rope that grievers are trying to grasp.
For whatever reason, they don't see that we are barely clinging to sanity.
And so they leave.
Which probably turns out to be a very good thing.
There's nothing like a huge tragedy to open your eyes to who your friends really are.
Friends who know what love means.
And what sacrifice means. And what "hanging in there" means.
Not only was I barely clinging to that very frayed life rope, I was being knocked around by the probability that my 6 children might die from what killed Jim, the death of my sweet and loving mother in law 5 months after Jim died, and then by a cancerous tumor found in my body.
I couldn't even grieve Jim's death as fully as I needed to.
When I permit myself to look back at that time, which I don't do often, I am amazed that I am still here.
And very thankful to my family and friends who loved me through every moment of it .... who didn't expect me to "be there" for them, knowing that I couldn't even "be there" for myself.
I have been blessed abundantly.
Many widows lose more than one friend. Lots more.
That shows the caliber of friends that I do have.
I owe so very much to them.
Yet all I can do, and all they care that I do, is to love them.
And I do.