Life Goes On

Awhile back, pretty early on in my loss, I remember some person responding to my utter turmoil, deep grief, and endless sobbing fits, with this gem: "Well, life goes on!" In that moment, I can recall feeling and thinking several things. 

A: Fuck you. 

B: Yeah, no shit. Tell me something I dont already know, you condescending ass. 

C: How DARE life just "go on?", when my husband isnt here? How dare it? And how CAN it? How am I supposed to go on? And why hasn't the world stopped on it's axis after his death? How am I ever going to keep up? I don't feel like it. I don't want to. I wont.

D: And, oh yeah ... Fuck you. 

Now, today, 6 years into this madness, I still feel like that was a shitty and cavalier thing to say to someone whose life and world and universe was just dessimated in the blink of an eye, but Im starting to see that maybe they didnt mean it in the way it was received. Maybe they meant that one day, way far away in the future, my life would actually be a bigger part of the fraction, than my grief. Maybe they meant that one day, I will actually LIVE instead of just exist. And yes, they were right, and that day has now come, where the pain is no longer 24/7, and where joyous life has grown in places where I didnt know there were any seeds. So much so, that last week, I forgot to write my blog in here (so sorry!), because I was on a trip to NYC seeing old friends and enjoying city life and everything else. And writing in here just completely slipped my mind. (Again - so sorry!) So, it's really sometimes a GOOD thing, when life gets in the way of writing about pain. Because it means you are awake, and living your life, and that new joy is possible. 

I say all of this, to say two things:

1: If you cant yet imagine a day where joy and life could possibly be a bigger part of your fraction, than pain, that is okay. But know that it's absolutely possible, and just because you cant yet see it or feel it, doesnt mean it isn't there. It is, and you will meet up with it when you are ready for it. 

2: If you are not widowed, and you should run into a widowed person, who has just lost their person, their world, and life as they knew it - maybe DON'T say to them in a cavalier and careless voice while shrugging your shoulders: "Well, life goes on." 

It's really kind of an asshole thing to say.

And you very well might get punched in the eyeball. 

Thank you.

Showing 5 reactions

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  • commented 2017-11-04 22:35:39 -0700
    Waiting for those pockets of joy, thank you for sharing.
  • commented 2017-11-03 19:47:33 -0700
    I can relate to the finding of joy again…I have found it in finding myself, in becoming a brand new grandma, watching my sons become great adults….and now in a new remarriage……though I miss my John for over 5 years and the joy of life with him.
    What I noticed is when I have met a new widow or someone whom I knew before becoming widowed how quick they say they don’t want to hear that they will find a new love, like I did…..which I have never done or would do…..
  • commented 2017-11-03 19:41:16 -0700
    I had a friend who said 50% of us will have to go through this – losing our spouse. I was so angry I couldn’t speak what I wanted to say – but I’m 39…I should have 30 or 40 more years before I have to go through this. I understand the fuck you response entirely. I didn’t feel acknowledged at the time. I’m where you are now and have way more joy than sorrow. Hugs to everyone that is not acknowledged in their grief. This is a place many don’t understand and thank goodness they don’t have to endure what we have.
  • commented 2017-11-03 18:14:30 -0700
    Diane, those pockets of joy are what its all about. Hold onto them tight. They will come more often in time. Promise :) And keep telling your son’s story and saying his name.
  • commented 2017-11-03 07:59:34 -0700
    Hi Kelley, bot did this ruing true for me. As a mother who lost her only child over 5 years ago, I have heard these very words myself!!! You see, I have 3 sisters. My oldest sister has been blessed with 2 beautiful daughters whom I love so very much. My next oldest sister has 2 sons – her oldest son Kevin passed away in a motorcycle accident in 2003, right before my wedding. What a fucking nightmare that was for all of us. Then there is me, with my sweet son Jonathan, who became my life after I divorced his dad in 1993. Then my youngest sister, who has 2 precious sons and is pretty spoiled and a bit self centered. Now – guess which one said those words to me??? Yup – baby sis. More than once. After reading your post, I guess I should try to see this from her side and not think “How fucking rude!!!” or ‘You have no fucking idea how this feels"! She keeps on saying it, typing it in her emails, etc……and I just try to ignore it. You are right – as time moves forward, I find those pockets of joy, where for just a bit, I forget how my heart hurts. I laugh out loud. I see movies just because Jonathan would love them (Deadpool, I’m looking at you).

    Anyway – there is a life beyond those words. I am attending my nephew’s wedding next weekend (his brother is the one who died 14 years ago) and I know I will cry my eyes out. All these happy moments will always come with a bit of sadness – I know you understand that better than most people.

    Thanks for a great post today. All my best!

    Diane Taylor