Sometimes I want to scream at people: “You Can’t Fix Me!”
...because sometimes, I get so sick of hearing that I need to “look after myself” or “do something for myself” or “make it happen” or “chin up” or “forge ahead.”
Sometimes it’s just too much when friends and colleagues minimize my grief in their misguided belief that they would know how to grieve properly if our positions were reversed. (The same people that go to pieces if they have a sniffle and won’t make it to the gym that day.)
No, they’d grieve properly, have it together within a year and make rational decisions to take their lives onwards and upwards.
They’d “go to counseling” and “get the help they need” to get on with their lives.
Maybe a tasteful shrine with a few candles on the mantle to remember their love.
A weekly visit to the cemetery: fresh flowers on the grave.
They’d get themselves that new job that fits in with their altered lifestyle.
They wouldn’t suffer the grief fog, the loss of short-term memory, the sudden tears, and the incapacitating sadness that saps all energy yet prevents you from sleep.
They quote some random bereaved person that their aunt’s girlfriend’s hairdresser’s mother knows who has “coped admirably” with grief…. and cite it as “if they can do it, you can too”. Never realizing that the person they speak of most likely is showing them the brave face and not the face screwed up in the agony which is widowhood.
No, not for them this incorrect grief.
I am tired of explaining that life doesn’t work that way.
That I have to live this life every minute of every day and even sleep is no respite because half of my bed is empty when it shouldn’t be.
That even if I filled that side of the bed with someone new, it wouldn’t take away the grief for my lost love (and my lost life that I was supposed to have).
That my “happy place” isn’t happy anymore because the person who used to live there is gone.
That “The Secret” isn’t based on scientific fact: you can’t just wish you woes away anymore than you can make your beloved rise from the dead.
That the exhaustion of trying to function on broken sleep and a foggy brain is sometimes overwhelming.
That much of my adult identity was founded on being one half of a couple even though I am a strong, intelligent and independent woman.
That my best friend, lover, confidant, and comforter is gone and nobody else “gets me” like he did.
I wish they could know how hard this is without me having to spell it out.
I wish they didn’t overlook the incredible feat of strength and endurance I go through on a daily basis Just To Get Through The Day.
I wish they could see the progress I’ve made.
I wish they could see that I am helping myself ... that I am doing everything in my power to move forward.
…and that I am doing a bloody good job of it.
But mostly I wish they’d stop thinking that they know how to fix me.
Today's post comes to us from guest blogger Amanda, a lovely Aussie...who gets this widowed thing too! Thanks Amanda!