The Perfect Storm
I remember in the beginning thinking I would never survive this, thing, this grief. There was no air in my world, there was only pain a screaming clawing soul searing ripping pain from the loss of my beloved John. There was no end to this pain, I ended when he ended. I was not sure how I could go forward; I had my moment with the sleeping pills in my hand. I still cannot tell you why I put them down, but I did. For those of you who have thought it, yes there have been several times I have come very close to joining him. I will say this; just think what that will do to those you leave behind. Our loved ones did not leave us willingly, we should not do that to those that we love. Eventually, I went back to work and would cry hysterically, I am not sure I functioned at work for a very long time the way I am supposed to. Thank goodness for a very kind boss. I read now all of the comments and I see people where I was, so I wanted to share how the road has taken me, maybe to give some hope, or comfort.
I do not and have not moved from my own free will since John died. Even now fifteen months after his death, each day past the date he was taken from me scares me that it takes me further away from him. Nevertheless, the fact is time moves you. You do not realize it at first. Trust me I am president of the one breath one-step club. That is how I lived for most of the first year. There are interesting ebbs and tides in that year. After about four or five months I started to be able to work, I mean concentrate on what I was doing for more that oh thirty seconds before crying. Still cried, but my mind allowed me to start to function outside of the pain I felt. Trust me the pain never left, it did not subside, but I started to be able to work despite of it. Also, what I think happens is you realize those around you, do not want to deal with a widow’s pain, and we quite frankly do not want to deal with them. So you start being able to marshal up a good front, nothing deep but a nod or just starting to move. Six months is wicked bad, probably because it is a true milestone, and we will not go over birthdays and anniversaries, those will always slam me into a wall.
You will see that a lot here, about this being a rollercoaster ride, or a ship in the storm. That is what grief is, the perfect storm, it throws you first one way then another until you are redefined by the pain, and the sheer enormity of the loss. That is one of those things that is the same yet different for each of us. I can give you no advice other than it is part of grief.
Then one day, and I cannot tell you when, it is sooner for others, for me it was a very very long time. You smile. Someone says something or you see a picture and you feel your lips curling into a very uncharacteristic position, a smile. You will realize it and feel.. what do you feel. For me, I almost felt a sense of betrayal, like my smiling somehow diminished my love or my loss. It does not; it is your mind trying to make what life you have left, livable.
Does the pain stop? I can only speak for myself and I can say no. I cried today looking at John’s picture. I miss him with every breath in my body. But the pain has changed, from the searing soul ripping pain when I first lost him to now, a constant reminder, but I can function, do things with my granddaughter, even smile. But he is always with me, always. My deepest hope is that with my last breath the first thing I will see is my John.
How you deal with and survive your grief is personal. Be selfish with it. There is no wrong way to grieve. Some people move away from the person they were to a new person, built upon the pain and self-discovery. Some people find new love. For me, personally, the way I survive is by living my life with John. My house decisions are made with him in mind, I talk to him, he was the best part of me, and I will never let that go. For me, this is how I survive.
How does it end. I do not know. I just wanted those of you who are just starting on this journey; when every breath feels like it is ripping you apart, when everything you see and everything you touch slams you into your own personal hell, that there does come a time when the pain … changes, not better, not worse.. but changes so that you do move and live. Maybe not well, but you do.
I will never be all right without John. I do not want this life that I am being forced to live. So I walk this path, for me, with John, the best I can. But I am still walking.
Even now, I have times that I am overwhelmed. And then I go back to what is basic to us all
One breath, one step, one day at a time