by Janetta Wood
(Decatur, Texas USA)
Our last anniversary
Click on each photo to enlarge.
I don't even know what loss I'm dealing with. The first loss I experienced came when my husband of 20 years moved out in late October. At first I felt almost a huge relief...it was an end to the walking on eggshells and always having to worry about what he wanted or what might irritate him or how not to annoy him. I almost felt like I was getting myself back....I was amazed at how much of 'me' I had shoved down so as to keep him happy. This 'relief stage' lasted until Thanksgiving Day...in the late afternoon.
Everything was fine until everybody had gone home and my kids had packed up food and headed out to see their dad (at the kids' initiative, not their dad's)...and after they left I had an empty, sad, lonely kind of feeling...almost a jealousy that they were getting to enjoy him or 'family time' and I was alone. I was surprised by the enormity of my feelings that afternoon. They took me by surprise. And once they hit, they have not left...I can't even tell that they've eased up.
Then in early December one of my three best friends was diagnosed with liver cancer. On Thursday afternoon she and I were talking about the possibility of this being her last Christmas...and how to tell her son...and on Tuesday, she was dead!! How could this happen?
And eight days later, my baby brother (16 years younger who I was especially close to) suddenly and unexpectedly died....and I have not been able to get the fog to lift since then.
I know I was nowhere near through the process of my first loss....then the second and then the third...and I don't even know how to go about the grieving process now. Where do I begin? Do I try to work on one loss at a time? How do I do that? They are all gone. At times I feel like I have lost the sun...that without the sun to 'draw' me, I am but a tiny spec in a huge universe and am at risk of being drawn into a black hole. I really don't know where to start.
My divorce is not final...and I'm not sure when it might be. I am shocked at what it has become....what he has become. He now wants not only half of what we had, but also 'his part' of all that my father has worked for all his life. My dad has made a lot of money....and now my husband wants it. I can't believe this development...but it is what it is. He is unwilling to even discuss settlement. He would not take a check for $1,000,000.00 today if we offered! I have no idea how much it is going to cost me to get a divorce from him....and the bad thing is that all I want is my husband back. I really want Mike back...the Mike I married. But that man is gone, and has been gone for a long time....but it's hard because I see his body, I see his eyes, I hear his voice, but I can't find the guy I fell in love with. And it hurts so bad.
I think I am stuck in the divorce loss because I cannot finalize it. I feel that if I could get it behind me....whatever the cost...I could close the door on it. But as it is, I can't even shut that door. He has his foot stuck in it. And I'm not sure I can go forward and process the loss of my friend and most importantly my brother because I can't get past that initial loss.
Also, my husband has developed a hatred not only for me, but also for my parents and especially my brother who died. On Christmas day he was irate and screaming at me that he felt my brother was a big part of our problems and he felt my parents didn't do enough to 'help us', and he hoped they went to their f*&F(&*(F)(* grave knowing they f(*^&(*,,,,,at which point I hung up on him. We hadn't even had my brother buried an entire week yet, and he's saying these things to me on Christmas Day?
Somebody help me....give me advice. Where do I begin this grieving process? How do I cope with multiple types of loss at the same time? I don't even know how to do these exercises in the book because I don't know which loss to address....and doing each one twice (at the same time) seems too much to me....but I'll listen to any and all advice given. I am at a loss.