We All Grieve In A Different Way
I wanted to share this with you all to show how different people grieve in different ways. There is no right or wrong to grieve. Everyone moves at their own pace. It will 18 months for me in a few days and I'm stuck. For the first six months after Joe's death I was in a total state of shock just drifting through the days......not feeling much of anything good. What I did feel was pain and grief. I told my friend that I just want to feel excited about something again. That hasn't happened yet. I went through an anger phase that I didn't even think I was capable of. I was so mad at my husband and the whole world around me. It still kills me to see happy couples holding hands and laughing together.
A very good friend of mine from high school lost his wife in September 2010. I sent him a card and told him to call me anytime he felt like talking. He called me the day he received the card and thanked me wholeheartedly. He said it really touched him and though he was sorry for my loss he was so happy to have someone to talk to who understood. He said he was going though a horrific time. I totally understood. We talked for a few minutes and he ended the call. I could hear the tears in his voice. He said, “I can't believe my Suzie is gone.” We corresponded via email for the next 6 weeks, at least 3 times a week.
He called me and told me he wanted to have a cup of coffee and talk. He was “ready.” Although I wanted to meet him he insisted on picking me up. One hour into our conversation he reached over the table, took both of my hands in his and told me he was ready to move on. He said, “I always had a crush on you in high school. Do you want to give it a try?” I WAS MORTIFIED!! The first anniverary of my own husband's death was 4 days away. I was already dreading the day. Another day of going through a full box of kleenex, couch duty and not answering my phone. His wife had been gone 2 months to the day. I told him absolutely not. I'm not ready to even think about something like that. We retuned to my apartment building, he practically threw me out of his car and I haven't heard fom him since. So much for the lean on me thing. Now my daughter-in-law has informed he is getting married. His wife will be gone just one year in about a month.
The other day my brother was visiting. We were chatting and his cell phone rang. He said, “Sorry sister but I need to take this. I haven't heard from this guy in such a long time.” No problem. I started making some sandwiches. He talked for about 20 minutes. When he ended the call he said, “There you go. I'm going to fix you up with my friend Barry. He lost his wife about three years ago.” I said, “No thanks. Not yet anyway.” He told me that Barry started their conversation by asking, “Your're not one of the people I told to go “*” themselves are you?” My brother said, NO, he didn't think so. He told me his friend went through a terrible grieving process that nobody in his life understood. He got so tired of people telling him it was time for him to move one, it's your turn now, she would want you to be happy, she's in a good place, she's at peace, this is new normal, blah, blah, blah. He totally removed himself from everyone in his life and holed up in his darkened house for almost three years. He went to the grocery store and church. He needed that time to grieve. He couldn't put on a happy face for everyone. So he told everyone to “* OFF!!” It took him three years of grieving for his wife of 39 years just to get to the point where he feels a bit ready to move forward. He's not really over it, none of us ever will be, but he's now at a place where he feels like he wants to think about starting to live again. He set up a golf date with my brother, something he hadn't done since he lost his wife.
Two different men. Two different ways of handling their grief. At 18 months I'm so tired of everyone in my family telling me what's best for me. They have no idea. I know they mean well but................
If it's been a while for you and you seem stuck, hang in there. I'm stuck. I know a lot of you are. My brother's friend (who I haven't met) has given me some hope. I just can't imagine sharing my heart with anyone again like I did with my husband. I'm still too fragile. My feelings and emotions are still all over the map. I'm taking baby steps but it's been a slow process. Eighteen months.....no. I'm not ready. I don't know if I ever will be but that's OK too. My life is mine.
God bless us all.