I’ve come to see grief as selfish. YOU miss someone. YOUR life has changed. YOU worry about the future. And no one will hurt the same as you. No one has a right to grieve more than you. YOU loved them more than anyone else. In the span of less than a year, I lost my husband and my best friend, so no one can be sadder than me. My pain eclipses all. I knew them best. I loved them best. I lost more than anyone. My pain matters more than yours.
They say there are stages to grief and maybe there are. I don’t know them and I probably wouldn’t follow them if I did. I never forget they are gone. I never don’t believe it…..but sometimes it seems incomprehensible that I will never hear either of them again. We won’t have a conversation. We won’t share a laugh. Neither will hold me when I cry…… Sometimes I am angry with them. How DARE they leave me here by myself? Sometimes (more than I like to admit) I want to forget or at least downplay how much it affects me. To move on. To begin building a new life for myself and the kids that doesn’t allow for sadness and grief. Because we have been through so much and shouldn’t be tied to loss. WE ARE FUCKING ALIVE. To do anything other than live is disrespectful……but to not grieve is also disrespectful. But in my grief, all revolves around me. And I want to live. I want to move on. I want to be happy. I want to stop crying every time I see something that strikes a chord. I want to find a new best friend to be silly with. A new man to hold me.
There are rules for the widow and there are none. Everyone says you can do what you want, do what feels right….and then say that you are handling things better than they expected, with a slightly disapproving air about them. What the fuck do they want from me? To lie in bed all day? To cry and wail and gnash my teeth and beat my breast? Would I feel better if I did? I don’t know but I also don’t want to find out.
I don’t have the luxury of grief…even as it consumes me. I cannot fall apart in front of the kids. They need me strong. But not too strong- they need to be sure in the knowledge that I loved their father and that I too am sad. They need to see that it is ok to talk of good times and bad. It’s ok to cry and ok to laugh. When does that leave time to sob as though the world is ending? Because it has. The world I built with my friend, with my husband is gone. The past we shared is gone. There is no one that knows our jokes. Our stories. Except me. I alone am the keeper of the history of myself and these two. And that is a heavy burden. The stories I will forget or already have forgotten are gone. No reminiscing will bring them back. No shared laughter over a prank remembered. No tears over a shared loss.
Alone I own the loss.