It’s been almost 6 months since my husband passed (163 days to be exact).  I have lived 163 days in a world of unpredictable emotions each and every second of every day.   I feel like grief is my opponent and I’m trying to defend it from scoring.  But grief is leading about 1,000 to 1 right about now.  Lately it’s been kicking my ass and I hate it.  I finally grabbed its playbook and here’s how it reads:

 

  • Look at every invitation you ever receive for a party and immediately think about what it will be like to walk in alone.
  • Accept the RSVP to that party and think about it for days before wondering how you’re going to walk in alone.
  • Reluctantly get dressed (when all you want to do is lie in bed) and get in your car alone.
  • Sit in front of the house or restaurant and feel the tears well up in your eyes while you try so hard not to ruin your fresh makeup that you didn’t want to put on in the first place.
  • Tell yourself that you should really invest in a pack of tissues for the car because this happens every time you go out.
  • Breathe deep, wipe your eyes, put on a smile and walk in.
  • Look around the party and realize you’re the only one without a significant other by your side.
  • Feel tears well up and find the nearest bathroom.
  • Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself to get it together.
  • Go back outside in hopes that nobody sees your eyes are red or there are tear streaks in your makeup
  • Muster the courage to put a smile on your face, even though you want to scream to the world, “HOW THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN TO HIM? WHY DID IT HAPPEN TO HIM? “
  • After wanting to scream, think about all the people around you who deserved it more than he did. And become sad and angry about why they are still alive and causing stress and drama to people’s lives.
  • Feel your tears well up again.
  • Politely say you have to go and get out of there before you need another tissue.
  • Sob out loud all the way home because nobody can hear you and you need a good cry.
  • Crawl into bed with that numb feeling you’ve had for the past few months.
  • Fall asleep and have another dream about your husband. Every dream you’ve had of him has been one where he doesn’t even know who you are. But this dream will really make you feel like shit because he comes back from the dead and everybody is celebrating, but he still doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t even come to see you.
  • Wake up and cry some more and beg him to stop coming to you in your dreams as a stranger. Tell him he’s an asshole because it’s been hard enough to deal with his death, let alone having to dream about him not even knowing who you are.
  • Become sad and numb again because everybody tells you to hang onto the wonderful memories when all you’re hanging onto is the shitty dream you just had about him.
  • Get up out of bed and float around because you are numb.
  • Walk outside and see a bright piece of paper on your car. The bright piece of paper is a warning from the police department stating that you need to move your car in 72 hours or it will be cited.
  • Become enraged because you know it was the neighbors that you don’t get along with who called the police. Become more enraged in thinking how someone can be so cold-hearted to do something so mean to a grieving widow.  Become more enraged because they could have come over and asked why you were parking your car across the street.  Become angrier because they don’t understand that the tree that hangs over your driveway is dripping sap on your car and until the city can come out and treat it for aphids, you refuse to park under the tree.  Continue to be angry and hurt and wonder if they know what it’s like to grieve.
  • Walk around with a frown and continuously wonder why there are crappy people in the world still standing and your wonderful husband isn’t. Shed another tear.
  • Try to let your emotions not get the best of you because there are people that don’t understand what grief feels like.
  • Continue to try and see the good in people even though the bad has completely consumed you longer than you would have liked.
  • Continue to try and make sense of it all and know this is just the first of many episodes you will have that involve heartbreak and anger and that it’s okay.
  • Continue to breathe and realize that not everyone opens their heart to people like you do.
  • Realize that tomorrow is another day for a new beginning if you don’t get it right today.
  • Continue to believe there is a higher purpose for taking someone so incredible so early in their life.
  • Hold on to those memories because they are the fuel that gets you through the day and will be for the rest of your life.
  • Trust in God that there is a plan that you may not understand but you trust is beneficial for the peace in your heart.
  • Live another day.

I think it’s time for some intense grief counseling.  I want to rewrite my playbook.  I don’t expect to ever defeat grief, but I at least want to give it one hell of a fight.   I look forward to sharing better days ahead with you.

 

stages-of-grief