Well, it goes like this - I go to look at deodorants, and while looking for the best price, I’m thinking, “pick one that doesn’t have any scent, because of Susan’s allergies.”
And then, a second later, remembering that it doesn’t matter any more because Susan is dead.
Sorry - I’m not usually one to grieve on stage like this, but I can’t get hold of the usual people I whine at when I’m like this, and I’m having a crappy day. I figured better here than making it a facebook status.
I won’t pretend I know what it’s like dealing with the aftermath of a partner/spouse dying. But I had similar experiences for a long time after my father’s death, and after the passing of a very dear friend in 2012.
You are going to grieve and remember for a long time; this just makes you human and real. Please don’t feel compelled to aplogise for it! Really, and I know this will sound trite, but it DOES get easier over time.
OOOOg. That brought back memories.
It never becomes “OK”, but it does get better. It took me 2 years after my late wife’s death for me to actually feel sane again, and now I am engaged to a pretty redhead.
My sis and I were both nurses for many years (I still am a nurse). My family (husband, kids) are a bit squeamish, so I never talk about work with them, but my sis and I would call each other with our triumphs, complaints and gallows humor. I do OB-GYN, fertility and L&D. She did cardiac, ICU and hospice. Our horrible joke was that I helped them in, and she helped them out.
Then she died.
I dunno how many times I would hop in my car and grab my cell phone to call her. It’s six years now and I still miss her. Often it’s just stupid stuff that triggers it.
I know it will get better. I feel weird saying this, but partly because she taught me that life is short, I don’t want to go through this next (year? years?) to get to a better place. I don’t want to have to deal with this. Or, at least, I want to bring the grief along with me while I engage in life again.
And that made me Let’s go to the quarry and throw stuff down there!
Sorry for your loss, bup and there’s no need to apologize. Many people here would, I’m sure, consider themselves to be your friend and hearing that people are grieving and sharing that grief is just part of being friends.
I can relate. I had a grandmother that got stomach cancer and died after a year battling it. I was in high school at the time, and was so convinced she was going to survive. With all the medical technology we have, how could she possibly die?
But she did eventually pass away, and one thing I can never forget is this sickly clean ‘hospital’ smell when we visited her during her last days. Its not that I have some phobia of hospitals…
…but when I smell that particular ‘hospital’ smell, it just brings those sad memories rushing back, as though she passed away yesterday. And I still miss her very much
I remember cooking something, I don’t remember exactly what, but it was something Steve hated. (This doesn’t narrow it down that much. Dude was a picky eater.)
And I remember this feeling of incredible sorrow combined with a sense of “Well, if you wanted to have a say in what I cooked, you should have stuck around!” Talking to him, being as snarky and flippant as I was with him, really helped me get through some of those really intense, difficult, surprising moments.
“I’m gonna eat COCONUT and you can’t do anything about it, sucker!”
I’m not suggesting this would work for you, or for anyone other than me. But I think it shows that some of our coping techniques can be weird or idiosyncratic. I hope you find something that works for you that makes these moments a little easier.
We can be here. We can listen and respond. We can make the person feel not alone and heard. We can, when the situation warrants it, share our own stories and let the person know that while their grief is their own and no one knows exactly how it feels, many people have gone through something similar enough that when we say it can get better, we can be believed a little.
If you’re uncomfortable with grief, and many people are, you can just not speak.