There are all kinds of warnings out there for new widows, that grief comes in waves, that people might try to take advantage of you, that sort of thing. That I am aware of, no attempted advantage-taking has happened. Grief in waves though, oh yes indeed.
3 months out, we are. 3 more days will be the 3 month mark. I won’t say anniversary because by definition those are an annual thing. It would be easy to get all worried about these emotional moments…days, really. I think by definition a moment is just a pinch of time, and the emotions have been running pretty high here for about a week.
But then there is a lot going on as well, baby-prepping, camp-prepping, being-alone-for-the-Summer prepping. And all of it without the benefit of Himself’s input and commentary. It has been really lonely and hard. Not really painful, unless you count an ache as a pain, which I don’t. At this point, now that finances are settled and I know when to expect a bill, the biggest source of stress is gone. Now that I am fairly sure (finals are this week) that #4 is going to make it through the 10th grade, the school stress has simmered down. All that dust of rearranging life has settled and it is time to get back to the grief, I guess.
That is why I don’t see it as a bad thing. I don’t want to be cheered up and talked out of it. It would be like going to the gym and talking someone out of doing the hard work of weight lifting because it is hard. Grief is hard. It is unpleasant. It hurts and aches and our natural response to pain and hardship is to want to escape it as fast as we can. But, if you were wanting to get into shape by going to the gym, you wouldn’t do it by walking through to the smoothie bar, would you? No, you’d stop in the middle and do the work. That is why you’re there.
Grief is like that. You can’t avoid it or pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s work and you have to do it. Everyone has their own method. Mine is to take the evenings and remember all the stuff we did. It makes me cry because we won’t be doing any more stuff. I like out stuff. The trips, whether it’s 10 days on Route 66 or half an hour to Lowe’s for pipes and geraniums. You know, we always held hands. Always. I miss that. He had big meaty hands that swallowed mine up, and he held on very gently. I remember way back when he said once he was afraid his hands would break mine so he was very careful.
So here it is, the work of grief. I’d rather be at the smoothie bar, but that will come later. For now, I will do this.
Who knows what will come in a month, or 6 months? Hopefully a baby will be here in a month, and that will be another tough thing to plow through. Joy and sorrow at the same time…I have no idea what’s going to happen there. There was a taste of it at a baby shower last weekend. #3 and I both felt it and had to step outside for a while. A friend is getting married in July, the day before our wedding anniversary. I have volunteered to help set up the reception. I am pretty sure being at the ceremony will be too big of a weight, I am not ready for that yet. I am so happy for her, she lost a husband 4 years ago and has been so wonderful helping me through this weird transition. But being there…no, I don’t think so. Setting out food and drink and flowers would be easier.
As for the holidays, those will come what may. I have heard of women who completely avoided them altogether the first year, and that sounds kind of nice…but there are kids and parents and others to consider. Come what may, I will deal with it then. After the smoothie.
But for now, it is this 3 month not-anniversary to deal with. The grief is here, and it’s real, and it is a weight to lift. It is heavy and hard, but not so hard I can’t lift it. I’m not alone, spinning out there with no guidance or rope to hold. There are friends and family, church and God (oh how wonderful to have God here! I am learning there is more to salvation than just that one definition…it also comes in the form of that rope to hang on to. Recognizing His grace and mercy for us is only the beginning.)