I cannot tell you that one day, you’ll wake up and ‘stop feeling’. Anyone who tells you so, is lying to you. Unless of course, you do drugs, or drink. Then, you’ll have ‘the hangover/come-down from hell’ to contend with, in addition to your bereavement.
Friends, foes, frenemies, family, and church members will come to commiserate with you. But they will leave you alone with your memories, while they return to their father/mother/brother/sister/fiancé/fiancée/husband/wife/in-law/son/daughter/friend/grandparent.
They will tell you that “we cannot question God or His Will”. But unless you’re a log of wood, you WILL question eerything you thought you knew. If you’re more restrained, you’ll do that when you’re alone, so that no-one else can hear ‘the worst sinner on the planet, blaspheme’.
They will also have a myriad of opinions on what you’re allowed to feel, think, say.
Wear black, to show the entire world that you’re mourning. Wear white, to prove your faith in ‘god’ and make the devil ashamed.
Cry and let it all out. Don’t cry too much, it proves you have no faith.
You’ll have another child, God gave and has taken this one back.
Re-marry quickly, to help you get over it. Never re-marry, because that’s a betrayal.
Throw yourself into your work, to take your mind off things. Don’t work.
See a shrink to help you. Don’t see a shrink, everyone goes through loss.
Talk about them, so that your children don’t forget them. Don’t talk about them, so that you can forget.
Grieve now, so that you don’t break down in the future. Don’t grieve because it’ll make the devil happy.
Some who think they’re helping, will even compare your loss with theirs. When the truth is NO TWO LOSSES ARE THE SAME. Even a woman who loses two children at different times, doesn’t feel the same way both times.
You’ll get angry. Angry at ‘god’, for letting it happen. Angry at them for dying on you, and leaving you. Angry at yourself for letting yourself love them, because if you didn’t love them so much, it probably wouldn’t hurt so much, right? Angry at the sun for continuing to shine on others, when darkness arrived for you in broad daylight. Angry at others for continuing to live and function properly, when you feel like some sadist amputated three of your limbs without your permission, and without anaesthetic.
They tell you that you’ll forget. They lie. Many things will set you off. Their favourite colour. The smell of their perfume on someone else. A meal they hated. Seeing or hearing something that you ‘just have to tell them’ and picking up the phone, only to realise they will never take your call ever again. You’ll wonder why your eyes are still open and why you’re still breathing, when you know you heard and felt your own heart shatter into pieces. And you’ll be tempted to find solace at the bottom of a bottle, or an ocean.
When you’re lying alone at night, with nothing but your memories for company, you’ll wish you could bargain with death – your life for theirs. Anything to take away the pain. The pain that even Panadol Extra & Ibuprofen cannot soothe.
You won’t forget, but one day, the pain won’t be ‘as bad’. You’ll actually find that you can smile again. You’ll feel like you can breathe easier. You’ll hear laughter, and be stunned to discover that it’s coming from you. I don’t know if ‘one day’ for you, will be five months, or five years down the line.
You won’t get OVER it, no. But you will get THROUGH it. Because, frankly speaking, what other choice do you have?
PS: This blog post was written for a Facebook contact, shortly after she lost her husband. It has also been published on www.chiomannani.blogspot.co.uk and has been re-published (with permission) on www.femmelounge.org