Can grief be put into repose as in laid to rest; the very reason for grief and the messy aftermath of death?
I wish I knew. Today is 30 months and I’m not crying!
Yesterday I went to our favorite department store to find a few new articles of clothing (yeah for some weight loss) and I was thinking about how excited I was to purchase a couple of items when I looked up and saw a display of “Hawaiian Shirts” … these were Keith’s signature from retirement until death, along with his flannels of course.
So here I was, alone, tears streaming down my face and trying to hide from people. There was nowhere to go, I needed to check out and stand in line. I sent a text to my daughter and one of my sisters with this picture and said, I should not go shopping this time of year. They knew. It does help to have others who know the little idiosyncrasies and intimate details of what you’re talking about when you send a text like that. Both took time to acknowledge my sadness and to make me laugh. My go to people because Keith was the first to add humor to my life and I miss that so much. I laughed out loud at something my sister sent me and then realized I really don’t care if someone saw tears – they are an emotion of sadness but can also fall with laughter. There is something very powerful in owning your own feelings and not having to shelter others from them. This is my journey and nobody else can feel what I feel!
I think that grief is a word that can’t truly be defined. In the Oxford Dictionary it is in part described as …”intense sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death”. But to me, you cannot describe intense sorrow because it is individualistic. One could summarize my event at the department store as grief but my feelings were not embedded in intense sorrow. I was momentarily caught off guard at not being able to buy him a new shirt and how much joy it brought him when I would come home to show him my bargains, because only when you have a certain percent off do you go shopping! So it stung to know I don’t have that particular ability to create his happiness anymore.
Death of a spouse is not only difficult when that person was your world, but it changes the way you perceive yourself and sometimes, it takes a while to get there. My world collapsed. My world collapsed many times throughout my life and each time, there was some one or some thing to allow me to build a new foundation. My husband’s death has given me a different type of foundation to build on. This time it is me building me with no reason to look beyond myself for anyone or anything to help me build a beautiful future. Because that man gave me the strength to believe in myself, the impermeable foundation is already there.
It’s actually a good day. My husband does not have appendix cancer anymore! He defied all odds in living as long as he did given his status and he did it with such vigor and always with a smile on his face. What it in the world do I have to complain about?