Thursday, March 6, 2014

Grief: Why Do I Keep Falling Into This Hole In My Life?

I could make this a six word blog post.  Because I am grieving, that's why.

I don't love a generic person.  I love someone who was the center of my world whether we were getting along splendidly or fighting in that way when we were done we said, "Who were those people and how did they get into our house?"  The fights were never physical, just verbal.  I can see now how we could have been more accepting of each other's quirks and had less fights - but nothing we did made the love less.  I think how special it is when someone loves you when you are at your worst.  It is easy to be loved when you are at your best.  This person I love is still the center of my world.  The problem is - he is dead.  So I miss him.  So I grieve.  I don't mind that.  I can't imagine not grieving.  In fact I am grateful that I was so loved that I so grieve. I would like everyone, including me sometimes, to accept that.

Sometimes it is difficult to get used to the rhythm of it.  Am I better after 4 years and almost eight months?  I always say I hate the word better.  I figured out that I am resistant to it because it only describes part of me.  The part of me that desperately wants to feel my husband's arms around me again and share things with him and see his smile and is desperately not really satisfied with him being with me in spirit is never better.  That's the hole.  It is an Artie shaped hole.  Nothing can fill it.  When he was alive and I was having a hard day I would say, "I wish somebody loved me."  He would raise an eyebrow and say with a twinkling eye - "Somebody?"  Because what I wanted was for him to love me - not just somebody.  He did.  I knew he did and know he does.  It was my way of looking for reassurance.  So "somebody" - even if some day I am less stubborn and look for another love relationship and find one - will never fit the shape of the Artie hole.

The part of me that is better is the part all around that hole. I am trying to get used to the truly lovely friends I have made.  (Sometimes I also have that hole of thinking I don't deserve good things. I do.)  There was a time when I was young when I didn't know how people made good friends.  I have less and less time to spend alone - and I like being alone - as I have more and more people I want to spend time with.  People who love me.  I can't get away with saying nobody loves me anymore.  Some of these people I have met through showing up places after my husband died.  That is one of the most important things I do - and have done - since my husband died - show up.  I show up whether I want to or not.  I make plans and I often wish I hadn't.  I make myself go.  I show up and - surprise! - I enjoy myself.  At the beginning when it was almost impossible to have a good time because my grief was so overwhelming - I showed up anyway - not as often - but I showed up.  I waited for some of that life out there to seep back into me.

I am lucky to have my daughter and my granddaughter.  The time I spend with them is very special.  To be a grandmother to Gwendy blue eyes as well as being fun is also an honor and an obligation to be present. To see life through her eyes instead of my own is a gift.

I am lucky to have found meaning in doing this blog and the Facebook page at  The difference is that the blog posts are more of a monologue. The Facebook page is an international community that is compassionate and understanding.  People have made friends outside of Grief Speaks Out.  Someone posted that they are international now, they have a friend in Liberia and one in Australia.  I am humbled by this (as of today it has 330,000 likes) but also very proud of it.

My desire to travel is coming back.  I am reading a little more.

When Artie first died I wept constantly.  I could not understand why he wouldn't take me with him.  I considered suicide.  I got help from many places in an attempt to save my own life.  I am not that desperate hopeless woman any more. I am better.  The hole isn't better - it still HURTS.

Some days, some nights the hole seems like the only place worth being.  The quicksand comes back and nothing seems to matter.  Sometimes I make friends with the hole.  I give myself time to descend into it - to stare at the wall - to be in the center of it.  Sometimes I am impatient with it.  Sometimes I am exhausted.  I think grief warriors are the bravest people alive.  We wake up every morning and live our day without what we want most.  Even if all we do is keep breathing - that is an accomplishment.  We bear the unbearable.  Yet bearing this burden we can still climb to great heights.

The reason I force myself to do the things I do is partly for me but also to honor my husband.  He can't live on earth any more - but I can.  I do it for myself and for him.  His nickname for me was Panache.  I want to still be Panache.  Not to deny the sadness - the pain - the longing - but to grieve with a certain sense of style.

The entire time I have been writing this I have spelled the word hole with a w - whole - and had to go back and change it.  Maybe that's me telling me what I often ignore - and what professionals and friends and family who tell us to move on or get over - don't or won't understand.  I am whole with the hole.  The hole is as much a part of me as the parts that are learning how to be filled up with love, new experiences, emotion, and adventure.  My challenge isn't to make the hole go away - or fill it up.  My challenge is to make the parts of me that aren't the hole happier, more productive, fully alive.

That's the hole story.  We are whole.  We can be fully alive with grief.  It's just that some days it's easier to figure out how to do that than others.  With much love. xo

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to the thoughts of suicide. It scares me how often I think about this :'(