Still Crazy/Grieving After All These Years

First of all, I apologize for the rambling mess this post is likely to be. But if I don’t write all these thoughts out they just keep doing laps in my head. I debated whether or not to put a link to this post on Facebook, but I decided yes. If people are interested it will give them some idea about where I am three years after Bill’s death. And if they’re not interested, that’s okay too.

Bill died three years ago on Oct. 5. Not Oct. 4, as I’d been thinking for the past week. The realization this morning that I had the date wrong crushed me. It didn’t matter that, as my sister pointed out, his death sort of spread out over the two days. He went into the hospital on the 4th. We said our good-byes on the 4th. He went to sleep on the 4th. He died in the early morning of the 5th. But I was unbelievably upset when I realized I had the death date wrong. In chaos, the negative voices rise up and do their best to destroy me. They almost won this morning.

I’ve found that the two weeks leading up to the anniversary of Bill’s death are extremely hard. Like my friend, Leah, remarked – the movie of their last days, last hours, last minutes replays over and over in your mind. I hate that movie, but in these two weeks I can’t seem to stop watching it.

I don’t see it as three years that I’ve lived without Bill. To me, it’s that I’ve gotten through each day of the year three times since he died. That’s not much at all. Don’t they say it takes 21 days to form a habit? I’m far from the habit of living without him.

And it hurts. God, it hurts. The best analogy I can come up with is if you have a deep wound – you bandage it up and leave it to heal. It hurts to peel off the bandage and how it’s doing, and when you do you find it’s still a big hole and is actually inflamed. So you irrigate it with lots of salt water, expose it to the air for awhile, then bandage it up again. That’s my grief journey anyway. My tears are irrigating my grief, and writing this is helping me expose it to the air. Then I will bandage it up again, and carry on.

The times when my grief is most inflamed are not the times I expected. For me, like I said, the two weeks leading up to Bill’s death date are the hardest, but other hard times are my birthday, the first bbq of the summer, coming home from a trip, the first crisp fall morning, and sometimes even just random days when something or other triggers a flood of grief. Don’t ever worry that you’ll “set me off” – you have no control over it, and neither do I. And it’s okay. I sometimes think I should make up a sign “Widow Grieving” to wear around my neck, so people won’t have to worry about why there are tears streaming down my face. But they would worry anyway, because people care. And I love them for that.

I have a great life. And I know it. But sometimes the pain of my loss overwhelms me and the only way I know to address it is to cry it out. I will be okay. But probably not until after the 5th.

4 Responses

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  1. Awe Dianne, I understand. I know you will be OK and you go ahead and cry whenever you want. Grief knows no timelines nor no path. It just meanders in and around and can surprise you at the most unlikely times. Take care.

  2. I get it. On October 4th, (ironically, it really is the 4th) it will be 18 years since Kendra died. I start to feel it coming around the beginning of September. Do you remember Mrs Stein, a elementary school teacher? She had a really large family of children, and she told me that they had a son die from appendicitis in the early 60’s. She gave me the analogy that the grief is like a small rock in your shoe. Some days you can walk around without it really bothering you. But other days, it rolls out into the spot where you can’t move without pain. I hope our rocks shuffle out of the way again soon. And you know what, they will.
    Big hugs.

  3. Hi Dianne! Deep wounds heal slow and in your case your lose is quite deep. I understand what you are going through. Give yourself lots of time to heal. Bill is a great guy and you missed him. It’s ok to grieve and cry. Own that feeling for it’s important to your stages of healing. The Anniversary of Bill’s death is coming and the wound you have of losing him is opened once more. I wish I have a magic wand to help you heal the wound faster but I believe that there is a reason why each individual heals in it’s unique way. Sending you my big bear hugs and care.

  4. You want the wound to heal, for it to stop hurting, but you never want the memories and connection to go away. thats a conundrum. From my perspective,Dianne, 3years isn’t very long. I feel sad for you. I love you too. In the lead-up to the anniversary date of Ken’s death, was both a bomb waiting to explode ( and I did once) and a sniffling mess. There was a strange relief after. We feel deeply because we care deeply. Ever watched the movie Shadowlands? Anthony Hopkins says “the pain is part of the happiness”. Hugs?

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