Grief is a stagnant void where nothing feels right and no one can help pull you out of it. Grief isn’t a series of “five stages” or “steps” back to normal life. Normal life included my daughter, alive and available, able to be visited or talked to, helped and hugged. Normal is no longer possible. Time doesn’t heal shit; the wound is open and stays that way.
So, wow, okay…couple of things I’ve noticed these past few weeks; not that I’ve noticed much of anything, but anyway…
When someone you know loses a loved one, you want to help, you want to send comfort, support and love. But, since humans fear Death so much, you have no idea what to say or do for that person, so you do what comforts and supports YOU. That’s fine, just realize that the mourner won’t react in a manner you wanted. Most of the time, I don’t react at all; I’m still rather numb regarding the outside world and society. Since we are (most of us) raised to be polite in public, you won’t hear the truth, so let me help you out a bit. Please remember, this is my experience, maybe it’s different for others. Also, I AM grateful for all the support and love; I’m just not good at reacting to it.
Food: Sure, go ahead and cook something, bring it on over – in a disposable dish, please! Cooking is comforting for you and I’m grateful I won’t have to think about feeding my family (or the dogs) for a day or two. But don’t expect me to eat; my body is rejecting anything that pertains to Life right now. And don’t expect your dish back; it will rot in the fridge, or sit in a congealed mess on the counter or get broken because I have no idea who it belongs to or how to take care of it for you (and I’m too clumsy right now to handle anything breakable – I’m surprised the laptop’s still working!).
Do come over. Don’t expect me to come to you or call you. Driving is dangerous, especially when alone in the car – the tears are always right there and it’s too easy to let them flow. All I want to do is curl into a fetal position under the blankets and scream until I die, too. Leave me in my bed after patting my shaking shoulder and go clean my house, thanks, but don’t expect me to talk or interact much with you while you’re visiting.
Phrases that help you, but aren’t really helpful for me: “God needed an angel.” Fuck that! God has enough angels. I hate God right now and am really angry at Him/Her/It. Do not talk religion or God-talk to me. “We’re praying.” Pray for my baby to be back, alive and well, pray to turn back Time; otherwise, go pray somewhere else.
“You have your memories.” Yeah, and every memory, good or bad, hurts like acid on a raw wound right now, thanks anyway. Pay for a lobotomy for me so I have nothing in my brain that can hurt me. Punch me in the head so I get amnesia and have no memories at all and no more pain. Best of all: kill me so I can go beat the shit outta God and Death for stealing my baby from me.
“What can we do?” and “How can we help?” Whoa, don’t ask me to make any decisions! I’m having a good day if I managed to get out of bed long enough to drink some water and pee. Seriously, do not ask me to decide shit or function in an acceptable manner. I can’t. My first trip out of the house was spent crying in the car, the bank, the grocery store, trying to read my list of errands so I could at least get one chore done. Didn’t work. I went home and there I stayed for another week or two or five. So, take my list, pay my bills, and do my chores, run my life for a month or two, thanks.
Helpful words: “We’re so sorry for your loss.” Perfect, leave it at that and hug me. Be ready to hold me up because my knees are gonna buckle. Sorry about your soaking wet shoulder, but, yep, I needed to just cry on you, just needed to be hugged, because it let me feel something other than the agony inside me.
There. Don’t feel guilty if you smiled a little or chuckled; I’m glad you did. This rant was a release for me and I can still be humorous even when I’m so sad, angry or in pain. Morbid humor, I guess, or maybe I’m re-reading this wrong and seeing humor where there isn’t any. I don’t know anymore, my perceptions are way off – I watch violent TV shows and cheer when people die, but a cartoon about a lost dog has me sobbing….
Anyway, thanks for “listening,” don’t know when I’ll be back, but this rant helped a little. Hug each other! Now, dammit!