I’m sorta dating a new person who is big on open & honest communication. Who doesn’t get easily offended at me saying no or telling her how I feel.
We haven’t had sex. There’s some discussion around sex that we had to have, so I brought them up.
After a while, December hit me. If you’re a widow, you get it. The “fuck he’s not here, my life isn’t what it’s supposed to be, I miss him, I miss the traditions, I miss being part of a ‘couple’ and this fucking HURTS” feeling.
So middle? Towards the end? of the sex conversation I pop up with:
Topic change… December sucks. In general. used to be my favourite holiday season, but now it’s not. It is, but it’s laced with pain and memories and sadness. and to top it off – the day he made the decision to turn off the machines was the 25th of June, and he died on the 26th. which means Dec 25/26 is exactly 6 months. So alway reminds me of 1.5 years, 2.5 years and in this case… 3.5 years. So my emotions are all over the place, one moment I’m feeling fantastic and sexy and flirty and the next, without warning, I feel like I’m back at square one again… except now I know that it won’t last for weeks on end and eventually I’ll feel good again. But December sucks because of all the all over emotions that show up at random times and in random situations.
Most people… a lot of people? I don’t know how many people. But Death is an awkward subject for society in general. And so there’s a lot of people who would run at that point. Or change the subject. Or blow it off with a “yeah that sucks” “sorry to hear” “it’ll be ok – you’ll get through it” offhand comment that would invite no further conversations.
However, this incredibly lovely person responded with:
My friend, you are still in the active grieving process – something that can take up to 5 years for a major loss such as yours. he was your world. He was your partner. You had a good relationship from what you’ve told me. up to 5 years for the grief to ease and move into the background. It will never completely go away – there will be moments, days, special dates, that will catch you again – moments that know the wind out of you or threaten to drown you in another wave. And then it will leave you as it found you. But you aren’t there yet. You are still moving through the process of profound grief. be patient. Ride the f’n ride and know that this sucky shitty icky place isn’t forever. Continue to tell his stories. Continue to honor him in whatever ways feel right for you. Allow yourself to be right where you are – don’t fight it or judge it. embrace the ride. it is necessary to get to the place where he becomes a comforting presence in the background of your life. One that brings you warmth and fuels the smile in your eyes adn you can feel the joy for having loved and known him.
Which set off a grief storm.
My silence (we were on text, I had put my computer away, can’t type on my phone when I can’t see, can type with my eyes closed on my computer) prompted another message where she apologized, thought she might have overstepped. She hadn’t.
She did something that I wish society would do: She validated my ongoing grief.
I’ve been told that I’m grieving too hard still. That I need to let go of my past. That because I’ve been with someone new, that I love again that I should be “over” it.
But I’m not. I loved him for 14 years. I was his wife. I am his widow. He is not replaceable and I will not just put him on a shelf in the back corner of my closet and forget about him like a doll I loved when I was a child.
Regardless of where this relationship goes, where it takes me (we’ve already discussed that we’re on different paths in life) I am going to revel in the fact that I can just be me… in all it’s happy, in all it’s sad, in any confusions I may have… and that I can talk about those things without fear.
And that.. that is the most amazing gift.