Do I dare say it aloud? Knowing what the response will be, do I dare say it? The responses will come from the heart, I know that. The responses will come from the love so many have for me. I get it, I honor it. But I’ll say it because if nothing else, I’m honest.
I don’t want to do this anymore. This grief.
Don’t panic, please. No, I’m not going to kill myself. I’m not going to harm myself in any way, unless you count harming myself as eating too much chocolate and drinking aspartame (I seldom call it diet pepsi anymore. I know what’s in it and I know it’s cancer causing and I can’t quite bring myself to the point of caring. I need the caffeine). No, I’m not going to slash my wrists or drive into traffic or do any of a thousand things that would kill me. I don’t even want to do those things. I just don’t want to live any longer like this and I’ve done and am doing every fucking thing I can think of to not live like this any longer and you know what? Not one fucking thing I’ve done has changed the level of emotional pain I feel in every fucking part of my body/heart/soul that is the missingness of my husband. I can’t even refer to him as Handsome Husband as I write this. That’s an alias I gave him here in a humorous attempt at maintaining his anonymity. But this is too personal now, too painful.
I know all the words to counter my words and thoughts-words that are true, from people who love me and care about me. That I need to live for my children, that my children need me, that Chuck wouldn’t want me to suffer like this, he would want me to live and love again and enjoy life. That I have a yet unfulfilled purpose to my life so I need to keep on. I don’t know-you fill in the blank of what I must think of and do to keep me wanting to live.
I have done, and continue doing, all the fucking things my mind and heart can conspire to do to engage in life, to be a part of, to live again. I’m continually reaching out in every creative way I can. I’m verbalizing, I’m not hiding my grief, I’m involving myself with social activities, I’m talking with others who have been or who are going through my similar grief, I’m remembering the good times he and I had, I’m allowing myself space and time, I’m not just doing, I’m being.
I’m told so often how brave I am. I so appreciate all the love you give me. I feel it. I appreciate the words of encouragement. They come from your heart to mine. And yet, they do nothing to diminish the pain the same way everything and nothing that I’ve done in the last 7 months since Chuck died has changed the pain in my heart. It’s not for lack of love or trying, folks, and please don’t stop. I don’t know why nothing is getting through, not my efforts or yours.
It’s generally not socially acceptable to own up to such depths of feeling and a lack of will to continue on, is it? Not even to me. I’m not a quitter. I know all the things I’m supposed to know about going on, keeping on, continuing on in spite of. Never give up and all that. Stiff upper lip.
I don’t know why this grief hasn’t killed me yet. Apparently it isn’t going to, at least physically. Which is amazing to me, because I’m eating like shit and not exercising. Yeah, I know. Long term effects and all that. It will come back to haunt me. Whatever. That’s the least of my worries. Its my insides that are showing what’s really going on. My heart, my soul, the part of me that seized life and love and joy and made every minute count? It’s gone. I miss that part as much as I miss Chuck. Picture raw meat, seeping and dripping blood. A graphic show of my insides since he died.
Chuck would want me to be happy. I get that. I would like me to be happy. I know my kids want that for me. Everyone who loves me wants that for me. Fuck, I want that for me. The question is, how do I get from here where I am to there and the happy? Had I died, yes, I would want Chuck to find a measure of peace again. I daresay, however, that it would be a struggle for him too. You can’t fucking spend 24 years with someone, be in a loving marriage with that person deeply and passionately and just easily get back on the horse when they’re ripped from your life.
I’m suiting up and showing up every day, every minute of every day. Possibly, if feelings follow actions, at some point my insides won’t be as shredded as they are now. My outsides are so much at odds with my insides. Outside is dressed decently, makeup on (though I haven’t shaved my legs for some time. It’s cold weather and what does it matter anyways?) a smile occasionally on my lips. My insides? Hollow and pain-filled. Driving all over the country, using maps, using GPS, and yet completely lost. Dislocated. Disoriented. Unsure. Wandering. The dichotomy of grief.
No reassurance necessary here. I don’t need reassurances of a future that is out there waiting for me. My future means nothing to me because I can’t see it. I can barely see to noon-time and that sucks every bit of energy out of me. I’m not really seeing much of anything. I’m doing what needs to be done, making plans, extending myself, engaging with family and friends and strangers. I’m talking and I’m writing. My outsides are doing. Doing. Doing. Doing.