Time passes …
What can I say? There have been awkward conversations. But mostly, I’m reminded how close my friends and colleagues hold me. Their biggest hope is for me to feel better.
And I do.
Though I won’t deny there are particular points in time where it cuts deep, and I cry. Not those polite tears we see on TV. I mean the ones that gave birth to the social media euphemism, ‘ugly cry.’ The tears spill over. I don’t control them.
Still, it actually hurts less right now. And that’s something I can graph.
Looking back, I see and feel the reality of grief. I know, for me, there was first surprise and then acceptance/recognition. At least for the physical part. As a distance runner, I knew how to work through this. I found my breath deeper than I expected on a day to day basis. I stretched when I woke up, but still, my muscles curled up in pain. If I wasn’t talking about it, they were. You can only channel what you know. Hiding it? Good luck with that.
So why don’t we talk about any of this? I am a 50-something woman and I can count on my one hand the meaningful conversations I’ve had about death. My best friend navigating her son’s suicide. A car crash in high school that robbed me of friends overnight. Helping my cousin craft her obituary.
But it’s not really talking about death that is the subject. It is experiencing and sharing your grief. That’s what makes others uncomfortable.
My grief that I’m navigating is for someone that I left, so it is awkward to acknowledge. We were together for 13 years. And then we weren’t. And now, the person in my life is someone who has only learned the details of this relationship as a consequence of death. What should I explain? It was so many years ago.
So I’m thankful he doesn’t ask a whole lot of questions. But offers space, and a hug, if I just need to talk. He doesn’t judge. He doesn’t feel less. He says he’s sorry that I’ve lost someone who was so close in my world for so many years. I love that he can offer that simple solace.