She’s Having a Hard Time…

More than once, someone has told me about a friend who lost her husband and is not handling it well. That’s pretty much how it’s said each time. Not handling it well means not going out, gaining lots of weight, going into drug rehab…well, you get the idea

I immediately wonder, “are they being critical of me for not grieving enough?” Because of course, it’s all about me.  Then I realize people don’t really care how I grieve and truly it’s not all about me.

I understand the not handling it well. I sure understand how you get there. For the first time in years, I recently thought perhaps I should go buy a pack of cigarettes. It would be easy to start drinking, I think, except that I have all of these things to take care of. I have a teen-age son, two dogs, a yard, a car, a house that needs a new roof.  And apparently I have a strong sense of responsibility.

I now understand why some people get married so quickly after a spouse dies. It’s lonely going through this.  I have no plans to remarry, especially no time soon, but I understand why people do it. I’d love to be able to turn some of this over to another person except that the person who I’d like to turn it over to isn’t here.

I also now understand why some people abandon their spouses during a critical illness. It’s so incredibly stressful to have someone ill and possibly dying. I confess that I felt so very isolated while Dave was in the hospital and then going through his illness at home. I know things happened in the world. I know that I was aware of those events but I can’t tell you now what they were.  Well, I’m pretty sure that Michael Jackson died somewhere in that time.

So, we all find something to distract us, some of those activities being better than others. I’m busy working out. Really–I took a spinning class. I am paying for Pilates classes. I’m eating this healthy diet. I just returned from the produce store with both swiss chard and kale. If you know me, you know this is not me. Well, it is me. It’s me having a hard time dealing with my husband’s death.  It’s just better to become distracted by exercise and the scale than a bar stool.

8 thoughts on “She’s Having a Hard Time…

  1. Jill, I just finished reading your blog. You were on my mind this morning as I was awakening but not yet out of bed. I thought about your journey from the time of Dave’s diagnoses to now. How I could see what you were going through and hear you as you shared the journey…..but did I really know or understand? I mean know as one who has walked that walk. I laid in bed this morning knowing I didn’t…..I just knew the surface stuff. So, with my morning coffee and a fire in the fireplace, I searched for your blog and started my own journey of trying to ‘feel’ what you feel. I know I really never will….not to that extent. However, your courage to write this blog is not only helping you heal, it is helping the reader to have a better grasp as to the complexity of ‘healing’. After all, we don’t want to be friends just ‘on the surface’. We want to support you on all levels.

    Thanks for joining me for coffee yesterday. We will do it again soon and add a walk next time!

    • Thanks, Dawn. I can’t tell you how those cups of coffee while Dave was in the hospital helped me. Those Sunday mornings were a lifeline to the regular world.

  2. Jill ~ (Laura M from Connie’s page :)

    For someone who’s not handling it well, you’re handling it exactly the right way. For you. Wishing you strength.


  3. I sometimes feel like what you describe and my husband just lives and works in another country. When he is here it is like he was never gone, but when he isn’t the emptiness almost seems debilitating. The rainy weather and the politics of this area only make it worse. That strong sense of responsibility’s saving grace is that it won’t let you become completely lost especially when you think or feel that that is exactly what you really want.

    • I guess that sense of responsibility is called maturity. I think absence causes all kinds of emotional pain even when it’s geographical distance.

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