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.