A young widowed father opening up about living with loss
I gave chocolate and sweets up for Lent once. The first few days were the hardest because that was the time when I thought and talked about the sacrifice the most. Eventually I just got on with it, felt a little better about it, just sort of stopped torturing myself about it, I guess. But at the end of the 40 days I was really ready to indulge. I can’t remember quite how I celebrated but I’m pretty sure I felt sick with pleasure afterwards.
A few weeks ago I had dinner with three friends, each of whom has lost one of their parents in the last three years. We talked about how long it took for people around them to stop talking about or asking about their loss. Turns out not that long. About a year was just enough time for most people to think they should be something like fine. It was no surprise to me that none of us really are, we’ve just got better at hiding it.
Well today I find myself thinking a lot about Lent. Perhaps because I’ve drunk way too much in the last few weeks and it’s time for a(nother) break. But it’s not really that, it’s more about the passing of time. You see, it’s possible for something that you love to be taken from your life and to survive, and perhaps it makes sense that it gets easier on your system over time. But don’t you still want it at the end?
For me time is going by way too quickly. It’s almost ten months since my wife was killed and that’s nearly a year, but the thought that I should perhaps be okay by then appals me. To me it simply means it’s been even longer since I last saw her. And while my system is having to adjust to the lack of fulfilment of her daily presence, my appetite hasn’t diminished in the least.
I’m told it gets easier but I struggle to understand how the not ever seeing her again part can when it always gets longer since the last time I did.