A young widowed father opening up about living with loss
The day after I started writing this blog I published a post entitled Imagining It as a way of responding to the frequent comment, “I just can’t imagine what you’re going through”.
Six months to the day after my wife’s death I revisited that post to somehow help chart what the passage of time had done to my feelings. I thought the next natural milestone would be nine or 12 months, but this morning that somehow didn’t feel right.
It’s been eight months today since Desreen was killed. I’m sure there will be few eight month anniversaries of anything discussed in the world today, save for the odd adolescent romance. In business we plan and report in ‘quarters’ but rarely do we ever discuss ‘thirds’. If we did, it would be two-thirds of my year today.
But I’m actually not trying to make up more milestones than necessary to mark the death of my wife. I don’t need them because every day is significant to me. But when I woke up this morning I thought it would remiss of me not to update that early post again today. Not just because today might be seen as another marker in the sand, but because of what else has happened this week. With my grandma’s death, grief has interrupted grief. And that has made me feel feelings that I felt I should capture.
So this is how it feels to me after eight months.
It feels harsh.
Harsh because two days ago, when Jackson saw a picture of his great-grandma from a few years back looking healthier than she did a fortnight ago, he asked, “She better now?” and yet I had to tell him she’d gone.
Harsh because his reply was, “It’s okay, I’ll go and find her”.
Harsh because when I look at the pictures of Desreen and Grandma together it’s hard to believe that two of my three favourite women in the world are no longer here.
It feels like shock.
Shock because I think my mind is shutting out much of the pain that I will someday feel to somehow protect me from hysteria.
Shock because I’m not feeling anything very strongly this week.
It feels like confusion.
Confusion because for once I’m almost lost for words.
Confusion because this second bereavement in eight months has left me with so little to say about either today.
Confusion because I don’t know where my grief for one person stops and the other one starts.
Confusion because I’ve realised that grief can’t always be isolated and devoted to just one person.
Life and more death come along to interrupt its flow, throwing feelings into further turmoil and creating more confusion than ever.