After a week short of being nine months a widow, there is still nothing anyone can say that would make me feel better.
Oh, believe me, there are good days in between the total meltdowns but they are few and far between. The smile on my face hides the raw pain from the outside world. Wine doesn't kill the pain, starting to smoke again after thirteen years doesn't take away the stress (so knock that one on the head!), neither valium nor antidepressants ease the ache, and burying myself in my work is only a temporary relief until I open the front door in the evening. I have come to realize that even with a supportive family and very good friends it would be very easy for me to become a recluse. There have been weekends when I have stayed behind closed doors from Friday evening until Monday morning when it's time to face the world again.
I am told, as I am so quick to tell others when they have lost a loved one, to treasure the memories but I find it hard, very hard to get past those last few days in the hospital when it became obvious that my husband wasn't going to survive. That horrendous memory is locked in my head and it seems as though someone has thrown away the key.
Today, I am in total meltdown. I am not sure whether it is a result of having been unusually busy work-wise over the last two weeks and today finding that I could actually relax or the fact that I am so very tired, that the thought of cleaning, washing and cooking is totally overwhelming. For someone so organized, it's hard to get my head around what's happening.
I know one goes through several stages after a loss. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance although the first four really not necessarily in that order. That was confirmed to me yesterday by a dear friend who just happens to be a priest but funnily enough, we weren't discussing me.
This year my husband and I would have been married for thirty two years. That together with the two previous years of knowing one another, is sometimes just too hard to think about. Maybe when the raw pain has eased and I come to accept the loss, devastation and anger are a thing of the past, the smile I smile now will be genuine, the raucous laughter real and the fun filled, witty person who people believe has actually already recovered, will really be back.
A mask is a terrible thing.