Today has been exactly one month since it happened. Since I started dealing with grief. Since a drunk driver came along and took my husband from me. I miss him everyday, I never stop looking for him even though my brain tells me he’s no where to be found.
I still struggle and I know that I will for quite a while… weeks, months, years. There are days that will always be hard. December 17th: the day it happened. July 10th: his birthday. May 17th: Our Wedding Anniversary.
I get up in the morning and life is not the same, I try to keep moving forward but sometimes feeling gets in the way. There are things that help though. Things that don’t help. I’m not an expert but I thought I would write them down… honestly keeping things straight in my own mind helps but it may also help someone else who’s close to someone struggling.
Although everyone’s grief is different here is my story:
It helps so much when friends and family call or text to check in on me. Thoughts and prayers really do make a difference… they help me to feel less alone.
It doesn’t help when you ask what I’m doing next or what my plan is. I know you’re just trying to help and you’re curious… you don’t know what to say. But here’s the thing. I don’t have a plan… my plan was to grow old with Trevor and up until a month ago I didn’t know I needed a plan B. I’ll let you know when I have a plan, until then just talk to me about him, about me, about you but don’t ask for a plan.
It helps when you talk about him. He is my entire world and even if I don’t show it every second of the day I’m always thinking about him. Friends have sent me stories of him I didn’t know or photos I didn’t have… I love it when you do this! I won’t make new memories with Trevor so please share the ones you have with me.
It doesn’t help when you ignore the subject… I know you don’t want to upset me or make me cry. Sometimes I cry, know that’s ok. But I don’t want to forget him or lock his memory away in some deep dark basement. Even when it’s hard I want to talk about him.
I go from 0 to 360 in the blink of an eye. Sometimes I’m fine and sometimes I’m sobbing hysterically and it only takes seconds to make the switch. It can be over something as silly as seeing a fun young couple at Kohl’s or making taco’s and realizing he’s not here to eat massive amounts of sour cream. It helps when you let me cry, crying isn’t bad or shameful it just is. It’s part of the process. Ask me if I’m ok, give me a tissue, I’ll be ok in a while.
Or as ok as I am these days.
I don’t know when I’ll be better… honestly it may take a while and here’s the kicker. All of this advice? It’s subjective. Some people need to throw themselves into their work, be around people. Others need solitude, quite time to reflect. As far as I can tell neither is wrong but different people grieve differently.
My advice? Be the friend who calls. Be the friend who stops by with brownies to chat. Invite them out for a movie and then realize that going out may be too difficult. They’ve lost the person they sit on the couch with to watch tv, they’ve lost the person they go grocery shopping with, they’ve lost the person they go to restaurants with. Doing all of these things alone is daunting but it may take a little while before they’re ready to do them.
Be there when they’re ready.
I’ve never really experienced loss like this before, I don’t know how I would of reacted before. I probably would have asked what their plan was, avoided talking about anything remotely tear-inducing and tried to stop the tears as soon as they started.
I know I’ll be a bit more understanding the next time I’m confronted with loss. Unfortunately now that I understand what it feels like to lose someone I have so much empathy for anyone else in my position.
If you’re on your own loss journey please share below, I am so sorry sweetheart. I wish I could bring them back for you. Share what helps you, what has helped others and maybe… just maybe we can get through this together.
I miss you honey, I love you so much.
Always and forever.