Three months after he was gone

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This blog will seem disjointed as you read it. My thoughts are disjointed, but I think it will all come together if you read through to the end.

September 8th: It is three months now since he has been gone. I have cried, sometimes totally bereft, but not as often as I did before. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss him. I miss him every day, hour and minute. It just means that life goes on. When he died I thought it stopped, at least for me. But it didn’t.

I realized one day this week that we all have two choices. We can get up out of bed every morning and put ourselves out there to possibly face ridicule or we let good things come into our lives. But it seems easier some days to stay in bed and curl up in a ball. It was the day I had this epiphany – not really such a prophetic realization, but a simple thought that stayed with me that day. It was that day when I encountered the most hurtful and painful anger.

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Bob was a family man. His parents, children, siblings, granddaughter, nieces and nephews were most important to him and me of course. Forgiving transgressions has always been part of our family’s culture. We don’t always agree with decisions made by others, but do our best not to judge. And when a family member is in trouble we are always there to help.

Bob wanted to protect his family from harm or hurt. He wasn’t authoritarian. So if he got mad his children stopped and listened. Sometimes they just did what they wanted anyway, even if he disagreed. Kids are like that. But they always thought twice about something if Dad didn’t approve.

*****

People often say to me, “Bob would have wanted” this or that. I don’t know what he would want other than to be with us. He wasn’t ready to die. We weren’t ready to let him go. But I do know he would be hurt and angry if his death created a chasm between his loved ones. I saw that happen this week.

*****

We all grieve in different ways. We go through the stages of grief – denial, anger, and somewhere down the road comes acceptance. But from what I can see the danger is in the phase of anger, and anger, like all the phases of grief, can arise over and over again, alone or in conjunction with other phases of grief.

I have tried to understand and give leeway to those who are also grieving Bob’s death. I don’t feel my grief is any more important than anyone else’s. I don’t judge how others grieve. I’m not angry at them. If grief separates us for a while, that’s o.k., as long as we come back together. But what happens when grief becomes anger that festers? What happens when things are said that can’t be taken back? I don’t think there are a lot of things that can’t be taken back with “I’m sorry” and a hug, but if the anger is so vile and ugly and hurtful it may take on a life of its own. I saw that happen this week.

Bob loved all of us and trusted us to stay strong together. He would not want us to hurt one another or judge or be spiteful.

Our grief and grieving is not about ourselves, it is about the loss of someone we loved. Some people choose to move more quickly. Others are more pensive. No one’s grief is more important or sacred than anyone else’s. We must be tolerant of everyone’s grieving process and forgiving, even if we don’t share the same feelings as someone else mourning our loved ones. Judgment of another’s grieving process at this fragile time is dangerous. Words can be said and deeds done that can’t be undone.

I have felt so much loss these three months, but never so much hurt as I felt this week when anger spewed its ugliness at me. What would Bob say now if he was here? Knowing who he was I am sure he’d be mediator and smooth things over. I am sad to know that his death has caused a divide that will be hard to mend. I will try to forgive but it will take time to forget.

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10 responses »

  1. I am so sorry that someone who is grieving the loss of the same person as you spewed venom at you in their anger. You are right; sometimes things are said that shouldn’t be – and they cannot be taken back. You are wise; showing your understanding of why it happened is the first step toward healing yourself. Other people must deal with their own feelings, deeds, grief and regret. <>

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  2. I find every day since m Brian died that it is hard to put one foot in front of another and carry on, let alone have those that we love hurt us to the core of our being. This is a time when our loved ones should be supportive not destructive or hurtful. When you lose a loved one your emotions are more fragile than we realize. Anything negative that is thrown in your direction stings so much more and makes it harder to climb up the ladder.

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  3. I really enjoyed reading Three months after he was gone. Wisdom comes from the most challenging experiences of our lives, especially when dealing with hurt and anger. We can use the eyes of our soul instead of the eyes of our ego to create the beauty instead of the ugliness . Thank you so much Suzanne for sharing. It does makes a difference for all your readers.

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  4. I remember being distraught facing the breakdown of family relationships after my husband died. I felt that I was doing Brad a disservice and tore myself up over this new loss. It was an interesting lesson in just how differently people grieve. None is right or wrong, but it was frustrating to watch others who seemed to completely bottle emotions. Ultimately, I do not have control over anyone but myself though. If that hurt separates, then that is the way things have to go regardless of what your wishes may or may not be.

    I hope you can walk away from this pain Suzanne. You have enough on your plate without having to worry about what someone else is thinking and feeling. Peace to you.

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