A fellow widow and amazing writer (check out her newsletter!) inspired me this week to think and write about the ways I was supported in my early days of grief. I am definitely not a person who believes in forcing positivity or gratefulness in order to solve your problems, however, I think that a reflection on the support that I have received from loved ones in the worst days of my life can be healing. So here it is…my ‘thank you’s for those who held me in those early grief days. I know I am forgetting something or someone, so please know there was more…
To my mom, who slept in my bed next to me for months (I honestly don’t even remember how long it was), thank you. Thank you for making sure I was not alone. I know you were grieving so deeply too. Yet you were there. And my sister for all of the logistics, and behind-the-scenes work you did, even things I probably don’t remember or know about. I know you were taking care of me. Like you always have and always will.
To my dear friend who was on my doorstep early the next morning, maybe a couple of hours after I called to tell you the news. And then you graciously and calmly stayed by my side for the hardest days. And usually, it involved ice cream…lots of ice cream. I know you lost a friend, too. But you were there to hold me in my darkest days.
To my friend who was there for the hardest, darkest conversations. The person who went with me to pick up his ashes. Who never seemed uncomfortable in the trauma of it all. We grew so close during the worst time of my life…
The people who drove 4 hours to be there, for me and for Boris’s memorial service. Thank you. My childhood friend who lovingly did my hair and slept next to me the night before the service. Thank you.
To friends and community who were grieving their friend too…the phone calls, the showing up, the hugs. Thank you.
To my friend who went for many evening walks with me, just chatting about life. Keeping my body moving when sitting still felt impossible.
The friend who took me to dinner almost weekly, and to get our nails done…anything to keep me busy because I know you knew that is what I needed. You knew.
The close family friends and loved ones who fed me, kept me company, and showed up for me, my family, and Boris’s family. Your presence meant so much.
To those who gave me space, or accommodated me, and did things that I wasn’t even aware of so that I had the opportunity to grieve. Those who picked up my slack at work and other obligations. Thank you.
The ones who sent cards, books, care packages, flowers, text messages…thank you for every single one.
And the ones who I didn’t mention…thank you. I survived because of the people who were there in those early days, holding space, being present, and somehow helping me survive the worst pain.