Quite frequently these days, as I begin my 3rd year without him, I find this particular quote sent to me, or posted on my timeline. Grief is a stage through which we pass and not a place to linger. Okay, I get that. I even agree with it. But it doesn’t help me a damn bit to read it.
We are told that grief is an individual process with no timeline. But…it’s a stage. Don’t linger. How do we know when we’re lingering, is my question. And even more so, when we’re dealing with it in as many healthy ways as we can conceive, and the devastation remains present, how do we get from here to there? And anyways, aren’t those two statements contradictory to each other?
I read a post today written by a woman offering life coaching, dealing specifically with widow support (the author is herself a widow), and she offered support in letting go of negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, etc. Which sounds great on the surface but why are those necessarily negative emotions? Why are we as a culture so reluctant to give space to the darker emotions and recognize them as normal? Why must we march herd-like through life feeling only positive? Why are we pressured to move quickly through so-called negative emotions into the land of happy, happy, happy? Why must we always be tip-toeing through the fucking tulips? What about giving space to the darkness so that we can reach the fucking light?
You know what would be helpful in the midst of this confusion for me? If you’re going to send me something about moving through grief, include step-by-step instructions as to how to do it. Don’t just do a hit and run, along with a handy little tidbit about growing from grief or allowing it to destroy you. Give me some solid shit I can hardwire into my brain and do. Because I will. I’ll do whatever I need to do because I hate being this person I don’t even recognize. Haven’t recognized since the night my husband took his last breath.
This widowhood is the most confusing thing I’ve ever gone through. Ever. I don’t recommend it to anyone.