There are things people never talk about, never discuss, things that people don’t want to admit or talk about regarding grief, grief has two faces.
- No one tells you about all the things that come up, the “red tape” that clogs your days and that you are forced to deal with ON TOP of grieving for your spouse and life you used to know. Insurance, wills, probate, bills, accounts, social security, all the random letters and notices, and time spent tracking down policies, and accounts, and canceling appointments, and memberships. No one prepares you for these things. After having to manage through this alone, I have started keeping a record of everything in one place for my family to hopefully spend a little less time on the “red tape” and have a little more time to focus on healing.
- No one share with you, that the experience itself changes you to the core, who you are, what you will be, and basically everything you know. Grief becomes your weakest moment and out of it you need to build yourself up to become the strongest you have ever been. No one tells you that. And most times, or all times, you don’t feel strong, but later, in hindsight, you will feel it. Your outlook will change and you will approach life differently.
- Who knew this experience would be a roller coaster of a ride, with many lows, steep hills, and every time you reach the top, you rush down only to hit another mountain? This is not something you get through, or get past, or get over. It lasts forever, just know that the hills become smaller and start to even out. My emotions would hit me when I list expected it. I would be triggered, and by what? I could not really tell you. I stopped trying to apply reason to my days and of course my nights.
- No one prepares you for the physical pain. The sore muscles, the headaches, and the heart aches. Actual physical pain, not emotional pain, but real physical pain.
- The loneliness. Friendships change when you are grieving. You will lose friends….
- People stay away because they do not want to bother you, they distance themselves or leave your life completely
- Friends are afraid to say the wrong thing
- Friends don’t get it, they want the old you back.
- The bitterness that becomes too easy. It sometimes comes from that angry place, that place that wants to lash out at the world for treating you unfairly.
- Angry at the circumstances, the world, or God.
- Frustrations with others who just don’t seem to understand and therefore judge, offer opinions, and push you in directions you don’t want to go.
- The jaded view and skepticism that everything will in fact NOT work out for the best.
People also don’t want to face that there are actually good things that can come from this experience, if you so choose. The second face.
- There is a strength that you are forced to muster, you may not always feel strong, but you are, just by surviving while grieving and in pain. Everyone has seen an athlete, like a runner, who gets injured during the course of a race but they bravely hobble their way to the finish line. Grief can be like that, you are injured, hurt, but somehow you manage to bravely hobble through each day.
- In many cases, you pick up new skills or learn how to take care of things you may have never had to take care of in the past. Maybe you never had to pay the bills or manage a household budget. Maybe you had to learn to shop and cook for your family, or mow the lawn. Maybe you found yourself learning about life insurance and/or health insurance, and all the ins and outs of accounts you were never before familiar with. Be proud of learning new things and taking on new skills.
- Sometimes you find yourself in a position to build a new life, a fresh start. You may not want to do this, and lets face it, you miss your loved one, and you probably so not want to build a new life without them. But that is not an option. Make the best of this, and make choices for yourself and your family. Create a life you want, instead of focusing on the life you had, or were left with. Build your own world.
- There can be a shift in thought. You may take a new inventory of your life and create a new perspective. What is REALLY important to you? What do you value the most?
No one wants to think or admit that good can come from the death of spouse. No one wants to say that strength, confidence, and new perspective can come from such a major loss. But I am not afraid to let that dirty little secret out of the dark and into the light. Good can come from this, if you let it.