Learning to Live Without You—Day 1,044

Today is day 1,044 of living without him. I thought I would die on that day, and I suppose I did, but my heart continues to beat. I read a quote last night, which captures the feelings I have been experiencing lately. Rob Sheffield says:

It’s the same with people who say, ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’
Even people who say this must realize that the exact opposite is true. What doesn’t
kill you maims you, cripples you, leaves you weak, makes you whiny and full of
yourself at the same time. The more pain, the more pompous you get. Whatever
doesn’t kill you makes you incredibly annoying. (quote)

While I never want my friends to stop verbalizing their pain, I find the quote incredibly accurate in describing my own life. I just happen to be the type of friend who strives to make others feel better. I do not like to see my friends hurting and I recognize when they need a sympathetic ear. In the same regard, people are growing tired of how I continue to whine about my loss two years, ten months, and eight days after suffering the loss of my husband.

I have known for some time that I have to behave as two separate people in order to cope with my grief. Ironically, the therapy (in the form of Facebook) my daughter arranged for me has also become my greatest foe. It is where I go to smile and sometimes, it makes me cry. I have lost friends because they tire of my grief. I have seen posts reminding me just how much I irritate my friends. When they ignore my posts, I feel wounded. Silly, I know, but I seem to have little control of my emotions during the previous 1,501,920 minutes of my life, if it is even what one might consider “a life.”

I am incredibly busy as I embark upon completing a bachelor degree in English. I am sleep-starved as I prepare to enter graduate school, but I think writing may be a thread preventing me from drifting too far away from reality. I am learning that Facebook can only be therapeutic if one says what others wish to hear. My blog, on the other hand, is my blog. So few of my friends read it, and the ones who do are indeed true friends and understand my need to vent my frustrations. That is my reasoning.

I must strive to be two different people in order to continue living. I must appear genuinely happy in public and on Facebook in order to continue living; however, when I am alone or writing for my blog, I can be the pitiful, desolate creature I am destined to become. I can bask in the misery of my grief without the worry of offending others. It is a difficult task to wear the mask of the bereaved, but I have worn it before and I can wear it again.

I read a different quote last night that said, “If you spent less time bitching about your life, you’d possibly enjoy it more.” Supposedly, the “Rock” coined that phrase. I have heard it before though. I do not know how many wives the “Rock” has buried or if he spent the last 90 million seconds of his life grieving the loss of his loved one, but my bet is that he has not. Regardless of how much that particular quote hurt me because it seems to say, “Shut up already and get over it,” I see the truth in it. I do not agree with the latter half because only someone who has not experienced true grief can continue to “enjoy life.” However, I see the validity of recognizing that people tire of hearing people bitching about their lives. I was that person once, prior to experiencing loss. I am not that person now. I know how important it is to express the grief you feel, before it consumes you and threatens annihilation. Shakespeare is correct in his thought, “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”

I am making a promise to myself to manage my behavior more accordingly in the future. If I have learned anything during the last three years, it is that people will not understand the grief you feel until they have experienced it for themselves. I cannot control the behavior of others, but I can control my own behavior. Therefore, once again, I don the steely mask of the bereaved to appease others while I grieve privately. No one will notice. No one will mind at all. The only way they will know my broken heart is through my blog. And it is my blog, after all.

©2012 Relinda R.


6 thoughts on “Learning to Live Without You—Day 1,044

  1. By no means can we belittle your suffering or judge whose pain is worse. You are traveling this path for a reason and I think we take heart in knowing that others with similar paths have made it to a brighter tomorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  2. You have a special gift in being able to put your feelings into words. There are so many people who are not able to do that. You may never know how many people you have helped by the words in you blog. Please keep writing you just might be helping someone that you may never meet face to face.

  3. Sometimes putting on that other face for the world is indeed difficult! For those of us who are concerned about you and the pain you are experiencing, we fear saying the wrong things that will not help but may upset you! Take heart in knowing that others have walked where you are walking and have made it through. You will integrate this loss into your life and have much to offer others who are stuggling. There is hope!

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