Lately I've been reading and hearing about other people's experiences with grief, and they are inevitably confronted by people who think they should be 'over it'. Sometimes not long after they have lost someone, sometimes years later. Thankfully I don't have too many horrible, inconsiderate people in my life saying these kinds of things, but it has certainly got me thinking.
To me, 4 months isn't that long. Sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago that Sam was here with us, and other times I can feel him, hear him, see him, like he was here only yesterday. But the times when I realise, when it really hits me, that I won't see him again -ever- that's when the grief hits full force.
It doesn't cripple me. Well, not in ways that stop me from functioning completely anyway. But it does manifest in ways that will probably affect aspects of my life or my relationships with people.
And how long can I sustain that? How long can I ask people to put up with it, before they get sick of it and start telling me 'get over it' or ' you should be over it by now'? (yes lovely readers, people have actually said these things to the grieving folk I mentioned earlier).
It's going to have an affect on my health. I know I'm not looking after myself very well - eating too much crap (or just too much), drinking too much, not talking about things when I should, not exercising enough...all of these things will have an impact that I'll have to address at some stage, but how can even begin to get my head around my weight issues etc when I am still trying to get my head around losing one of the great loves of my life?
And I don't want to go out partying. Not really. There are of course times when I enjoy a night out, but they don't happen often. Mostly because I don't want to be away from Ollie or Anthony for too long. I don't want to drink and dance and pretend everything's OK. I want to stay at my house where it's safe and I know where everyone is and what they're doing.
I don't even really want to work. I used to love teaching so much, and sometimes I still do, but the rest of the time I just don't feel like I'll do it justice. I'm certainly not prepared to put in the kind of hours that I used to, and when I think about it, that's probably going to restrict my career path. I'm not going to get promoted with that kind of attitude.
Thankfully I don't feel like this all the time. There are times when I do the right thing, take care of myself a bit better. Times when the grieving part of me shrinks back a little.
But it always comes back. How long will it go on I wonder? It's a rhetorical question I guess. I know the answer. It never goes away, it just gets smaller or easier to deal with (well that's what people say anyway). But what if it takes me too long? What if I lose some other things in that time?
It'll pass (or it'll fade at least), but I don't know when that will happen. Please don't tell me, because you don't know either. Thanks in advance though, to those of you that I know will stick it out with me.
She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts. ~George Eliot