This has been a hard week.
Emotional unpredictability is my new normal. I go along doing what I have to, laughing and smiling and then - wham - the mask falls off. The charade is over. The grieving widow emerges. Often its not a pretty sight - so I try to keep it behind my own door. Not even showing my family how it feels if I can help it.
As much crying as I have been doing its too bad that I don't look good when I cry. My face and eyes are red and swollen. Lately I sometimes make unfamiliar primal animal noises without warning. Only remember that happening when our daughter died.
Jim was a wonderful hugger - using those great long arms of his to circle me close. I miss his hugs.
That's one snapshot of what it is like to be wearing grief around your shoulders like a cold shawl.
I realized last week that I have to carefully watch out for myself. When I accepted an invitation to a pot luck supper I was delighted by the thought of being with a small group of friends - couples - that Jim and I had known for a long time and felt close to. That afternoon as I thought about preparing something to take to add to the dinner - I knew I had made a painful mistake. I was not ready to do this - to go to a small group where I would have been with Jim - where I would feel his absence more sharply because if he was not dead he would have been there too. I called and cancelled. "Sorry"
Several days later my bereavement counselor congratulated me for "taking care of yourself. Advising me, Always be sure you have a back door. You need a way out to protect yourself.