Sunday, September 9, 2012

Unpredictable days

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.
I shy away when anyone else hugs me... almost cannot tolerate that touch because it makes me miss his touch all the more.

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.

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