I don’t know what to tell you: Grief Week 21

What if something happens to my daughter and i don’t get to tell her I love her or how proud I am of her? What if our last conversation is our last conversation? I know it’s not something most people think about, but I think about it all the time now–and I know why I think about it.

I really thought Sam would cover back home from the hospital. He said “if I don’t make it, just remember I love you.” But I shook my head. He was going to make it. It was just … whatever it was. They never really figured that out.

20181231_175844In any case, I thought we’d go on with our plans when he got home in a few days. He’d be by my side the next Sunday at church, we’d argue about this or that, but in the end we’d be happy because he was my hobbit and I was his queen of the faye.

But he didn’t come back home. The doctors telling me he was “really sick” was just a polite and indirect way of saying her was dying. I remained clueless until they were sitting on his chest giving him CPR in ICU. Even then I had a tiny hope. They rushed me out and into a private room. I had hope until the doctor came in and told me he had passed.

Now I don’t have the same amount of endless hope. I don’t think everyone is going to make it through. I don’t assume I’ll see everyone again. I remember that my last conversation could be my last conversation. I worry more often.

I remember the first time my new husband went on a trip to north Carolina to visit relatives without me. I was absolutely convinced he would not come back. I cried when he left. I told myself over and over that it was a ridiculous reaction to a simple trip, but I still cried and couldn’t convince whatever part of me was certain he wouldn’t return.

He did come back, of course, and it gets easier with each trip, but I am still paranoid when he doesn’t call by a certain time. I think of traffic accidents, robberies, random acts of chaos, that might take him from me in this life. And that I might be a widow again–and how will I endure that a second time if I am still working it out from the first time?

Most of the time, now, I can calm myself and convince myself that I am letting my imagination run wild and I can reign it in. So far, so good. He is still alive. But every now and again I will think about what I last said to my daughter, mother, brothers, or sister and wonder if fate will be so cruel as to let me regret my last words to them–again. Even if completely inoffensive.

Nothing hits you in grief quite as painfully as regret, because it is so final when it comes to death. It’s hard to ride between the lanes of grief and fear and merge back into hope and optimism.  Much harder than I thought it would be.  I’m still working it out here, every week, and though I feel less depression, I don’t think I feel any more optimistic.  I am in stasis.  Neither here nor there, and the truth is, I don’t know if I want to be optimistic again.  It was a huge fall.

I prefer being realistic, though most people view it as hard or cold.  I suppose that’s appropriate, I feel a bit colder and harder.  A piece of coal turns into a diamond under pressure, and diamonds are cold and hard.  You can’t use them for fuel once they’ve converted.  But I don’t feel like a diamond either.  Once again, I don’t know what to tell you.  Being soft seems so dangerous, but if you’re in a relationship with just about anyone, you can’t be as hard or cold as a diamond.  It defeats the purpose.

I made a cute little doll the other week.  Check her out:

Tiana as the North Star

One thought on “I don’t know what to tell you: Grief Week 21

  1. Grief is a deep cavern. I was seven when my brother died during childbirth. I didn’t quite understand what had happened at first, but when I saw my mother weeping and I could not console her, I began to experience true grief — through her and eventually my own. I spent decades mourning a brother I never got to meet. His loss shaped me as a person. I only came to feel some sense of closure about a decade ago when my parents could finally afford a headstone for his grave. The first time I knelt by it and touched his name, I felt a tremendous sense of relief. My mother, I think, never really recovered. It’s been 43 years, and though she never speaks of him, I still catch her crying on his birthday each year.

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