Grief – Month Seven

Image result for vaya con dios - johnny cash
Some true truths about grief…
It’s been seven months since Johnny died so tragically and unexpectedly. I’ve written a couple of posts about grief over these awful days but this one will be my last.
Before I move on to do more of the things by myself that he helped me to do for so long, I want to tell you the truth about grief.
It is enormously painful both physically and emotionally. There is nowhere to go in my life where I can escape it. Little things pop up here, there and everywhere that jog my memory and overwhelm me all over again and again and again with sadness.
A peculiar thing is that grief has become worse over time, not better, as I’d initially hoped and expected. In the early days, shock must have protected me somewhat, then busyness regarding arrangements and donations.
Work is a great blessing and I am always busy. Some days I’ve had to force myself to do even just one single thing…but I did something every single day, day after day. Most days I did many things. I can tell you right now that you cannot work your way out of grief. It chases you and it can run faster than you ever could.
While I’ve accomplished a great deal in these months, I’ve also drunk more wine than usual, eaten too much ice cream and cheese, exercised too little, declined nearly all invitations, taken the xanax I was prescribed, watched mindless tv and sat in my car and at home crying for hours. I forgave myself for all of this uncharacteristic behavior by thinking that this would be just for a little while, until the grief lifted.
Now I know that the grief will never lift. It is not ever going to end. I need to find a way to live with it as a constant companion and get back to my shattered life anyway. So that’s the way forward.
People don’t tell us the truth about grief. People like me and others often put on brave faces and act like everything is ok. I think this is in some ways a disservice to those who will come into grief after us. I wanted to post about my experience in the hope that it might in some small way help others to cope.
We need not feel embarrassed about our grief. Sadness and tears are not shameful. We don’t have to stay home because we might suddenly become overwhelmed and weep. We can go home early if we need to. Memories are unavoidable. They seem to be everywhere. Grief is a part of life.
Johnny loved music like this simple little song sung by Johnny Cash. “Vaya Con Dios” means “Go With God.” Now we each need to go our separate ways. I have much planned for the future and wonderful people helping me with my work. I need to get on with life without him and not wait to feel better. I need to befriend grief and find a way to live with it.
We pay for everything in life. One of Johnny’s favorite sayings was “There”s no such thing as a free lunch.” He was right. I’m ready to pay the price for such wonderful memories of my life with him.
I’ve been so richly blessed…for so long… with the gift of a great love …and love never dies.
RIP my beloved Johnny.
#drmary #emotionaleducation #grief #love #forever