Thursday, October 22, 2009

GRIEVING...WHEN IS IT TIME?

Too soon? when then?
and who judges when?

This is not about anyone in particular. It could be written by you,
or me. anyone who has lost a spouse.
Well, I am writing it but with several people in mind. As
it has happen to many.

Losing one's spouse is devastating. Especially when it is
sudden. Heart attack? car accident? no good byes, lots of
feelings to sort out. Leaving one in a spin for at least a year.
Some even more.

Then there is the ones where you do have good byes. Years.
Those who are sick a very long time. The spouse/caretaker,
lives it every day, day in and day out. Especially if the sick one
is at home all that time. Even with outside help, the caretaker
is on duty 24/7. Day after day of stress, that those who have
not gone thru it, don't really understand.

The caretaker loves their spouse. Almost more than life.
They get tired but they wouldn't have it any other way.
It is their desire to do a good job of taking care of the
love one... after all the vows say "til death do us part".
Their life and body is wound in the sickness. And sometimes
it takes the caretaker. They will pass before the spouse.

When finally the end comes. The caretaker is left empty.
The tightly wound life, is all of sudden gone. Leaving the
spouse/caretaker suspend in a void, that once was so full, that
there were not even moments alone. Then the duty to
take care of the precious end of the spouse. The funeral,
or memorial, dealing with family members, making sure
they are ok. People stay with them, family and friends.
And then it is all over. The end..........

So the spouse goes thru the motions of life. Working,
takes up a lot of the time. The nights are lonely and
empty. The grieving is lightening up some. And family
has gone back to their lives. And life returns to normal
for everyone.

Then somewhere, a grocery store, church, walk in a park,
maybe an old friend from years before.... some where, some
one enters that person life. Some times it happens in a year,
some times earlier. Maybe months from the death of their
spouse. Some one who you enjoy talking to. Some one
who you share a dinner with, maybe a movie. Some one
who gives you a hug, when you have not been hugged
by someone other than the quick ones from family and
friends. You feel the warmth of it, almost makes you
melt, you have forgotten how it felt. And then maybe
a little guilt, because you feel like you are cheating. Yet
tears of acceptance.

More dinners, movies and laughter, gosh you haven't laughed
in a long time. You start to enjoy your time with the person.
Look forward to a phone call, or a walk on the beach or park.
Things are starting to look up, life... seems to be starting again.
You feel free and enjoying life in all of its phases.

AND THEN.. some one ... family, or a friend, let's slip a few
words, of don't you think it is a little soon? What would your
love one think? Others are more understanding, and tell
you that your spouse would want you to start life over and
get on with your own life. You might have even had the
discussion with your spouse. Long good byes do provide
some heavy discussions, even if it is a short thought.

So, is it too soon? When will you know it is ok? Will people,
friends and family understand? Will they understand that
you have been wound up in sickness and death, lost of love?
Will they understand you are starting to feel free again. And
is that bad? How long do they think you should grieve? How
long would they grieve? Do they understand that you started
grieving in private when you and your spouse found out that
their illness was terminal? Don't they understand that you
still love your spouse? You still miss them with all your heart,
but you also know you have to go on with life?
It isn't about sex, it is about companionship...

I hope they will understand that grieving for 3 or 4 months is just
as acceptable, as years for others... especially when the spouse
has been ill for year or years... before you judge, try to understand.

4 comments:

Dogwalk said...

Whew!

MarmiteToasty said...

What another loverly post........

x

Bay Views said...

Now that was a from the heart philosophical comment on grief, best I've ever read.

Word Tosser said...

thank you, Herb