My husband died on February 4, 2018. It is February 13, 2018 and it is not getting better. It is getting worse and worse and horrifically worse. So, I have been googling grief websites for help. Here is my conclusion.
They all suck.
Here is what they all say in various forms and flavors, with and without religious flavors.
- Surround yourself with friends and family. Totally totally totally totally wrong advice for me personally.
- Take time to breathe, to really feel your breath. Really? OK, I have now inhaled and exhaled oxygen and he is STILL JUST AS DEAD, got any other brilliant ideas????
- Exercise. Yeah, I'll get right on that after i finish sobbing on the couch and oh, I haven't showed in .... let's see, 15 days now.
- See a counselor, doctor, minister, fill in the blank official person. Then after this, there is an apparently obligatory condescending lecture about not getting hooked on alcohol or drugs which I'm very sure never actually prevented someone from getting hooked on booze or blow - "hey wait, that awesome grief website said I shouldn't do this so I'm not going to drink myself into oblivion and I'm going to ask for a refund on this cocaine"....
- Take care of yourself. This is currently my personal favorite, like seriously what does that even mean? Let's say that I got a manicure. Now I have pretty nails, I'm still sad AND now I have no one to go home to show my pretty nails to. Great, now I feel so much better now. Insert, repeat with a massage, a facial, or any other take care of yourself thing.
- Take up a new hobby. With what energy again?
- Yoga. If you know me, you know I'd rather be anal probed with a cattle prod by than take up yoga.
- It will get better with time. That one is just a flat out bald faced LIE. It's been 9 days and it is so very, very, very much worse than the day it happened. Like, five billion powers of sun worse. So yeah, that's a straight up lie.
And that is pretty much the compilation of every single grief website I've seen yet. And I've looked. And looked.
No website says anything remotely like what I'm going through.
Try a few of these on for size. I've talked to other people. But it turns out, these aren't just me. After these happened to me, I got admitted to the secret Widowhood Club and I was told time and time and time again, "Yes, that happened to me too".
Here's just a little bit of the real shit that has gone down for me in the first 9 days since my beloved husband, true love of my life died. Even just one (better yet all) of these things would have been much more useful to know than being told to get a manicure and to take up yoga.
- Even if like me, a woman squarely through menopause, you will probably get a giant huge somebody got murdered in my pants period. Then you, as a post-menopausal woman, will have blood soaked stuff (including sheets and your mattress pad if you're extra lucky) but of course you have no pads or tampons, hello?! But it will not have occurred to you that it could be a period until after you have spent at least 15 or more minutes in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet, heads in yours hands, shocked to find that you have lady cancer. And wow, you'll be seeing your husband sooner that you thought. And just when you start thinking - hey, that's actually not that bad, dying of lady cancer and seeing your husband again soon, THAT is when it occurs to you that it could be a period. And then you ask the post-menopausal Widowhood Sisters they all say "yep, happened to me too". So grief websites minimally should add a bullet point that says if you are female, the moment your husband dies, run out and buy menstrual supplies even if you're 81 years old. You won't want to have to ask someone else to do it for you. Ask me how I know this.
- You're going to have the worst fucking nightmares you can conceive of about your dead husband, about him not being dead but you cremated (buried) him anyway, or 10,000 other horrible things. Every night. Nightmares.
- You become stoopid. For example, I have yet to get in my car, drive, and not have to either stop my car (not kidding, stop in a parking lot or residential street) to search my memory for where the hell I was going. Sometimes, actually no, often, I never do remember and I turn back around and drive home. I tried to drive to the Bank of America the other day. It is 3 miles from me and involves exactly one right turn out of the neighborhood and one right turn on a particular street - drive straight for 3 miles. I have lived in this neighborhood for 14 years. I got out of the neighborhood. I had to pull over and call my dad and ask where the BoA was. Thankfully, he just told me, didn't say "uhhh, have you lost your mind" because I would have been obligated to say yes, and then I finished driving there.
- Speaking of home. I had no idea that I would leave my home at 5 am the day he died, shortly after they took his body away, and that I'd still be at a fellow widow friend's house 2 weeks later because the trauma of going home without him is ... well, a trauma. Unless you are a person who never left home after his death, and/or if being at home is a comfort to you, and it wasn't for me, that first trip back through the door is a real bitch.
- It doesn't get better with time. It gets different with time. I wish that Congress would pass a law requiring all grief websites be accurate and say that it gets different, not better.
There's so much more. But this entire blog is my pissed out, painful, hurting, I don't know what else to do BUT write rebel cry to tell the real searing honest grueling horrible truth about grief. I'm writing as I live it. I am not writing from memory after it happened. I am writing this in the here and now.
Grief is not surreal, it is super real. Too real. It's raw, ugly, vicious, searing, soul-sucking horrible.
Welcome to my blog.