During my first year of widowhood, I learned what coping mechanisms did not work.
I tried to outrun grief, literally. I ran a half marathon 6 weeks after Bryon died. It was one of my biggest accomplishments in my life. I hope to do it again. But with only 6 weeks of training, my knees were not happy with me.
I tried to eat my emotions. I gained back all the weight I lost when Bryon was sick and then some. My knees continued to be unhappy.
I tried to keep busy and outsocialize my grief. But now I am exhausted and nothing is getting crossed of my to-do list. Being with friends is important but I have ignored spending time with myself.
There was one night I had some Spanish red wine. That night I watched Jinger Duggar’s wedding and I bawled my eyes out. But the next morning I had a headache and I was too old to be waking up with headaches.
I would go to Target whenever I was sad. Nothing could cheer me up more than buying my two year old daughter a pair of pink cowgirl boots. However, that cheerfulness would never last long. My daughter had a great wardrobe that year. A wardrobe she promptly outgrew and I gave away.
Writing helped my grief. It helped me sort out my feelings. But it also caused me to intellectualize my feelings which can prevent a person from feeling those feelings. It is a mechanism I have used my whole life.
While I participated in some questionable grief practices, I have never denied my grief. I have always acknowledged it.
But maybe I did something wrong because now I feel a flood of anger consuming me.
Let’s say grief is like an ocean. Grief, like the ocean, can make a person feels small and insignificant. Both grief and the ocean can be peaceful and serene at times and stormy and dangerous at other times. Well I am standing in an island in the middle of this grief ocean and my anger is like a large wave crashing down over me.
Anger for all that happened to Bryon and for all his physical, mental and emotional pain.
Anger at how the events transpired.
Anger that Bryon and I never got to discuss what was happening nor did we get to discuss “what if”.
Anger that Bryon isn’t here to help me raise my daughter.
Anger that Bryon didn’t get to accomplish all his dreams and that we didn’t get to accomplish our dreams together.
Anger at the isolation I feel. Everyone else gets to live normal lives and not the “new normal” that I was told I needed to find when Bryon died. I want the old normal.
The second year is isolating. Just as the reality of Bryon’s death is hitting me, people think I should be “over it”.
The second year is a b*tch and I still have nine months of it.