The Pain of Grief

Originally posted May 6, 2012

The tears flowed from Jill’s eyes as she sat there holding her hands over her face in an attempt to block out anything or anyone around her. She just wanted to be alone… to grieve, to cry until she could cry no more. She knew that the family and friends were there to help and give comfort. She felt guilty for wanting them to go away for now, just for a while, so she could cry or scream or beat her fist against something.

This morning, just a few short hours ago, he left for work amid their morning routine. They ate their breakfast of ham, eggs and toast mostly in silence. Fred did ask what her plans were for the day. She answered with a short description.

But this was not on the list. The policemen knocking on her door. The information that he was dead from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Neighbors coming by to see what was wrong when they heard her screaming a spine tingling scream. She couldn’t remember all she was told. She remembered that he was dead. She remembered he was in a car wreck. Something about a high speed car chase and bank robbers or at least she thought that was what had been said.

How could it be? How could it have been such a short time since he kissed her goodbye with an “I will always love you” and “See you this evening” He had never lied to her. She knew it was totally irrational however she couldn’t stop the thoughts. He lied to me.

She was angry – at him, the policemen, the people around her, and God. She was filled with so many emotions that she was drained and her mind turned off. She went to the guest room and fell asleep. Even there the thoughts consumed her dreams. She woke up, took a shower, and dressed. She would grieve afterwards. Right now there were details to tend to. She had an appointment with the funeral director.

They had talked about their wishes throughout the years so she knew what had to be done. The next few days passed in a haze of details and mood swings. Finally, the day came that she was home, alone. Now she could cry. Now she could throw a tantrum like a child. None of it would bring him back to her.

After a while, she started getting into her new routine. One of being lonely even when others were there. She changed all the business information to her name alone when the death certificates came in the mail. The days became bearable. It took longer for the nights. People told her she would never be over it, you just have to keep going. They were right.

She became more and more involved in community activities so she was forced to be around people. She became close to a group of fellow widows and widowers. She enjoyed the company of Tim as he and his wife had been friends with her and Fred for years. They had memories together that they could talk about and laugh at some of the more humorous things that had happened. It was nice to have someone to go places with.

One day, Tim said, “Jill, I care very much for you and have been thinking. Will you marry me?” It took Jill by surprise. She asked for some time. That night she talked to God about it. She looked at Fred’s picture an remembered his words, “If anything ever happens to me, I don’t want you to be alone.” She thought about Tim. He was a good man and she loved him, not in the same way she had loved Fred for that began as a young love. Jill said yes to Tim. They were married in a quiet ceremony with their children and a few of their closest friends. And they found a new happiness.

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Author: Pamela K. Young

I have not only lived many chapters in one life, but many lives in one body. The person I am today is far wiser than the me of young adulthood. My life is like your life with its ebb and flow. We are all connected in some way. I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, but what makes me, well, me is the way I wife, mother, and grandmother. I am a liver transplant survivor. Whatever devastation you have survived, we survived in our individual ways. I create with words and photos. I am a writer and photographer.

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