Grief - Does it Ever Go Away?
#46 I wonder.
It’s been a year since my husband died from complications of COVID; it’s been six years since I first noticed his failing memory and then watched him lose bits and pieces of himself over time. I’m a psychologist who helps clients who experience loss and thought I was prepared to manage the paralyzing grief that still unexpectedly rises. Wrong!
Family and friends have been very supportive and we do many things together. I take care of the house, pay the bills, keep myself going, and have fun times. Yet, underlying everything is this deep sense of loss – of missing his presence, sharing ideas and memories with him, holding his hand, and so many other things. Expressions of love and sharing that will never happen again.
He is part of our conversations, pictures and reminders of him are throughout the house, and we honor his birthday. I have conversations with him in my mind and carry a reminder of him in my pocket. All that is well and good, but he’s not here – our life together is gone, and there are no words to describe or process that loss yet.
The best advice about healing I found is that a person must accept, forgive, and move on. I have to accept - he’s not here, I can forgive myself for things I wish to have done differently, and I am moving on because I must. OK – working on that.
But for now, I am using that advice differently. I am accepting that I miss my husband beyond anything imaginable, I am forgiving myself for not getting over the grief sooner, and I am moving forward even though there is an underlying level of sadness that colors everything. That’s my best for now.