I Am a One-Month Grief Survivor

I have survived my first month of grieving. I’m surprised it was so hard, and I’m surprised I survived it (at times my lungs stopped working and my heart felt as if it would burst with all the pain) but in the world of grief, a month isn’t much. Still, I’ve come a long way. I can look to the future, though I know the best way to deal with that future is to deal with each day as it comes — thinking of living the rest of my life without my mate makes me sick to my stomach.

And I have moments when I can stand outside my grief and see the process for what it is. Grief is an enormous undertaking (I hesitated using the word “undertaking” since it’s so close to “undertaker,” but it’s a good analogy because grief is, to a certain extent, facing the death of a part of you). Grief involves physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and in my case, geographical changes. Grief rocks you to the very depths of you being — a soul quake. Grief changes your sense of self, your sense of your place in the world. Grief affects your self-esteem. There is only one other experience of such immensity — falling in love.

I have come to realize hate is not the opposite of love, grief is. Grief encompasses all the wild emotions, the life-changing experiences, the immensity of love, but in reverse. Falling in love with the man I was to spend decades with and grieving for him are the bookends of our life —  not my life, my life will continue, though changed —  but our life, the life we shared.

I wonder sometimes if I’m going to change out of all recognition. I’ve gone through so many life-changing experiences in the past year that I no longer know who I am. And if one doesn’t know who they are, how can they write? Because isn’t writing is essentially an expression of who we are? If, as L.V. Gaudet rebuts, writing is more of a discovery of our inner selves, then when I get back to writing, the writing itself will change me.

Will he recognize me if we ever meet again? Will he be proud of what I become? I guess that is part of the future, not of this day. And right now, this day is all I can handle.

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