I’m back on my bullshit. That’s what the kids say these days, right?
A new kind of bullshit for sure. I never wanted to be a widow or a grief expert, but here I am, a member of the worst exclusive shitty club.
My husband died on July 31, 2020. More on that later.
For now, I want to say hello again – it’s been over 6 years since my last post. Potentially 10 years since you subscribed to this blog. I’m sure many of you are like what, who, why am I getting this email? Yes, it was a completely different story Before – feel free to hit that unsubscribe (I wish I could).
I’m not going to try and update you all about my life, but the logline is I moved to Canada, met and fell hard for my love, Michael. We married last April and then in July he died. I found myself widowed at 35, in a foreign country in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s been… difficult.
10 months into the grief I am finding myself needing to write but without an outlet, so here we are. I never thought I’d use this blog again, even let the domain lapse. Not sure if I’ll get a new one. Rebrand? I should, but will I? I don’t know. Suggestions welcome!
I looked back at my last couple of posts and they of course seem silly and pointless. I went to archive them before realizing the whole blog was silly and pointless. Everything from before seems silly. And everything seems pointless now. My life is now divided into Before and After. I am different. I will still try for jokes, but they may be darker than before. So the old posts can stay (for now).
The irony isn’t lost on me that my last post from Before contained a flippant “I guess we all gotta go someday, hey?!”. My experience of death and grief before Mike died was minimal, three of my elderly grandparents’ deaths were expected. My Grandma is approaching her 100th birthday and before Mike died she was the only widow I knew. Some of my friends have lost a parent and I was absolutely clueless on how best to support them. Knowing what I know now, I realise I did and said exactly the wrong things (sorry, dear friends). How was I to know? We’re not taught this.
Grief is a universal state, but it will look and feel different to everyone. I joked about being an expert, but I can and will only ever be an expert in my own grief and try to hear the pain of other people’s grief. Because that’s all that can be done, witness this excruciating unfixable pain. Hollow platitudes won’t fix it. You stranger telling me, at my husband’s funeral, that “this too shall pass” doesn’t help.
We were just getting started and I feel totally ripped off. Like there was an explosion where once was a lifetime of possibility. We both died that day, as did our future together.
I’m still trying to navigate this new world. As if I’ve switched into some alternate reality. I’m never going to be healed or fixed or over Mike’s death. I’m trying to learn to live with my grief. To live with the weight of this loss and pain and guilt. Our culture doesn’t deal with grief well at all. I make basically everyone I talk to about my loss uncomfortable or awkward at best, some people never speak to me again, others have caused me true harm in how they responded. I don’t know if they’re afraid to say the wrong thing, don’t want to “catch my sad”, or something else entirely (is my new natural deodorant not working?)
I also know I’ve been searching for stories of people like me. Clutching at the few I find that I can relate to, shying away from many others or the upsetting platitudes that get pasted over grief or multitude of unwanted advices. Grief is not normalized, and it should be. It’s inevitable for everyone.
So I feel compelled to share my grief with the hope it will help someone who feels similar, or educate those lucky people who haven’t had to experience it on the front lines. I’ll be figuring this shit out as I go, but my basic aim will be to add another voice to normalize grief and reduce various stigma.
With that in mind I want to place a blanket “Grief Warning” for all my content from now on. I’ll add other content warnings as needed, but the grief is inevitable. If it’s too much, please unfollow (no judgement). Not everyone wants to be reminded of the inevitability of death as they stare at their phone for some mindless distraction. I get it. But this is my truth and withholding it is exhausting. So please unsubscribe if you want to or need to… or follow along if you’re game.