Look me in the eye
and repeat after me – I promise not to take offense to the words I read here. And if I do take offense, I promise to be forgiving. We are all doing the best that we can.
Thanks. Now that we have that out of the way, I can share with you my five ugly truths.
1. I hate that others have moved on with their lives. They don’t think about Dave every day. They aren’t faced with daily reminders of his life and their lives together. I hate that life goes on for others when I want to world to stop turning. Misery likes company? I don’t know. Jealousy? Maybe. Of course, life goes on. But for those grieving, it goes on much differently.
2. I am an absurdly proud person. I don’t do well with offers of help. Honestly, I hate the idea that other people would think that I need help. I can cook for my family. I just chose not to. I can clean my own house. I just don’t want to. We do not need any financial help. We are absolutely fine.
The best kind of help that I received over the weeks and months after Dave died is the help that just happened without my permission. My brother came over the morning after to get the house more back to normal before the kids came home. Dave’s sister and her husband came over that afternoon with supplies and tools in hand. If I have accepted your help in any way, then that is a HUGE deal.
3. I hate it when people bring Dave up to me when I am not expecting it. If I bring Dave up, it is because I am feeling strong enough to talk about him. If we have a relationship where we often discuss Dave, then I can usually handle that too. What shocks me if when someone brings him up randomly. But I would hate it if no one wanted to talk about Dave and share stories or tell me how he impacted their lives. So, this is pretty much a can’t win scenario. I never said I was a rational person.
4. I have judged people for not being there for me. This truly is such an ugly truth. The strange thing about this process is that not only have I been monumentally self-centered (while also being focused on the kids), I have been extremely judgmental about people I thought would be there for me who for whatever reason haven’t. Perhaps they are struggling to cope themselves. After all, we are all just doing the best that we can. I have also been humbled by people who have been there for me in ways that I would have never imagined. I guess that in troubling times your true colors show. And I am lucky enough to have many friends whose colors are the brightest of colors in the rainbow.
There is someone who I don’t know (at least I don’t think that we have ever met). She sends me a card every week to let me know that she is thinking about me and the kids. I sense that experience has taught her how important it is to be remembered regularly.
5. I hate the expression “rest in peace” or even worse RIP. In fact, I pretty much hate all of the standard sayings “He’s at peace”, “His suffering has ended”, “He’s in a better place”. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. I mean he was at peace when he died so I guess he is resting in peace. What choice does he have? He’s not in a better place. The best place for him to be, in my opinion, is here with me. I will never use any of these sayings. Instead I will say, “I am so sorry.” “Ugh. This sucks.”
So, there you have it. For whatever it is worth. (Perhaps not much.) My unglossy honest truths in my post-Dave world.