I’ve been experiencing significant losses in my life recently. But with limited friends near where I live, I have no idea how to find new ones when all I have to talk about is my best friend that died in my house or my cancer ridden little dog who is about to cross the rainbow bridge. It’s not all I think about, but it is the most prominent feature of my vocabulary because the losses are quite recent.
What I find most disturbing is that I feel like I should be “over” my best friend dying. I knew her for 37 years. We lived together for about 27 of those. She knew me better than anyone else on the planet. She knew my secrets and kept them to her dying day. She was my memory because when I suffered so much trauma as a kid, I didn’t remember much. She kept track of my life. I loved her truly and deeply. And although not my blood, my sister, died at 50.
My 95 year old friend, Miss Marge said that “Grief is just love with nowhere to go.” A random chaplain I saw at the hospital while waiting for Bean’s sister to arrive said, “Maybe you were the face of God she needed to see before she could find peace.” My mom said, “Grieve because you love so deeply.” All comforting words that help me feel a bit better.
Last year I lost so many people I thought it was somehow a cosmic joke. Like the Universe was declaring war on me but kept missing. Side note: I told my former pastor that he helped me not be mad at God anymore, but now I’m pretty pissed off again. This year has been deeply profound losses. So much so that I have pondered whether it’s even worth it to keep trying.
As a society we’re not allowed to take our time and grieve. On the day my friend died I still went to work. I didn’t take time off. I can’t afford to. I told anyone I talked to about her death. I just wanted people to know that an extraordinary person in my life was gone. That a light had gone out in this world and I couldn’t see hope.
I’ve been given the platitudes and every one makes me feel like hurting the concerned person. I know they mean well. I know they aren’t trying to belittle my suffering, but for now, and for a while, just let me grieve. I don’t need to be fixed. I’m not broken. I’m human. I’ve lost someones I loved dearly.
I try to shuffle what I feel under the rug because I don’t want to be a burden to anyone. I don’t want them to worry if I don’t get out of bed for days (I’m not counting the 18 hours). I don’t want to feel the rejection of my feelings as they talk about their lives and what they’re dealing with. I’m barely hanging on here.
I cry when I eat dinner. I cry when I lay in bed. I cry when I look at my little dog and know I have to let her go. I cry when I shower. I cry at the news. I cry because for the first time in a long time, when she moved in, I felt happy. I felt like I had a piece of my heart back. I felt like I was on top of the world. And now…all I do is cry because I miss her so much.
I’m sorry this is so morose, but it is a conglomeration of my grief, my attempts to deal with it, the experience of my loss. It feels like I’m missing a large chunk of who I was because I lost my memory. I lost my secret keeper. I lost my childhood connection to hope.