In a few hours, it will be four months since Barbara died from complications of lupus. In that time, I have found a way to continue day-to-day. I have familial love and support. I have my adopted daughter and her family here with me. Rebeccah, Kris, and their three girls are living with me.
I love them, and they love me, but their primary attachment was to Barbara, and sometimes I think they are here purely out of obligation to her. You see, Barbara made Rebeccah promise to take care of me. On some level, she knew she wouldn’t survive this. Intellectually, I know Rebeccah cares about me, and would not be here if she didn’t want to be. Depression tells me lies sometimes though.
A multi-generational household was a dream Barbara and I shared. I have it now, but for how long I cannot say. Without her here to share it with me, it seems hollow and pointless. I am not handling her death, at all. Oh, I go on every day. But I spend most days in a stupor. There’s no joy in life. I do what I have to do to get through each day. But I don’t leave the house unless I absolutely have to do so. After two years of living in hospitals and grief, I don’t know how to live any more. My friends, such as they are, were more her friends than mine.
I’ve been told it’s normal for friends to distance themselves from a grieving spouse. They don’t know what to do or say, and because they don’t, they simply don’t do or say anything. And they want to give you the time you need to deal with your grief, so they don’t reach out to you. You’re difficult to be around anyway, because you are such a downer. All of these things make perfect sense to me, but they are so very wrong. It just makes the grieving spouse feel even more alone and unloved.
For that, I must credit Rebeccah and Kris. They have stuck through some really difficult times with me over these past four months, and they refuse to give up on me. They have been here. Yes, we have fought, and screamed, and cried. But they have refused to abandon me. I don’t feel like I deserve them, and they know that, and that hurts them too.
I still wonder on a daily basis – Will this ever be better? Will I ever find any joy in life? Am I destined to feel this way forever? I don’t expect anyone here to have the answers to those questions. I do want to say one thing to you all though. Life is sometimes much shorter than you expect, so:
Work like you don’t need money,
Love like you’ve never been hurt,
And dance like no one’s watching.