Everyone Grieves Differently…
For the past 11 days since Daddy’s physical form passed away my life has been put in a blender, spun into puree, and spit back out again. The impact of The Captain’s passing has hit many, many people hard. Everyone deals with grief differently.
Personally I don’t like to cry in front of people. Tons of people have teared up, extended their condolences, offered food and comfort, and I accept the help when I can. When someone is crying about Daddy in front of me, grieving for my loss (as well as their own connection to Daddy), I automatically go into my “nurturer” mode. I give them a hug. I thank them for their comfort and support. I reassure them that Daddy’s spirit is alive and well, and that most importantly, he is at peace. I assure them that Daddy never suffered nor felt pain in his physical passing. But…. I don’t cry with them. Is that weird? I don’t know.
Only when I’m alone in the wee hours of the night, talking aloud to my beloved, does my exterior finally crack open and suddenly large tears rolls down my cheeks. The “real” me gushes out and I become a blubbering mess reaching to the sky for my “Nani” (our nickname for Daddy). Only when I am in total privacy do I finally allow myself to just. let. go.
Going through this process has been several layers of hell. There is the grief and loss of Daddy (of course), the life we built over 10 years, the dreams we made and shared, and the loss of everything we were working towards. Then there is the grief in watching everyone who knew him on a day to day basis just openly cry at the loss of their colleague and friend. And finally, there is the grief in watching extended family who, while Daddy was alive, never savored time in getting to know him better. Now…. they hold deep guilt, regret, remorse, and pain. That pain manifests in many forms.
When someone you love passes away suddenly there are two levels to the entire process: the emotional and the legal. You grieve and (in my case) forever grieve the loss of your soulmate, best friend, and confidante. And then there is the legal process. Their body goes off to a coroner. You have to wait for death certificates. You wait have to schedule the cremation and funeral. There are forms to be signed, sheriffs to talk to, and tons and tons of decisions to be made. And in the thick of it all….. everyone around you has an opinion. Gosh, it’s A LOT!
Today my husband’s family suddenly arrived into town without warning demanding to see his body prior to cremation. They were stunned and livid to find out that they couldn’t just “walk into” the funeral chapel to view my husband: a. without my permission and b. because there are legal rules for viewing a body. This isn’t like going into a department store! It’s my husband for crying out loud! Sighs. Grief makes people do things that are illogical and the best thing we can do in that situation is to have patience. Loads and loads of patience.
In my “down time” between decisions being made I have been cleaning and downsizing the house. Keeping my hands busy helps with my anxiety. In one month kiddo and I are moving to the Pacific Northwest, and I want to be ready to go. This is going to be a massive change for the both of us. I look at Daddy’s picture countless times a day and think, “holy s**t…. not two weeks ago my life was normal. Things were fine! And then…. now….”. My life is in boxes, bags, paperwork stacks, and laundry baskets.
I know kiddo and I will slowly get through this. I have enough clarity to know what to do with the remainder of my life. Now… I just have to put one foot in front of the other.
Until next time.
3 thoughts on “Everyone Grieves Differently…”
Unfortunately death of someone brings out the worst in certain people. Feel like there is always some drama surrounding a funeral. Focus on the important things.
I totally understand that feeling of wearing a mask around others when grieving. And I also get the need to break down when no one else is watching. Unfortunately this process is not going to go away anytime soon…
This may sound weird, but look into Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo. Leave the sentimental things last. Organize and pack the rest first.
“Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch.” —Jack Thorne
Sending hugs, Penny. I imagine there are some cultural differences/customs with his family that may account for their beliefs about being able to have access to your husband’s physical body. I am so very sorry you are facing all of this .