Saturday, April 17, 2010

Life Got Away From Me, Again

I remember when the grief was still so raw, so fresh, that I was blogging practically every day for the first couple months. And gradually it has become more and more sporadic, especially at times like this when we are settling into our new house and trying to find ourselves here.

Instead of sitting inside at my computer, I find myself outside talking to my neighbors. Or unpacking a box. Or doing my nails, which I have started enjoying again. Or cleaning my kitchen. Or doing a huge shopping trip at Ikea, which I did today and got everything I needed, except for the two bar stools which I forgot, and a lamp.

I just haven't made the time for blogging lately. I'd say sorry, but you know what, I'm not really. Sometimes I just don't want to write, and I just want to live, and be happy and do normal things and not have to grieve all the time.

Speaking of grieving and being happy, the word is spreading like wildfire throughout the neighborhood that I am a widow. That's ok, because I started it. I didn't want people to think I was this divorced mom of four. So I've told whomever I've met so far.

Yesterday evening before grief support, I was over at Brenda's getting our home owner's association paperwork, and we got to talking about Barry a bit. She started laughing really awkwardly and asked me why I was so happy. WHAT?!?!?!? Yes, she asked me why I seemed so happy, and THEN proceeded to ask me if he was abusive because I seemed so happy he was gone. What the fuck!

Obviously people don't know what to say when they feel awkward about something, because not that long ago, someone else asked me how my husband was killed? Again, WHAT THE FUCK? He wasn't killed, he DIED IN MY ARMS IN THE HOSPITAL. He died, he wasn't killed. It's called a THESAURUS people, learn how to use one.

Anyway, back to Brenda. I was a bit put off, obviously, as anyone would be, but I swallowed my irritability, and explained to her why I am the way I am. Because I have no choice. Really, I am what other people would deem "happy" because I have four children that need me and rely on me. I explained to her that I grieve every single day, but my time comes in the evening after the kids go to bed, that's when I cry most of the time. I explained that he was the best, most wonderful husband I ever could have asked for, that he provided well, that he was the best daddy every, and that we loved him and missed him so much. And then I also explained that when he was alive, he was a truck driver, which is why I know how to go about day to day life without him. Because really, this is all we have known for 8 years. Yep, he started trucking in April 2002, when I was just a few months pregnant with our now 7.5 year old.

After hearing my explanation, I think she understood a bit better, but I'm sure its still hard for the majority of people to grasp how I am able to keep a smile on my face. Barry would tell me "Buck up Joanna, stop whining and get on with your life and take care of the kids!", and that's just what I have done. Only a few choice people really see the real Joanna, the one who is grieving every single day, and those are a few of my close friends and my immediate family. Only they have seen me break down, and throw temper tantrums and cry and scream and sit in the cold in my van by myself on Christmas day night. Perhaps Barry's job was a blessing in disguise, because it prepared me for this.


Chrissy said...

Joanna, I went thru the same.. My daughter was having her hair trimmed at a friend's house... I hadn't said anything about my husband's death since the news did spread like wildfire...The friend told my daughter that she was surprised that I wasn't crying when I was over at her house! Why is it that people expect the person who has lost someone to be crying like a nut? Another friend was questioned as to why I wasn't boohooing... My friend said that she was wrong about me and even she was disgusted w/what that person said... The other person had the nerve to say " Asians are stoic, they don't show emotion".... maybe true, but I will say 'we' aren't crying idiots... And to those that ASSume that widows and widowers should be crying like a lunatic should take a step back and not ASSume....We all grieve in our own way.... BTW, u do know u are going thru that cycle... You are advancing.. and not being stuck in one ;place... that is a good thing Joanna and Barry would be very proud of you....

Crystal said...

I understand this totally. You could CHOOSE to dwell in misery and that would destroy you and your children. Instead, you are choosing life. CHOOSING it and doing your best with what you have been given. It really is not an option to destroy your children if you love them, so you keep going and keep smiling despite the heart ache. You are strong, you are beautiful and you are a wonderful mom.

Jessica said...

I guess people like Brenda would appreciate a signifier that you were, indeed, mourning, like if you were wore all black for 4 years. Seriously, what the hell?? I'm sorry you're having to field these kinds of questions, they're ridiculous and really outright rude. Grief comes in all shapes and sizes. I suspect someone like Brenda will also think you should "be over it" after some pre-determined amount of time, as well. Just keep your chin up and be prepared for the most cockeyed preconceptions about grief you can imagine. I love what you're doing with your life.