“Resilience does not mean bouncing back to where you were before or pretending that the hard stuff isn’t hard. It’s painful, messy stuff. But, it’s the stuff.” ~ Lucy Kalanithi
When my fellow grievers ask, “How are you?” I want to tell them I’m fine.
I’m farther on the journey, so I want to tell them it gets better—because it has. I want to tell them I miss him now more than ever—because I do.
They’re not grieving the man I am—my beloved who died 15 months ago. Each of these friends carries their own loss—more recent, fresh and raw.
I tell them I’m moving on, even seeing other men, but my heart is still deeply in love with Kevin.
Kevin is dead.
With these two friends, I can say his name loud and proud, although they only know him the way I know Jeff’s brother, Michael and Sharon’s sister, Judy—through afterlife stories.
I don’t tell them about the morning I woke up with the man I went to bed with the night before only to be deeply disappointed—not because of anything I did or didn’t do or who he is—but, because he isn’t Kevin. So, I went into the bathroom and sobbed.
I’m still so sad. Even these two, who completely get it, aren’t privy to the part of me that’s in agony.
I’m not keeping a secret from them; I’m keeping it from myself.
I’m still sad. I don’t think any other man will ever compare. I’m mad that my man is dead—still. Hasn’t he been dead long enough?
I envy the two grievers sitting opposite me in a booth at Matt the Miller’s bar because they have long term marriages with the loves of their lives. I’m jealous.
I wanted a chance at that—even though Kevin and I came together decades after we met, giving us a late start off the bat. But, really? That’s all we got—a start?
I talk to my friends about divine timing—how I believe my brother, mother and beloved lived their full lives—even though for me, they died too soon.
I amaze myself with truths that are also lies.
I’m fine. I’m crumbling. It will be okay. It gets better.
F*ck that. F*ck it all.
As Jeff says, “I’ve got no f*cks to give.”
We seem to cuss a lot. Tonight. Together. In grief.
How am I? I’m sad because we’re all grieving, but comforted because we’re in it together.