The thing I've discovered about grief is that it is an all-consuming, selfish process.
No matter how good my intentions are, I seem to always come up short when it comes to thinking about anything other than myself. I am forced to think about my 3 children, which takes up what little capacity I have left...so anything beyond that is completely outside my thought processes right now. I can't think past my own needs. I want to be helpful to others, I want to be a good friend, but the truth is, I just don't care right now. I'd love to be able to close out the entire world and stay under the sheets until I met Jeremy again. Nothing else matters - even when I want it to.
I try to care, but grief consumes me. I want to reach out, but then the ache in my soul starts burning too much to move. I want to connect with people and let their words heal, or draw from the experience of others, but I'm not ready to admit that anyone could feel as crappy as I do inside, or that allowing words to heal me would somehow betray my love to Jeremy. I'm not ready for that. I want the world to stop for me, I want everyone to know Jeremy's story and the man he was. I want everyone to feel the hole I feel so I don't have to try to explain it anymore.
Right now, Grief is a reliable friend who waits for me in my bed every night even if I manage to dodge him all day. I save up all the tears I'm unable to let out in front of others for the evenings with my friend Grief. Always cruel, always unwanted, but always there. And because Grief follows me wherever I go, I find him draining and taking up all the energy I would normally use for other people.
With that said, I would like to point out that I have incredible friends. They have been my lifeline over the last few months during this unimaginable time in my life. My friends have stood by my side when I had nothing to say, helped me with the kids, been my memory for nearly everything, and have continued to be a presence even when I couldn't ask for it. I've read others' stories of friends who walked out of their life during their tragedies because they didn't know how to handle it, or they got sick of that person being a dark cloud of grief. I know that there are still the people who don't know what to say or how to help, and I get that. I'd probably be the same way. But I'm thankful for the people in my life who reach out anyway, even if they're unsure if it's helpful. Sometimes, it's not but I'm grateful all the same. And, I've made some incredible new friendships throughout this whole thing, which has been a great blessing to me. I feel like I got lucky in the friends department.
For example, I am still getting meals brought to my house, and I have yet to buy a roll of toilet paper. I'm still using some from the tons that were brought to my home the week Jeremy died, because people just stepped in and took over when I didn't know my left from my right. How amazing is that? I have a hard time asking people for help. I don't like being a burden on anyone, I've always been independent. Except when it came to Jeremy....but marriage is built that way. We were a team. I expected his help as he expected mine. I could ask him for help, the same help I refuse to ask from someone else. And the funny thing about grief is that even when I want to ask for help, I won't.
This is a horrible rambling post. I don't really know where I'm trying to go with this. I guess this is for all my friends: bear with me. Forgive my selfishness and the fact that I don't know how to be a good friend right now. It's not because I don't want to, it's because I literally just can't right now. Keep standing by when I push you away, til I see this through the other side. I have no idea how long that will be, but I'm working on it.
"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing...not healing, not curing...that is a friend who cares."