5.31.2012

The language of grief

Me and my new husband, Steve :)

Ever since Jeremy's death, I've noticed how much more careful I am with my words.

The months after he died, I couldn't muster up the energy to write anything with feeling (unless it was deep and utter sadness). Even my texts were void of expression. I remember posting something about not wanting to misguide people into believing I was better than I was. No exclamation marks. No smiley faces. When good things happened, and a lot did, I expressed my gratitude but never joy. Never happiness.

All my widowed friends understand what I mean. Everyone giving you the head tilt and asking how you are....I could no longer give a general "good" - I was far from good. I shrugged my shoulders and said 'ok' or more commonly 'I'm still here.' To me, that was the worst I could possibly be.

I have since continually felt like I couldn't really breathe in pure joy ever again. Sure, good things happen and I smile easier and I can say I'm good again most of the time....but every good thing in my life stems from one horrible worst-moment-of-my-life event.

Yesterday, I came home from a 9 day honeymoon in Jamaica. It was fabulous. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, beautiful company. It was a trip I will remember for the rest of my life. In fact, because of grief, I take moments in so much deeper than I used to, writing things down, taking more pictures...I just know how priceless life is now. And even though the trip was wonderful, I still grieved. One night, I grieved heavily and it came at me without warning. The truth is, I can only enjoy this amazing trip with Steve because Jeremy isn't here anymore. I can't think about the depths of that for too long or it'll drive me insane, but every once in awhile, the heaviness of it sits on my chest and threatens to suffocate me. You can only imagine the type of man it takes to sit beside his wife who's shaking and sobbing uncontrollably while grieving her dead husband.

Steve and I talked in depth about the trip and our favorite pieces and how much we enjoyed it, but I expressed how awkward it is to feel like grief has stripped away innocence from me. I will never again use the phrase "best day of my life" or "the happiest I've ever been" or "worst day of my life" without feeling like I would betray my life and love with Jeremy. Even though these phrases can be over dramatized or loose within context, I'm very careful to use other language.

The smilies and exclamation marks have long been back in my texts and writing. When people ask me how I'm doing or how my trip was, I can say without lying, "great." I don't know if the day will ever come, though, where I won't use a different language than everyone else when I carefully compare and contrast life. I call it the language of grief.

I guess that makes me bilingual.


13 comments:

Calvin Mo(o)re said...

Oh my God. This is so wonderfully and tragically beautiful.

Angel Plummer said...

Very nice! Glad you guys made it back. Congrats again! Steve is a great guy. Good luck and enjoy life. God Bless!

Veronica (Loudermilk) Burnett said...

Veronica,
You don't know me personally but I have known "of" you for quite some time. My sister is your age and I believe you guys were in chorus together. I've followed your journey through your blog and FB and I find it and you amazing. You have such an incredible writing ability! You speak so eloquently and seem to put into words things most people never could. I admire your strength and faith in God and am so happy that He has lead you to someone who is truly willing to support you and walk through this "new" life with you. My heart smiles for you!

Best Wishes,
Veronica

P.S. When I first saw you were getting married I wondered what you were going to do with your name and my immediate thought was "hyphenate," I think it's perfectly appropriate and fitting.

susie holland said...

Vee Ihavent written to you in a longggggg time!! That was great to read that you have different words for things shared with Jeremy and with Steve that makes perfect sense!! like a new baby born after you lost one.. yes you love the new baby and miss the one that you lost!!! yes I understand it so well NOW!! yes you are BILINGUAL!! HAHAH congrats!!! may your lives be full of new beginnings and LOVE!

Paloma said...

My goodness Vee... I am crying! You might not remember who I am .. but I was here a few times in the past... then things happened and I just couldn't keep up with everything (children, home, cooking, etc) but I've been back for a while now and in my search for my old friends and their blogs I returned here... to your wonderful blog where I thought I would find the Everyday Kings and everything the way it was just a little "older" and I find this... and then I went to your story and the posts that explained what happened and I my heart literally aches for you and your precious children! What a wonderful blessing you have to be married and in love but I can only imagine how hard it all is... My prayers with you and your new hubby... my prayers for each of your children. I'll be here often! HUGS!

BerryMorins Bits & Tips said...

How lovely. I wish you and your husband the very best.

Chris said...

Hi Vee, all the very best to you both. I'm just stopping by(from Canada)to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

Sarah said...

I don't really know you, I went to college with you for a year at Rochester back in 2003-04. I knew who you were and we have mutual friends so I knew of your story and blog due to facebook. Anyway, even though I didn't know you my heart went out for you I couldn't ever imagine going through what you have gone through. Well a little over a week ago my boyfriend died and I am just devastated. Your blog makes me feel like I am not alone and maybe even that one day this won't hurt as bad and I can even be happy again. Anyway thank you for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

As I read this entry I couldn't help but think...she gets how God feels. Imagine...knowing that now through the death of your son, your children can be saved. So each time a child is saved I can't help but thinking if God feels the way you have described. The Heavens rejoice because another was has been won but in that remains the fact that One had to die for us to have life. So ironic. I, like so many, thank you for your honesty and bluntness. Jeremy and Steve are so honored which ultimately honors HIM! Just amazing.

Anonymous said...

Wish you wrote more often. You're posts are always inspiring and encouraging.

Ruthy said...

Would love to see some wedding photos - is that possible. PLease ?
You look so lovely with your new husband......

Autumn said...

Oh my goodness I know exactly what you are talking about!!! With Ryan i am the same way. I can't ever say anything was "the best" unless it was authentic to just us. I get this post and i must say you are an inspiration to others! Your photos are GORGEOUS and I am glad you have found happiness. Congrats!!!

Desi said...

I haven't stopped by in over a year! But I'm so happy to come back and see that you are now married and happy and living life! You are beautiful in that photo and look so happy. I'm so glad you were able to find happiness after such tragedy :) You deserve it! I'm getting caught up now!

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