It had to happen

To Anthony, from Gentle, Kind, Helpful Reader

In my bereavement group we talked about the things people say to grievers, including variations of “Get over it. It’s time to move on.” At the time, I didn’t think I had any friends like that, and I felt sorry for those who did. So far, I seem to be right. Whoever might be thinking “Enough is enough” has kept mum about it—a sound course of action, by the way, in case it’s you. I write about my experience and perceptions. Though I figure some of you might get tired of hearing what may sound like the same old thing, I also figure that if you’re tired of hearing about grief, imagine what it’s like actually grieving and cut me some slack. Or not.

Everything I write is personal, so grief keeps showing up. I try to find other stuff to write about, although I’m not a reporter or even a journalist except in the most archaic sense, and I feel no obligation to be fair or balanced. I try to be clear and polite.

I recently got an email from a Gentle Reader who didn’t quite say “It’s time to move on,” but close. He contends that I’m obsessed with my wife’s death and I’m hurting because of my thoughts, perceptions, beliefs and experiences. I don’t know what the threshold for obsession is, but I’m willing to assume he’s right. He didn’t say why obsession is to be avoided, but no matter.

I can accept hurting because of my experiences and beliefs and the rest, and I’m grateful that I hurt a lot less than I used to. Still, on top of all my goofy notions and reflexes, there’s something else involved in grief that doesn’t seem to come from me, although I’m keeping an open mind. The waves of sadness that I experience and others have described seem often not to be associated with anything we’re aware of—just wham, and it’s Sob City.

For lack of a better explanation, I’m sticking to my leg analogy—if you lose a leg you’re gonna miss it and hurt, no matter what you think. Intensity will vary, but pain is inevitable. That’s what I think, and this Kind Reader says that my thoughts, convictions, etc. could stand revision because I don’t know the Truth.

He says that the Truth is that which is in harmony with the facts, regardless of what I think. I’m leery of anybody who thinks he knows the truth, especially when it’s capitalized, but my Helpful Reader apparently understands death and the meaning of life too, so I’m gonna talk to him and get myself revised.