I’m not exactly sad enough to be blue. I’m not depressed enough to be black. I’m falling somewhere in between the two.
Next week is my husband’s birthday. I know I’ve mentioned this before...but his birthday is really my hardest day (I think...it’s really hard to narrow that down, isn’t it?).
What’s interesting is that I don’t think most people know that. The holidays are obvious grief triggers, so people are watching me closely then. I’m fortunate to have friends who will always remember the anniversary of his death and really take care of me then. But his birthday is something that most people don’t remember...and it’s hard for me to explain to others why it’s Milestone Mountain for me.
I’ve started to think of his birthday as the start of “the next year.” Instead of thinking of his anniversary as a huge milestone, I sit around and think, “This is the 4th birthday he’s missed.”
My husband is the same age as my sister and her husband, as well as a lot of my friends, so that always makes it interesting. I look at them and wonder what he would be doing now. Would he be advancing his career like some of them are? Would he be taking my son to golf lessons? What kinds of changes would we have gone through together?
I’ve learned enough about myself, in the last few years, to know that the week before the actual day is the worst for me. I get tired. I feel drained all of the time. I snap at my children because the slightest request suddenly seems overwhelming to me. I cry for no reason (usually in the car). And since most people don’t realize how hard his birthday is...they have no idea what the hell is wrong with me.
What compounds the problem is...I don’t like to tell them. At least, not when I’m actually going through it. It’s hard to believe that someone who started a support page can get pretty bad about talking about her grief with others...but that’s the truth. I retreat back into what I think of as “my cave.”
Most of the time, I write about how I hope that people start to have a better and more positive attitude about life because I want them to know that a happy life is very possible, even in our situation. And don’t get me wrong...I like my life. I can do my life. I’m starting to get to a pretty good place.
But this is one of those times when I truly understand that we sometimes just need to wallow. So, just so you know...when you tell me that you’re just feeling sad...I get it.
I don’t need anyone to fix this. I don’t need anyone to take me out for a spa day (but if you offer...I won’t argue). I don’t need anyone to try and make me feel better.
I need to feel what I’m going to feel for a few days.
I know I’m making it sound simple. It’s really not. It’s not easy for me or the people who care about me. I don’t like to talk about what’s going on. I would rather turn inward. And for someone who lives her life so...outward...when I get like this, it’s very confusing to those around me.
The feelings I have are indescribable...I could never do them justice with words. If I tried, it would never make sense to someone who isn’t...me. There is a cloud in my soul and I just have to be patient with myself until it dissipates.
Usually, on the actual day of my husband’s birthday...I’m fine. I can talk about what a great guy he was. My feelings will have come to the surface once again...and I can actually explain what’s going on.
Until then...be patient. I’ll be a different color in a few days.