Friday, October 23, 2009

Not Feeling It

There are many days, weeks and months that the grief that was born after Jeff's death has crippled me. Days that no matter what I do, the sadness and loss steal over me and infect every thought and movement with pain. Weeks where I can feel nothing but the ache that has accompanied this journey and months in which the sorrow manages to reek despite all my attempts to banish it.
But I also have days where I am stuck, floating, unsure of any feeling at all. I know the pain lurks somewhere below. I am aware that I am hurting and broken. But I am unable to feel.
When the topic of Jeff's death comes up for the millionth time to some stranger, I rattle off the 'statistics' of his death with stoic, eery calm. Often, the listener is in tears as I stare at them with the eyes of an emotionless observer - head cocked and wonder why they are so sad. I am a Vulcan.
For some reason unknown to me the painful stabs of loss don't slice away at my heart at these times. I feel like an automaton moving and functioning but without a heart. I wonder if something is 'wrong' with me. I worry that people will mistake my bland and expressionless face for uncaring. I feel guilt for not feeling.

Is this a 'normal' part of grief? Do others have these moments where pain, and happiness, escape them? Is this is way to give my heart a rest? I'm not sure.

I do I know that I relish and abhor these moments simultaneously. To not have to hurt is bliss. But to not be able to feel sucks.

Who would ever think that I would wish for pain?


  1. Jackie! What a wonderful post and with such timing! I have been wondering if I am the only one who wishes for pain sometimes just so I can feel. Thank you!

  2. I have moments like this too. Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with me. I was telling someone about my husband's death not too long ago. She apologized for her tears and told me that I was such a strong woman. I did not feel strong at all. Inside, my heart was breaking in pieces. I just could not cry. I don't know why this happens.

  3. I've always thought that, as hard as that first year was, it was still somehow easier in some ways too. I expected it to be awful and tough and that I'd be emotional (even if I wasn't all the time)...but I had no idea what to expect with the 2nd or 3rd years. I had no idea that "normal" would turn into a more cerebral, internal, thinking/processing grief, rather than the external outpouring I often had the first year.

    "Is this a 'normal' part of grief? Do others have these moments where pain, and happiness, escape them? Is this is way to give my heart a rest? I'm not sure." I'd say yes. And I'd also say it'll take a few more years before it really hits a better, more comfortable balance. Which isn't to say that the grief is all done by 4, 5 years out, because it certainly isn't; it's just a little easier to separate out your reactions, emotions, and grief (on most days, anyway).

    Hang in there, babe. Thinking of you and the little ones always. Hugs!