Saturday, August 21, 2010

Other People's Grief

I’m back east with my family; one of my sister’s, her husband and kids, my mom and her husband (both widows) and my aunt and uncle. Cousins, another aunt, a step sister and her husband will arrive tomorrow.

Tonight I saw it on them.

In their eyes. In the way they looked at me.

I saw their grief.

Other people dealing with the loss of…. my husband.

Other people…. missing him.

Other people… tearing up over him.

Other people’s grief.

Before today, I had not noticed.

My grief was a full time job, that seems to have, a few months ago, turned into a part time position with some harrowing, surprising “breaks.”

I see that they are not used to seeing me without him.

I hear about how they catch themselves.

“We’re going to see Kim and…..” sigh.

I hear “For a while, I lost faith in God. I stopped praying after he died.”

Other people’s grief.

They miss him too. They think about him too. They shake their heads in disbelief. They wish it happened … not me.

And their grief pains me. I want to make it go way. Those sighs, those eyes, that moment of silence. I want to make their hearts happy and fill them with light.

And I think I’m looking into a mirror.

I think about those people and so many others who miss Art…still. Who cry that he is no longer here, who stopped believing in God for a little while when he died, who can’t understand how this could happen.

And I think about those people and all the others who have watched me: hollowed eyed, confused, overwhelmed, frightened and came to witness my grief even though all they wanted to do was to suck it from me with a giant titanium straw.

I cry. Not for myself. Not for Art.

But for those people and all the others who still miss him. For those people and all the others who still talk about him, who go to call him and then remember…

I cry because I see their grief and




almost wild with helplessness.

Just as my grief must have (does) pain them.

I am humbled by those people and all the others who are still here, after witnessing such pain, they are still here.

My family and

all those other people

are my family.

I love you.

You are the reason I know there is a God.


  1. Somehow I stumbled upon this blog....and I am overwhelmed....I lost my husband in 2005...I have moved on...yet just now realize that I didn't give myself time to grieve...How does one go backwards??
    This post was so awesome, and easy to relate to...
    Like I said...overwhelmed...I just keep reading more...

  2. I, too, did not give myself time to grieve. I had a 9 year old & 13 year old to take care of, my job, my husband's business and the list goes on. I tackled things like I always tackled things in my life-head on and with full force, which made me look like I had things under control. My own pastor at my church later commented that I didn't appear to need help. Two months after my husband's death, "my" mother went into a full blown depression as if it were her husband that died. I then had to deal w/moving her to a place where she could get the attention she needed. After that, my deceased husband's adult son from his first marriage began a barrage of lawsuits against me concerning the estate & probate, a living trust we had set up. I still don't think I have ever stopped to grieve. I sometimes wonder if I do that I won't recover so I don't allow it. I haven't moved on and push possibilities of relationships out of my life to avoid the pain. And wonder, does anyone else do this?