Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Grief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gutted is how I feel.
I literally feel as though I have a blunt knife slowly eviscerating me.
I mentally feel like I've been knocked down again to a new level in this horrible death-march month.
I physically feel sick with that low, visceral pain that you feel when you first hear those words "I'm sorry, but he did not survive".

You see, just after I wrote last week's post, I found out that the "fatal car accident" that I kept hearing about on the radio news was my friend's husband.

Another husband and father cut down, smashed, taken in the prime of his life.

Another wife and mother who has to feel like I feel.

Another woman who will lie awake at night and rail at how this could have possibly happened to her family.

Two more children who will ask what Daddy sounded like or how his skin felt or what he smelled like.

Mutual friends have phoned me to ask what they can do.
I don't have a lot of advice.  ... as we all know, there is no quick fix.  There is no book that can adequately explain to a 6-year-old that Daddy is dead and won't ever come back.  There is no grief potion that will alleviate the symptoms in 24-48 hours.

So I say what I always say - just keep talking to her.  Don't run away from the pain.  Be there.  Talk. Hug.

.....and that there are an army of other widows and widowers here who are always ready to talk and to listen.
Who know  what it feels like.
Who help by talking about the pain.
Who hope when all hope seems lost.
....even at 2 am.  

So I will point her here, and I will talk with her, and I will sit with her, and I will share my tiny sliver of hope with her until she can find her own glistening shard to cling to.

Hope matters.

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  1. Amanda, what a powerful post. I am on my death march as well.... just a couple of weeks and know the gutted feeling well. But to add to that the loss of your friend's husband, well, there are no words. You gave the advice I always give as well, don't run from the pain.

    The upside of this horrific path we are all forced to follow, is that there is always someone there for us. Hugs to you and your friend and her family.

  2. On the death march too - 2-15- will be two years since the day that changed my life. I have never read someone describing their grief as visceral.....amazes me because I too have written similar words - feeling cut open, my organs ripped out one by one, including teeth and skin, though alive!.... and then feeling as if someone dumped pounds of salt on me and was doing a dance right on top of my body! I have felt this way in the lowest of my lows, the pain being that deep. YES! That is how it feels, esp as others (though not in the case you describe) carry on in their forever normal, happy lives. Sometimes it just feels so unfair; as you hold your friends hand fully knowing that pain, that wretched pain; fully knowing there is no magic potion; there are no words; fully know that "time heals all" is so over-rated......you are right to stay with her in the pain; seems easier for most to do in the early days, but those of us who are walking this road know we need people in it for the "long haul", for as long as we need them. I have a few who have figured this out. I feel for you; for your pain and that of your friends.

  3. Oh how very sad that another must walk this walk with us. You are so right to point her here. I too am on the death march 2-23 will be 4 years. Here is where I find my hope. Hugs and lots of positive energy for you both.

  4. I remember trying to get into a widow/er grief support group a few months after Dave died. The 2 widows organizing it met with me alone first. (One was 5 years out, and the other was 20 years out. The group ended up falling through and I went elsewhere for support.)
    They were the first widows I’d had a chance to talk to and I remember just drilling them teary eyed for answers, solutions. Trying desperately to somehow fix this horrific predicament I was in. Still unable to wrap my head around my current & future life.
    “How will I cope? It’s too hard to keep living. How could you possibly remarry? What do you think of now when you think of your late husband?”
    I remember the look of pity on their faces when they looked at me. Knowing that I had no idea how much pain was still in front of me.

    I wished that I had a friend going through this with me. (Except of course I don’t want a friend to have to go through this!)

    I’m glad you are there for her, and I feel for you as it will undoubtedly cause you to relive a lot of raw grief.

    And I’m so very thankful for widow’s voice for helping me to feel less alone.