I recently wrote on Facebook about ideas that appear and perch on your monitor, or the edge of your desk or in my case on my bookcase across the room.

Grief acts that way too, only instead of perching gently it arrives with thunder and lightning and has the power to knock us down. It doesn’t frighten me; it is a reminder to me that it will always be here. It is sneaky. It just shows up with no warning flashing its lightning and booming its thunder.

I have reached the point where I don’t allow it to hang around for hours, no I accept that it is here, I breathe through it. Then I tell it to leave because I have things to do and things to get back to that I was doing before it interrupted me. The sun comes out and chases it away.

Larry was a good man, and I often think of the saying only the good die young, but that’s not true. It didn’t happen because he was too young to die. A blood clot didn’t form that day and say “Larry, I am tired of hanging around in this lower artery, I want the big time, I want to travel up to the heights of your brain and set off a firework display so big that when you lose consciousness you will go out with a bang but don’t worry Carole will catch you in her arms.” Thank you blood clot for your consideration. Piss on you blood clot.

Larry did nothing wrong. He did nothing to deserve that stroke. It just happened.

Grief is misunderstood or not understood by many, maybe by most. We need to change that because until we do there will be many more people like me who at times have grief that arrives more like a tornado or a hurricane.

I feel judged as if people think I am stuck. I recently wrote that if I were stuck you would find me still in my pajamas, in a dark room, surrounded by crumbled up tissues, my hair a mess, and unable to get up, get dressed and get away from being stuck.

I miss Larry every day all day.

There are many days when grief storms do not happen. There are many days when I curse at his photo and say he should still be here. Where is here though?

Grief doesn’t dehumanize me.

It changed me, it reminds me to tell more people they are loved and to hope that people who love me stop to remember I am alone. I don’t have someone to put their arms around me or shelter me from the grief storms. Alone sucks big time.

Guess what? This will never end. Larry is a part of me, he lives inside me, in my heart, in my brain, in my gut and there are times when I feel him holding my hand especially when I am sad.

Larry will be here until the last person who knew him is gone.

As a matter of fact, we will always be here until the last person who knew us is gone.

That’s how it works.

A Region in Hell

We have all been weaving our way through the wilderness of brambles and branches that have caused us to isolate and wrap ourselves in blankets of greyness due to the potential for a known virus to not only invade our lives but to possibly take our lives away from us.

We have spent over a year trying to navigate our way out of this wilderness and in all the writing I have done, all the talking I have done, all the help I have given others I have reached a point where I need help in return. It is not to say people have not supported me, that people have not reached out, because they have. I have Covid depressing days and these days punch me in the gut.

Loneliness is as hell AF. When I read an article this morning from one of my favorite grief writers, Megan Devine, it struck such a resonating chord in me.  I knew I would sit down and write my feelings because I do not think many people truly see me.

Devine wrote “Loneliness is its own special region of hell, and being single – by choice or by circumstance – is tough in a coupled-up, locked-down world.”

I have had days of absolute despair wondering why I am still here without my loving husband at my side. It wasn’t supposed to be over yet. We had plans, years of plans.

I have to cheer myself up every day. I have to remind myself I am here for a reason, and then I look at the photo of us hanging on my bedroom wall and I curse at it because I no longer live in a coupled-up world.

I have never been this lonely without someone who cared about me for this long and Devine is right, this is a very special region of hell.

In complete honesty I need to spend time with my son, in my house, no distractions of his responsibilities. I need to see him and take care of him as much as I want him to take care of me.

The audacity of grief. The fucking audacity of grief to come into my world and turn it upside down and inside out and then slap me across the face with a pandemic. Oh, I know there are other people who feel the same way, however for one moment in time I am only writing about me.

Every single one of us needs other people. I have said that out loud hoping that my words would carry across time and space and come to rest into the part of our brains that give us that moment when we realize “Carole needs me.”

I won’t apologize for sharing my feelings to anyone, I own them, and there are a handful of friends who do understand, who do reach out to me, who do virtually take care of me.

This is how grief works and I wish to heaven I wasn’t it’s victim.


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