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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Widow's Weed and French Martinis

Oh wait...I think I mean widow's weeds. Yup, that's it.

We’re closing in on the two month mark of Life Without The Amazing Bob. Unless a person reads my blog, how would they know that I’m in mourning, that I’m grieving? Maybe I should start wearing a black armband or, mebbe, I should don a black veil. Yeah, that’ll go SO well with my tie dye tank and lime green shorts.

I keep seeing and “hearing” this: give yourself permission to mourn. Yes. Makes an abundance of good sense but it’s hard to do.

I’m usually the upbeat or, at least, revved up, animated one. It feels funny to be amongst chums and not be all neon-y, as uszh. I feel broken now though. Shattered even. I want friends, family, acquaintances, barkeeps and complete strangers to treat me oh-so-gently, with mondo care but, at the same time, I want them to make me laugh, dance, LIVE.

I met Jen at Froggies last night and my bartender pal Wendy made me a French Martini AND gave me a warm hug. That’s what I needed right then.
keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.

the conventional manifestation of sorrow for a person's death, especially by the wearing of black clothes or a black armband, the hanging of flags at half-mast, etc. (source)
So, there’s grief and there’s mourning.
The distinction between grief and mourning is important in treatment considerations. Many therapists help bereaved individuals with expressing their feelings, thoughts, and reactions to the loss (grief), but not with the next challenges, such as adapting to the new world without the deceased (mourning). Consequently, mourners can be left alone to restructure themselves and their worlds after a loss. (source)
I’m lucky. I’ve got Jen, Oni, Helen, Celeste and a great lawyer who are all helping me navigate this chasm-riddled path.

I found this page, Mourning the Death of a Spouse, from The National Institute on Aging, helpful.

From the AARP post 5 Surprising Truths About Grief:
A widow might feel anxious and blue one day, only to feel lighthearted and cheerful the next. In other words, we don’t grieve in stages at all, but oscillate rapidly. Over time, those swings diminish in both frequency and intensity until we reach a level of emotional adjustment.
Great. I just love these unpredictable, ever changing mood swings of mine. NOT!

How long before I get back to abby-normal?
there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold. (source)
A friend told me that, after his father’s death, his mother found the first year wretchedly hard. Less so after that. I know I’ve heard that elsewhere too, “the first year is the hardest.”

Grief, like knitting, is a process, not an event. I need to surf this shit, this tortuous, keening heartache – ride it and, yes, allow myself to fall beneath the crest at times. It’s OK. I will float back up to the surface. This, I know.

FYI, French Martini recipe:
1 1/2 oz vodka
1/4 oz Chambord® raspberry liqueur
1/4 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 twist lemon peel

Pour each of the above into a tall bar glass. Shake with ice, pour into a cocktail or martini glass, and serve. (source)