The Work of Grief

I’ve been a little MIA. Knee-deep in a new wave of grief, perhaps triggered by next year’s one-year anniversary of my husband’s death, and a little bit triggered by a friend who disappointed me in the worst possible way.

Somebody told me earlier this week that they think I’ve been going non-stop since Kenneth passed away and that I need to stop working so hard, and they wanted to strategize with me ideas to lessen the burden. Somebody else mentioned that they knew the one year was coming up and whatever they could do to help they would. I almost started crying right in front both of them. It was so nice of them to see it (neither of them are close friends or on FB).

I feel like everyone else thinks everything is okay. It’s been almost a year. Everyone has moved on.

But here I am. Currently still stuck. Still doing the work of grief while trying to manage all of my other obligations. 

In this past year, I’ve learned so much about who I can rely on, and who I need to stay the hell away from because they have no problem adding hurt to a festering cesspool of pain. It’s not even what people do. It’s just that it becomes another reminder that without my husband, there’s nobody I can always depend on. That’s what hurts. Knowing that you have to do “this” (grieving and raising the kids) alone. Always. And one of these days I’ll finally accept it. Eventually.

In the meantime, I need to get myself out of this hole. I’m tired all of the time. Disinterested. Lacking focus. I want to feel happy again, and I know I’ve got some work to do to get there. 

An article recommendation: The Work of Grief


  1. Grieving never really goes away; the pain does. My husband died 12 years ago, and there are still moments when grief appears. Not devastating grief, but subtle reminders of my loss. For me, I found that people show their true colors when they are face-to-face with a grieving friend. I am sorry to hear about the friend who disappointed you. As I think about your situation, I believe there are two things that are “have to’s:” grieving and parenting. Both incredibly difficult without your husband, but both necessary. Everything else — laundry, groceries, day to day stuff — let those who have offered help to help. People often want to help but they don’t know what to do. When they ask, say yes and let them know what you need. I remember one day early in my journey when a friend of my husband’s called and asked if I needed any help. I’m sure he was thinking that he could offer some “manly” labor, like mowing the lawn. Instead, I asked him to go to the pet store to get some specialty pet food for my cats. I just couldn’t drag myself out to do it, and it was something I needed. In that moment, it was a great gift of kindness.

    Anniversaries are hard, so be good to yourself.


  2. I remember the one year anniversary of my husband’s death….this was 8 years ago and I remember it like it was this morning…no one mentioned it, except for my real estate agent! I was so deep in grief, anger, denial, alcohol, overworked, over-burdened, alone and living in the woods far away from friends and family who were in the big city, they screwed me big time, I’m being nice…I would like to use every curse word in the dictionary right now, but, I learned having a potty mouth, makes me come off as a female donald trump. What did I do when I was in your shoes…I did not have children, is that a blessing or a burden?! I just know…at my one year anniversary, I had a DD driver in case I wanted to get smashed…instead, I went to “our” favorite sushi restaurant, ordered what I normally ordered and ordered what he liked to eat and drank sake…then, I did what I like to do…stroll down main street and visit all of the art galleries and get lost in art. I was in a dark place the other day…chose to drive up to Flagstaff and ski…I took up skiing after George passed. I had my own sports; marathons and triathlons. He was a down-hill ski racer. His friends taught me to ski and get over my fear of flying down the mountain. He was not with me and I was angry, I was exhausted as I too am going non-stop, I work for 3 different companies to pay the bills. 3 different time sheets, 3 different reports to fill out…3 of everything. My head hurts already. I was not enjoying the mashed potatoes, it was too hot, where was George? I then summoned my power animal. Psychotherapy doesn’t work for me. I met a shaman who has been working with me in soul retrieval and granting me power animals to call when I’m miserable. I called for my animal…I’m angry, I hate today, I don’t know why I’m here…what the $@%@!T$##. Bam, my animal arrived and sat next to me and then George appeared. He and I spoke while in the sky on the ski lift. Thank goodness for my ski mask, no one can see me crying. Enjoy the sun, get out of your ski boots, watch the kids come down the mountain, have a beer, enjoy the sun and the warmth, pretend that is me holding your hand. I flew down the mountain, got out of my ski boots, took the dog for a walk, went to the bar and ordered a beer as George said he would stay with me until the last drop. He did, we said good-bye. I’m no longer angry at him, just myself for not letting myself see around me. I saw the sun, the blue sky, the kids laughing and screaming, my dog next to me waiting for a rub and a walk. You too, shall find your moment in the sun…when? I can’t tell you, just know that time heals all wounds, but as a widow, you will feel the scar around your heart grow and become flexible with time. It will hurt, yes, I won’t lie…I’m still grieving and don’t plan to stop. It is a powerful lesson for myself. Do not repeat the past! Remember the good times. Now, the sun is shining and I need to take a shower and meet some friends for lunch. You do the same! ‘Til we meet. Nic


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