Writing Your Grief Prompt #2

What you don’t know about my life with grief…

You don’t know that everything about life is harder since Bob died. That sometimes I can’t even find the energy or desire to shower. You don’t know that everything feels so much more difficult, to the point that I cry nearly every day out of sheer frustration. You don’t know that some days it takes every ounce of courage and energy I have just to choose to live.

You don’t know that my mind is full of chaos. How I replay the moment I knew he was dead over and over in my mind. You don’t know that I wake up in the middle of the night, covered in sweat and wanting to scream because I can hear them playing Taps, shooting the guns and saying “on behalf of a grateful nation” before handing me a folded flag. You don’t know that I spend all day replaying every word and moment from the weeks before his death, trying desperately to make sense of how this happened. How I think of every word I ever said to him, hoping nothing I said pushed him over the edge…hoping he knew how much I loved him.

You don’t know that I had to clean his pee off the garage floor below where he died. You don’t know that everywhere I turn in this house, his ghost haunts me. You don’t know that when I packed his clothes away I couldn’t stop screaming the entire time. I even puked a few times from crying so hard. You don’t know that every moment of every day is a struggle to not let the guilt and pain and anger completely consume me.

You don’t know that I feel so angry and lonely. You don’t know that I hate myself and him and the whole world or that I also am utterly humbled by the love I’ve been shown. You don’t know that I feel like he was the only person who ever really loved me and that his love saved my life. You don’t know that, now that it’s gone, I don’t know how to live life without it.

You don’t know that I made a plan to die. You don’t know that I had my will drawn up and made sure my affairs were in order. Or that I sat in my house, everything near me to end my life and spent hours trying to decide to live. You don’t know that a text message saved my life. You don’t know how close I came to ending my own life, too.

You don’t know how I fight my own mind all day, every day. How hard it is to be afraid and angry and sad and tired and lonely and anxious and tired and heavy and happy and grateful and hopeful all at the same time. You don’t know that I have brain damage from my trauma and that I can hardly think most days. Or that I lose track of hours, sometimes days, because I have dissociation and short term memory loss from the trauma. You don’t know that I didn’t have much gray hair before Bob died but the trauma was so great that the doctor says it will probably all be white within the year.

You don’t know that I’m afraid to love anyone again. You don’t know that I struggle with feeling like I failed him and I don’t want to fail anyone else. You don’t know how desperately I need a hug. You don’t know that my heart is screaming for someone to hold me until the pieces of me start to go back together. You don’t know how hard it is to remember him and love him while also trying to look towards the future.

You don’t know how your “thoughts and prayers” and “sending love” makes me want to rip you apart. You don’t know how much self control it takes to not beat the hell out of you when you say you understand because you lost your grandma. You don’t know how much I hate hearing how strong I am. You say it like I had any other choice. I don’t want to be strong. I want my husband.

You don’t know that I stay at home alone so much because seeing happy people breaks my heart. The yearning it causes inside of me makes me nearly moan out loud. I see happy families, old couples holding hands, parents with their kids and it’s like being set on fire. I don’t have any of that. You don’t know how much it hurts to know that no one in the world chooses you. No one puts you first.

You don’t know how much he loved me. You don’t know how much I love him. You don’t know that I fall, every day, into the huge hole shaped like him that is now where my life used to be. You don’t know how afraid I am that I won’t survive this.

You don’t know that I don’t say most of this out loud because people have shown me that they either can’t understand or don’t care. So, I put on a smile and say “I’m fine”. You don’t know that I’m almost always lying.

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