When life decides to turn everything upside down at the blink of an eye, nobody gives you a guidebook on how to navigate it. There is no “Grieving, for Dummies,” believe me, I’ve looked. Still looking, actually. So far, all I’ve come up with is an Amazon cart of best sellers, a support group for widows, and a far too spot-on TED talk by Nora McInerny — None of which give step-by-step instructions on how to do this, or what the timeline looks like.
I lost my husband, my world, my PERSON…. all at the ripe age of 25. 6 months ago we had just gotten married and relished in the fact that “the best is yet to come.” I don’t think I’ve ever hated that song more in my life. Screw you, Sinatra. THIS wasn’t supposed to be the best. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t ever supposed to be this way. I don’t know what your version of “the best” is, but this has to be the opposite.
It’s been one week since I said goodbye to Luke. One. In that time span, plus the 6 days prior that we spent in the ICU(s), I’ve managed to wrap my head around one thing: People are really uncomfortable with grief.
“I can’t imagine.”
“Can I bring you something to eat?”
“You are so strong.”
“How are you holding up?”
“You are so lucky to have had a love like that.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
I’ll preface by saying that prior to this tragedy, I would’ve responded the same way, with the same phrases. Everything comes with the best intentions. Q: What on earth do you say to a woman who was so publicly in love with her soulmate only to have everything she lived for ripped away in a matter of moments? A: Even I don’t know, and I am living it.
Let me put this metaphorically, imagine if someone took you out to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, dumped you off the boat without a warning or any sort of flotation device and commanded “swim to shore.” Oh, and they also never taught you how to swim. The first thing that pops into your head most likely isn’t “you know, I could go for a snack.”
I have no idea what path I am headed down, or where to go from here. All I can be certain of is how badly I miss my Luke and our beautiful life we created together, and that all I can think to do about it is write. I don’t know where this journey will take me, but if you care to join, I’ll be here…
“How are you?”
Terrible, thanks for asking.