I call this topic Game Face because it’s what we do, us grievers – we put on the “game face” so everything appears to be OK. When really it is not. It happened to me a lot in the beginning. I didn’t want anyone to know how badly I was hurting; it was too painful to even look people in the eyes. The fear of letting someone inside what I was feeling was too horrific to me. I think it may be somewhat of a protective mechanism we use to avoid letting people in. I remember always thinking that if I let someone know how bad I was hurting or what I was thinking that they would try and have me admitted to a mental hospital. Because truth be told – it was very dark stuff.
Now 2-1/2 years later, I have made what I call a “180” in that I really don’t feel I have to hide my feelings, but may find myself explaining them because I am so far out from her angel date. I guess there are some who think grieving has an end date. Well I have news for them – it doesn’t. We just get better at hiding it, staying busy to avoid it. But it is still lurking in the dark places and always waiting for the opportune time to come out. Fortunately for me, it comes out when I am alone. That is why I choose to stay alone. It’s just simpler that way.
What you must understand is that on the outside it starts to look like people are making progress, but dig a little deeper – stay a little longer – ask a few more questions – and you may just find out something more. Or maybe that’s what you are afraid of – you don’t want to know. I know these things to be true, because they happened to me. They happen to others who grieve. I’ve read numerous stories from others who have lost loved ones and the stories may be different but the methodology is the same. We all hide because we get the “vibe” that people just don’t want to know.
Maybe it’s because our loss reminds them of what could happen to them. Maybe it’s all just too much to imagine. I wish I knew why certain people left me. Why certain people assumed I’d be ok on my own. I have come to place where I have made peace with that, but there are many grievers out there right now – feeling what I’m saying.
If there is anything you can take from this at all it should be to stay, be present, show compassion, don’t be afraid, and most of all – show up for no reason and just hang out. The grievers pain lasts forever, and your memory of it does not.
until next time