This is my response to the recent article: 19 honest things I wish someone told me about losing a loved one.First, I agree with all the points listed. I lost my hubby 21 months ago. Since then I have battled family greed (point 11), not knowing my final position, and only in the past 4 weeks have I really been able start the normal grieving process. Also 10+ of my friends/associates have also lost their hubbies during that time.Points I add include:Don’t underestimate the power of communicating with someone else who is grieving – words aren’t even necessary – just a look, a hug or touching of hands gives one a feeling that someone understands… at last!Be especially blessed if your family is totally supportive RE the legal formalities and/or do not treat you as if you died the day your partner did!I wish someone had told me that despite your wish to eventually “move on”, a purpose or plan to help you do so just never seems to eventuate, so you not only lose your loved one but also a reason for moving on. This is particularly felt if you have reached retirement years – as all the plans you shared together do not have the same meaning if you think to do them on your own…There’s really no point!Do not allow yourself to be forced to move from the home you love or to follow family until you have had a long time to sort out your own wants and needs.Finally, if female, be prepared that not having someone to help you with the “blokey things” when you need them done, will drive you absolutely crazy (even if a hands-on person yourself). Even asked the blokes at the ‘Men’s Shed’ for help but they were reluctant. The knitting circle were more help and I don’t even knit!
Van Badham I wrote the following for his life companion, Lynne: Lynne, amidst heartbreak, be consoled that the man who was your beloved companion was no ordinary man. He was a leader, a fighter, a guru, a comrade, a friend. He was a man of independent thought and resolute moral principle. He was an artist, a maker and creator and a bard in the truest sense. Meeting Izzy as an 18 year old was the encounter that inspired the directions I took in my own life – artistic and political. He proved to me in his example that those who are as selfless as they are motivated have the power to open minds and effect change. He had the rare quality of the true champion
And behind it all , behind the fridges and the good people and the lagoon, everything is gone and done.
My cousin said of my father that after my mother’s death noone could reach him. He was inconsolable.
I am, at core, inconsolable.
What the hell am I supposed to do now ?
Who is to hold me, speak with me , dance with me in the kitchen ?
There is no music anymore. No Love songs. No exploring.
Pain and illness and weakness. Prospects of Old People’s Homes and Hospitals. Money worries and memories of him lying beside the road and getting sicker and sicker in the months before that.
And I couldn’t convince him that anything was wrong.
And now – there is me. What is left of me.
And his side of our new bed.
“Whenever someone who knows you Disappears, you lose one version of yourself. Yourself as you were seen, as you were Judged to be. Lover or Enemy, mother or friend, those who know us construct us, and Their several knowings slant the different Facets of our characters like diamond-cutter’s tools. Each loss is a search step leading to the grave, where all versions glare and end. “
It does something to you – seeing them dead. It has done something to me. Sudden Death is a strange thing. Death in sneakers beside a road and under a blue sheet is strange. I don’t often see or feel it now but it comes at times. I looked at him and didn’t bend to touch him. I knew he had stopped. I saw my Mother stop working. And my Sister. I knew he had stopped. And I knew that parts of me were leaving with him. I don’t think of it so often now – but at times – I do.
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