And when I get that feeling

Last night we had drinks with friends. This morning I had coffee with a friend before taking her to the airport and, since she’s in our department, we talked about some of the asinine things other colleagues have said to us lately. Then as I drove home alone, I sang along to the radio and danced in my seat. A middle-aged man caught my eye and laughed (kindly). I hope he couldn’t tell it was “Sexual Healing” on the radio.

I laughed, a lot, in the past 24 hours. I even laughed at the socially inept idiots in our department. To read this blog, you might think that I don’t laugh. You might think that I’m not handling this as well as I could be.

I wonder what it would mean though if I appeared to be taking what’s happened to my family “well.” I might think I was sick. I might worry about what I might do to myself if I couldn’t even express my most miserable thoughts on an anonymous blog.

8 responses to “And when I get that feeling

  1. Good for you! You sound like you are doing incredibly well. We all need a way to express our “darker” thoughts when we need to, because most of the time we are moving through the world and through our lives quite “normally.” I remember my cousin and I having a huge laugh just days after my twins died. She was spending lots of time with me, and we mostly would just while away the hours lying on my bed. We cried, we talked, we watched movies, and yes, we even laughed. I remember thinking even at the time that it was such a testament to the human spirit. It’s amazing how much we can endure and still find it in ourselves to smile.

    But yes, we do need opportunities to talk about those things that aren’t funny at all, and the losses that still haunt us.

  2. No-one could possibly be so cruel as to think or — worse yet — to say that you’re not handling this “as well as you could be.”

    Umm, wait, I take that back.

  3. I just wanted to add that about two summers ago a woman I know, and many of my friends know, had a son who was stillborn in her 8th month of pregnancy. She was, understandably, devastated. Only a few months after her loss I was part of a conversation with some well meaning friends who commented “she’s really not doing very well.” I gently asked them what “doing well” just three months after the death of your baby would look like? I asked them if they would feel better if she was going around acting completely normal, shedding no tears and not saying a word about her loss. They are kind, astute women and so they quickly realized that they would be equally concerned if she were responding in that way. I then added, “She is grieving. She is sad. She is lost right now. And as much as it might hurt to watch, that is all very well.”

  4. I tend to think one grieves a lifetime over losses and grief comes and goes like the tide…an ebb and flow process. So regardless of the expressions outwardly, inwardly a person can be feeling quite differently. Yeah we are walking, breathing contradictions some of the times. Perhaps that is what makes us human.

  5. You are doing well, some days are up, some days are down, grief isn’t some straight line we follow in a precise pattern.

    It just is what it is.

    And of course, the word “should”. What is that word for anyway? Sometimes it’s just a word, but sometimes it feels like a finger wagging at me, y’know? Not helpful…

  6. I agree that you *are* handling this well. I think ‘well’, though, means ‘grieving appropriately’, not plastering a fake smile on your face all the time. You have every reason for the miserable and the dark. I am glad that you got some real laughs in there too, though — that is so good. It really helps *so* much, it lightens the heart for an instant and helps you go on.

  7. i’m relieved to know i’m not the only one who has a laugh even while in a state of grief. some days i almost feel guilty for laughing, but other times when i’m curled up on my bed and crying that guilt is tempered, somehow.

  8. Yay for laughter! Though I would definitely be worried about you if you were happy and lauging all the time, or if you seemed to be taking it “well.” You are definitely dealing well, but that is different.

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