I sometimes (often?) have arguments with the ghost of my husband. Perhaps argument is too strong a word, and quite likely it isn’t really him or his ghost, but simply my own delusional mind still trying to make sense of everything.
These disagreements are rarely about anything important, but isn’t that the way most marriages go? You gripe about the clothes that didn’t quite make the hamper. You bicker about who left the front door unlocked. You “discuss” the fact that the gas tank of the car is nearly empty. Or maybe it’s your wallet that’s empty. Yeah, that happens more than the gas tank…
I can almost hear him complaining about the shows I choose to watch on Netflix. Or reprimanding me for leaving my not-quite-empty coffee cup on the counter instead of rinsing it and putting it in the dishwasher, or gently disapproving of the bowl of ice cream I chose to eat.
Sometimes I quietly acquiesce to his demands, admitting he was right. Other times I just ignore them, chiding myself to keep the crazy at a minimum. And then there are the moments when I challenge him, taunting that if he wants me to listen, if he really, truly wants me to agree with him, then he needs to come back and tell me himself. In person. Then I’ll comply because he will have shown me how much it really means to him.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about grief, it’s that it is often (always?) illogical. You beg for things you know in your heart of hearts could never happen. You bargain for your loved ones to return when you know they cannot. You plead for time to reverse to a time when you were last with them hoping that maybe, just maybe, this time you will be able to do whatever it was you didn’t do the last time that made them leave you.
This time things will turn out differently and you will be grateful and appreciative and won’t let another moment pass by without doing the right things, the things that alter your future positively rather than this God-awful thing that took them from you.
Yes, that’s how I sometimes feel. I feel that my future, my life, was stolen from me. Stolen. Ripped from my hands. Snatched away like a ball taken by the bully at the playground. No matter how many friends you have around you, no matter how much support they provide, and no matter how large an angry, little army you create together, nobody can get your ball back from this bully.
Grief has taken your ball, flattened it, destroyed it, burned it, stomped on it, thrown it in the ocean. It’s simply gone. As he stands there laughing. He ignores your pain, ignores your requests, ignores the fact that your heart is broken and just laughs.
I’m still taking things day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Still trying to be kind to myself when I feel as though I’m not meeting the world’s standards of where I should be. Still trying to move forward and balancing that with looking back, all the time trying to make sure I don’t stumble while doing both simultaneously.
It’s a tricky existence, but I’m still learning. Still growing. And one of these days, maybe I will be big enough and strong enough to stand up to that bully. Even if Grief won’t – can’t- give me back my ball, perhaps I can at least have the satisfaction of taking him down a notch or two. And I’ll gladly stand arm-in-arm with anyone else who wants the opportunity to take a swing at him. I’ll even hold him down for you. Because sometimes bullies can’t be reasoned with. Sometimes they just need someone to kick their *#%&^*!
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