Friends, I’ve been silent because I’m grieving and grief is hard.

I’m well acquainted with grief and if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned
Grief is non-linear.
Grief is hard.
And we all grieve differently.

And as I’ve been watching the news, I’ve realized that for me, I’m in that “shock” part of grief. I’m numb. I’m frightened. I feel paralyzed and overwhelmed. At least that’s how I feel today.

On Tuesday it was BJ’s birthday. I had a really hard day. So when I heard about Alton Sterling I just couldn’t process it. More death? Come on. This day was hard enough. So I had to stay at a distance.

On Wednesday night the tears came as I watched the video of Philando Castile. I sobbed for his fiancee, Diamond Reynolds, because I know what it is like to watch the man you love die right in front of your eyes. I sobbed because I was broken by the injustice. By the violence. By his death. By her pain. By the journey of grief she is about to walk through.

On Thursday night I heard the news of Dallas. I didn’t cry. I just felt horrified. Numb. More deaths. More violence. That’s where my grief took me last night. My grief for our country, for the violence, for the racism, for the deaths.

Friends, I’m grieving.

Tomorrow, I don’t know how I’ll feel. Grief is odd that way. I may be numb again or maybe angry or I may be devastated or hope-filled.

I don’t know. Grief shifts and changes.

So I guess I just want to offer up the thought that, just as I may need to be silent or loud, angry or hopeful, and everything between, all of us are grieving differently in this scary time.

Some of us are angry.
Some of us are broken.
Some of us are hopeful.
Some of us are numb.

But I know there is room for all of us.

And I know God is big enough for all our pain.

In times like this I look to the Psalms. In the Psalms I see both lament and praise. In the Psalms I see room for hope and despair.

And I remember in times of grief,

We should have hope and despair.

We should raise our voices and silence them in prayer.

We should have anger and compassion.

Both / And.

Yes and Yes.

All of the above.

But we should be grieving.

There is a time for everything under the sun.

I think now is our time to grieve.

Sadness, anger, hope and all.

 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 

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When the day comes,

What are they going to say?

Will they remember?

Will they care?

And how will I feel?

___

I feel like throwing a temper tantrum.

I feel like screaming my guts out
and stomping my feet
and flailing my arms
and letting everyone know just how damn painful it is to be me.

I feel the deep injustice that is losing a spouse.

I feel the deep despair of a future without BJ.

I feel the overwhelming sadness that I managed to live a whole year without him.

___

I’m sick of being misunderstood.

Sick of explaining myself.
Sick of defending myself.
Sick of canceling plans.
Sick of being moody.
Sick of grief.
Sick of pain.

___

I’m sad.

Sad because, of course, BJ died.

Sad because it seems like everyone misses him but also no one misses him.

And I’m scared.

Scared because money must be made.
Bills must be paid.
Futures must be forged.

I have to learn to live with the pain.

I have to live out more years without BJ.

I have to figure out how and what and where and when and if I should date.

I have to start from scratch.

I have to start life all over again.

My friends are getting big jobs and having weddings and babies and engagements and new homes.

But my world ends each and every day.

I’m living in reverse.

I don’t gain, I just seem to lose.

And whining doesn’t make me feel better.

Blogging doesn’t make me feel better.

Nothing takes away the gaping hole of loss.

___

And it’s almost been a year.

June 23
June 24
June 25

and then we’re there.

And he dies.

June 26.

My sweet husband dies.

June 26.

My world ends.

June 26.

My heart breaks.

June 26.

June 26.

June 26.

It’s coming.

It’s coming.

Oh God.

 
 
 

 
Here’s how it goes:



I finally get my butt to a coffee shop to get some writing done

And then, and only then, do I feel like crying.

On the verge of tears.
Mind going fuzzy.
Lump in the throat.

And though I’m here, ready to write,

All I want to do is cry.

(Even though I haven’t cried in like, 5 days.)

Yes, only now,

In public,

Do I feel the budding tears in my eyes.

This is why I can’t get anything done.

BECAUSE GRIEF IS UNPREDICTABLE.

Because after a few good months
And then May being a REALLY bad month
And then June seeming to be a little bit better…

It starts sinking in OH GOD HE DIED JUNE LAST YEAR.

And all you can say is OH GOD.

(And you literally mean OH GOD. OH GOD, PLEASE HELP. ARE YOU LISTENING, GOD?)

And you also say NO.

No.

It cannot have been almost a year since you’ve seen a living, breathing BJ.

NO, God, NO.

OH GOD, no.

No.

You cannot have survived a year without your best friend.

No God. This can’t be real.

What is time? How is time? Where is time?

How has this happened?

How is it June, June of June 26, 2015 fame?

How, God?

Oh God.

And not only do I feel pain and shock and fear

But I have no idea what to do with my life moving forward.

I want a baby in my belly. 



And I can’t believe how everyone manages to stay alive so well.

How so many husbands don’t die.

How so many women have children and families and homes.

I try not to through myself a pity party.

But I also cannot deny the pain.

And so I say

OH GOD

Over and over and over.

 

 

 
 
 
 

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Oh grief, you keep me on my toes.

Yesterday I could barely get out of bed.

Today espresso shots and friends and cats meant I forgot the pain for a bit.

Oh grief, you hit hard after 20 minutes at the funeral home trying to pick out memorial plaques.

I thought I could do it.

But I could not.

Because the fact that I, at 26 years old, need to pick out a memorial plot for my young, handsome husband still

puzzles me and
shocks me and
confuses me and
hurts me and
angers me.

But oh grief,

How you stilled with a pizza dinner with my family.

With just deciding to stay in.

With not caring about anything but being present in the moment.

With honoring my pain.

With doing what I need to do to be healthy and healing and my truest self.

Oh grief, you are the hardest thing I have ever done.

Oh grief, you make easy things hard.

Oh grief, you make me confusing to other people.

Oh grief, you are just so damn relentless.

Oh grief, what do you have in store for me tomorrow?

 
 
 
 

 
 

Today

I didn’t wash my hair.

I didn’t put makeup on.

I wore glasses because when I cry that hard my eyes get puffy and I can’t wear contacts.

 

Today

I felt unbearable pain.

Like longer he’s dead the harder life gets.

Or at least that’s how it seemed.

 

Today

I wanted to sleep all day.

I felt alone with my pain.

And when I wasn’t distracted I was unbearably sad.

 

Today

I felt all the pain, all the suffering of a dead spouse.

A dead spouse.

A dead man.

A dead best friend.

In a world of people who are so alarmingly alive.

 

Today

I felt so devastated I was single.

I felt so sure I will be alone forever.

I felt so convinced my suffering would never let up.

 

Tomorrow?

I don’t know.