when bad things happen…

My cousin was killed in a car accident on Sunday.  Why do these things keep happening?  It’s not fair.  He left behind a wife and two little kids, he was only 27.  I spent yesterday in a daze.  I KNOW what his wife is going through, I KNOW how she is feeling, I KNOW how bad it sucks.  I just want to wrap her up in a warm, fuzzy blanket and protect her.  I want to save her from all the yucky stuff, and I don’t even know her that well.  In fact, if I came at her with a blanket she would probably call the cops….

I want to let her know that things get better, but do they?  Not really, they just get different.  Sometimes different is good, sometimes different is bad, but most of the time different is just that: Different. 

Knowing what she is going through has brought me back, back to those first few mind-numbing weeks.  The weeks I don’t really remember much.  The “fog”.  That haze that is so hard to fight through, the haze that keeps the sun from shining.  The haze that pushes down on you and keeps you from feeling.  Oh, how I hated that. 

Luckily, the haze does lift, little, by little.  Small smiles come back.  Little giggles.  Moments of self-confidence, and success.  Surviving each day is success.  Heck, showering is a success.  They return. 

I would love to say that one year is a magic mark.  It’s not, I am discovering.  The one year mark is just a mark of progress, not completion.  I wish I knew when I could be done, I wish I knew when this could be over, but I don’t. 

I don’t think grief is a fixable problem.  Grief is just a process, a process that you can’t avoid.

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6 responses to “when bad things happen…

  1. Oh, I’m so very sorry, for your whole family.

    As bitterly painful as it is, your experience can be a tremendous gift to his widow — and you may find some healing for yourself in reaching out to her. At the very least, as you recall those first few weeks of numbness shock horror — you can see how very much you HAVE progressed.

    Wishing you a measure of peace today…

  2. I’m so sorry. I think every subsequent loss brings us back to those first days, and this one must be even more jarring for you because of the similarities to your own.

    I also wish there was a magic time when the grief would be “over” but it doesn’t seem to work that way. The deep lows do get less frequent and less painful, though, and the capacity for happiness does return with time.

  3. I’m so sorry about your cousin. And as you say, it brings it all back and takes you right there once again to the beginning.

    I can relate that it’s hard to offer comfort to your cousin’s wife from where you are. I found that in the midst of my grief, it was very very hard to support anyone else’s sorrow but my own. It’s just the way it is, and as you imply, if you did tell her that her next year will be hell, that might not be a lot of help.

    And even at one year — as you say, it’s not the end. Not quite, or not by a long way? Who knows — since it depends upon the moment.

    All you can say is that time is passing, and you’re still standing. But don’t underestimate that triumph for a moment. It’s monumental.

    Progress. That’s what it is, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. Spirits up.

  4. Oh my gosh, will the tragedy ever end for your family? I can only imagine the pain and shock and extend my deepest wishes that time will help to ease your pain.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your cousin. I will say a prayer for his family tonight.

    Love,
    Stella

  6. Oh Laura, I am so sorry about your cousin. I understand how this could bring you back to that dreadful day.

    But I agree with Alicia, I truly think you should reach out to your cousin’s wife, comfort her. Don’t tell her the bad things but let her see what you have accomplished. Let her know that it is hard but she can survive it. I am thinking that maybe you had to experience your loss before her so that way you can comfort her. Your gift to her can be this. Even if she doesn’t really know you, I am sure she will be forever grateful.

    Stay strong Laura we are all here with you in spirit. Praying for you and your family.

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