Just for the heck of it, I decided to read the 7 steps of grief. Very interesting and very different from what I have experienced. One comment from below is 100%, “Outsiders do not understand”. Then again, how could they. It is said the only thing worse than the loss of a close spouse is the loss of a child. It is also said the loss of a loving devoted spouse is a close 2nd. Regardless, here is how I have experienced the 7 steps.
1. SHOCK & DENIAL: Given my logical mind set and Karen’s long fight with cancer, I never experienced this. Possibly also because I held her hand as she passed away.
2. PAIN & GUILT:
Over the first few weeks, I definitely experienced the suffering of unbelievable pain. I was surprised at the level of excruciating and almost unbearable physical as well as emotional pain. I do not think I experienced guilt. However I did think about things we never got done together and wish we could had. IE: trips to Ireland and Bermuda. But I am comfortable in the wonderful life we lead and the many trips we traveled together.
3. ANGER & BARGAINING:
Today I find myself here. I am definitely one pissed off dude. I am not a man of faith or believe in a god and all that none sense. So I have no one to bargain with or scream at. But it does piss me off someone so wonderful suffered for so long and was taken from me. It does tick me off that Karen’s best friend from college has not had the courage to talk to me about my loss. Apparently as Karen suspected this person is mentally ill as the rest of her family is and thus cannot cope. Yet it is I who has lost my wife. It is this college friend that knows what it is like given she lost her spouse nearly 3 years ago. Yet, not a single phone call. Life truly does suck sometimes.
4. "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS:
Not fully there yet. I do experience loneliness on a daily basis. How could I not given there is no one in my life. There is no one to say good morning to. No one to say how was your day. No one to plan vacations, days, or life with. I definitely reflect on the past 20 years. What I did right, what I did wrong, and what I will do differently in the future.
As for depression, I’m not there and don’t plan to go there. Possibly because I know this can happen. I have been keeping myself very busy with friends. I am very relieved to have such wonderful and supportive friends. Thanks all.
5. THE UPWARD TURN:
Not there yet.
6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH:
I think I’ve already done this one. Given I have no children, siblings, or parents, I find it necessary to occupy my time with something. Otherwise my mind is filled with thoughts of Karen, etc. So I have been working through the to do list including financials, etc.
7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE:
In many ways I find myself here. I ponder how I am going to live the rest of my life. I know I do not want to go through life alone. I know I will eventually want to fill my life with another loving wife. I am pondering the qualities and characteristics I will search for in future prospective spouse. But I am also careful not to jump the gun and move to quickly. I will give myself a few months to outline my game plan. But I will not waste years of my life in solitude wasting away my life in grief. It is not what I want or what Karen told me she wanted for me. We both told each other to move on and not waste our lives. As we know, we have very limited time on earth.