Bunny who?

Why? Who? What's this blog about? It's about MEEEE!

Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow


About Jane's brain tumour journey: Astrocytoma.co.uk

How should I feel?

27 May 2012

I have been struggling to find words to explain how I am feeling right now. On Wednesday May 30th, it will be a year since Jane died.

How am I supposed to feel? I just don't know. People are asking me how I am. I have received emails & messages from people telling me they are thinking of me at this difficult time. But I don't know how much more difficult it is right now than it was last week. Or the week before.

I expected to be sad. And I am. But I had thought I was going to be sad about specific memories. I expected to think of Jane and feel sad. Instead, it seems to manifest itself as a more general feeling of sadness. I am generally feeling a bit down. I cry quickly over things that have nothing to do with Jane. I feel insecure and needy. I find myself clinging to my girlfriend a lot more at the moment. And all of that without specifically thinking of Jane. And this makes me feel bad and confused.

What does that mean? That I don't feel sad about Jane specifically? Or that I do? I guess that in the past year, I have felt all there is to feel on an 'individual memory' kind of basis. There is not a sad thought that involves Jane that I have not already had. So re-thinking these things does not make me sad like they used to. I have already been sad about losing my wife. I have been sad about my future not being what I once thought it was. I have been sad about being alone in a tiny room instead of in a nice place of my own with the woman I thought I was going to spend my life with.

But my life now also has so many happy things. I actually am not alone. I am rarely without my girlfriend. She makes me happy. We do a lot of fun stuff together. I am looking forward to starting my nursing degree in September. I love my job. I have great friends.

I guess I am no longer missing Jane as much as I used to. Love can not exist in a vacuum. You can not love someone in the same way you used to if there is no love coming back. I guess the best way to describe it is that I am no longer in love with Jane. I feel like that part of me has died but instead of seeing a large black hole in that space, I just see a friend that I have lost. I don't feel like an incomplete person anymore. I am me again. I don't get sad when I see pictures of Jane or pictures of us together. Well, I get sad in a kind of: It is such a shame that this lovely person is no longer alive and part of my life. Yes, that is sad. But it doesn't make me cry anymore. The thing that still makes me cry though is when I think of the pain and suffering both Jane & I went through. I don't think that will ever go away. It is odd that I get more sad when thinking of someone else's pain (Jane's pain) than when I think of my own pain. Maybe it is because I can still change my own pain. I can deal with it, grieve my way through it and come out the other end.

Jane did not have that opportunity. And that makes me very sad. The idea that she was unable to express how she felt, that she was locked inside her own head with all her fear and pain. That is still so upsetting. Thinking about how scared she must have been and not able to put that in to words, maybe not even understanding what the hell was making her feel so scared. What is still incredibly sad is the feeling that I will never know what she was feeling when she wet the bed. When she had a nurse put her in a hoist to get her in to the living room. How she felt when people were crying at her bedside to say goodbye to her. Did she know? Did she accept it? Did she cry? Was she scared Did I do enough to help her understand? Should I have hidden things from her instead of trying to explain? The thing that is still devastatingly sad is that I simply don't know if there was ANYTHING I could have done that could have made things even a tiny bit better for her. I did all I could with the knowledge I had. I am not saying I failed. I am saying that I wish I was certain there was nothing MORE I could have done to make things better for Jane. Because she could not tell me. Or, worse, what if she tried to tell me but I did not understand her communication?

I guess I have no idea how I feel. Or how I should feel. And this confuses me. And this in turn makes me sad. And when I am sad, all kinds of non-Jane related things get thrown in to the mix and I just become generally more sad.

Maybe that will be the legacy of all this: that eventhough I will be, and already am, happy again, my life will always have an underlying sadness that is caused by what has happened but which may manifest itself in all kinds of unrelated ways. I might be more needy in personal relationships. Or less patient with people about unimportant things. Or have a bigger fear of not making someone happy. A bigger need to ask my girlfriend how she feels and if there is anything I can do to make her happier. Or a bigger need to tell people I love them, to the point where it sounds desperate, which in turn makes me feel like a needy twat.... And so the spiral goes on.

If someone knows how I should be feeling, please send your answers on a postcard to the usual address.


Libra said...

No postcard, so this will have to do..
It's not about feeling less sad, it's about coming to terms with the fact that you start a new timeline, on a new road. One where there will ALWAYS be a connection to 'the-memory-of-Jane-lane'. You are already aware that there are days you think about her less, that's not wrong, that's called living. There will be times when you'll be knocked off your feet by something reminding you of Jane..and you can handle it better every time.
You did all you could, knew, needed to. In the best possible way. Jane felt that, and knew that. Don't go doubt yourself now, you've come this far.
Don't smother your new lady, you can't make up what you lost, you can only start a new.....
Be strong !, Be happy !.. LIVE !

Helen from Planet Grief said...

Such a touching post and one that I felt deeply as so much of what you said rings true for me too. I first read it on my phone, out and about; I had to keep stopping and looking at the sky as parts of it took my breath away.

No answers, just the biggest hug and all the cheese you can eat. Hxxx

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