Sometimes you just have to laugh. I went to the mailbox today and picked up no less than six things addressed to my late husband. Chris died two years ago last Tuesday, and it seems Corporate America just hasn’t gotten the news.
I get offers of credit cards, charitable entreaties, sales flyers of all kinds, and my favorite, a voter’s guide with his name on it. (I didn’t get a ballot last year though for Chris, I could have had a lot of fun with that. )
There’s pages of tiresome things you have to do when someone dies. Notify the banks, change names of phone accounts, readjust mortgage debt, and send out a veritable flurry of official death certificates to everyone who seems to want one.
Even with all of this, people still send things to Chris and call for him. It used to bug the crap out of me, now it just tugs my heart and reminds me how different things are. Strong women like me can tell themselves a lot of lies, I’ve discovered. Things like “I’m OK. It’s good that he’s in a healthier place, I’ve moved forward in a healthy way, things are good.”
By and large, all that is true. Someone I trust once told me though, grief is like the wind. It comes and goes as it pleases. The pace of loss for me has been maddening, too. Those of you who have been with me for a while, know that Chris died, three very important friends lost their lives, and then Mom relocated to heaven.
Because of this bad run, I like the idea of grief being ‘recursive’ too. (Recursive- adj. Characterized by recurrence or repetition, in particular. )
Elizabeth Kubler Ross wasn’t quite on target. The stages of grief are not a neat staircase. You can start in the middle, go back to the beginning, leapfrog to acceptance, and back to anger, sometimes in the same day. Especially when corporate idiots try to get me to buy there wares.
I’ve discovered this roller coaster ride is mitigated only by things that are borne out of love. When I experience that stomach-dropping lurch of grief that reminds me, again, that I won’t be able to bring a business problem to my mother, I write. When I remember that I don’t have a special companion to whisper to in the night, I sing. When the crushing weight of work issues bends my frame, I dance. These things bring me back to a place of love and grace.
When I stand on the edge of that lonely, depressive, cliff I remember that I am loved by my Father in heaven, and he continues to give me good gifts. That I am only a stranger in this land, and like Chris, my mom, and others would tell me, “You’re eternal life has already begun, dear heart, and you’ll be here soon enough.
Much love to you all,