The Stages of death:
* Shock and numbness
* Yearning and searching
* Disorganization and despair
…have been studied and disputed. The process, or reaction, is not as defined as they once had thought. It is individual. That’s no surprise to me.
As the days and now months pass, I notice subtle changes. Rather than moving through them, I find a part of me in all of the stages.
Shock and numbness:
There are times when I find myself back in the state of numbness. I see the road ahead, but cannot feel the bumps as I travel the course. I am consistently surprised (in shock) by how much pain there is to be felt.
Yearning and searching:
In the initial weeks that followed Tom’s death, I felt his presence often. I would drive down the street and could almost see him beside me. I was acutely aware of each anti-Tom move that I would make. But these past few weeks have been different. He has collected up his energy and moved on.
I don’t know what I expected – that, perhaps, his spirit would hang around until the kids were grown. I hoped for it and that brought me some comfort. But a spirit cannot be held in the previous life – stuck – without the freedom to move on. Certainly Tom’s spirit could not be held hostage. It would be selfish of me to want that, but I did.
Sometimes I just lie there and wish that I would wake up to realize that this was only a bad dream. I lay there listening to the gentle breathing beside me, turn and open my eyes to find sweet YaYa next to me in bed. I’m lucky to have my children, but I long for Tom.
I see it in the young faces too. Sometimes their long faces say it all, as they reluctantly come to sit at a table for three. It’s just wrong, but it is what it is.
I know that I am not the one who should be watching the Warriors game with BoBo. Without meaning to, I fall asleep instead of offering informed commentary. Does effort count? I hope so.
YaYa just hugs me. He’s quiet and his hugs are often prolonged. Fortunately for us, it is just “sometimes.”
Disorganization and despair:
There was more of the “scattered” feeling before. I still struggle to gather documents, follow up on issues, and plan ahead. I am often too exhausted to care.
I am assuming responsibility for things that Tom used to do. I am learning to move on (as difficult as it is).