Wednesday, January 20, 2010

what's wrong with me?

I am beginning to think something must be wrong with me. When I look back and think about my loss of my beloved Brian, I am not overwhelmed with sorrow. In fact, when I reminisce as I did this past weekend with relatives about what happened this week last year - which was when Brian began showing increasing signs of confusion and loss of balance and we made the transition from fighting to live to preparing to die - I didn't even cry. When I shared with my family and friends some details regarding the boyz' struggles and issues, I didn't even tear up. My loved ones did. I didn't.

I can't help but wonder what is wrong with me. How could I be so cold? I can't help but wonder if THEY wonder what is wrong with me. "How could she be so unfeeling? It hasn't even been a year."

Or could it be that I live with this emptiness every day? Could it be that I am farther in my grief process because the loss of Brian was such a sharp contrast to my everyday living, therefore forcing me to accept faster in order to carry forward effectively? Could it be that when others see me they are instantly reminded of Brian causing them to face some emotions they don't feel on an everyday basis because Brian's absence didn't affect their everyday living? Or could it be that I am suppressing my own grief?

What bothers me the most is that given the awesome marriage I had to Brian, given the amazing mutually satisfying relationship we shared, my loss is immense. Shouldn't the proportion of that loss drive my despair? Or could it be because of our healthy, loving, respectful connection, I feel equipped to move on easier? Could it be that the love Brian and I shared for each other and for our God outfitted me with the ability to peacefully and happily reflect upon my life with Brian as a blessing that will guide my future rather than mourn what will never be? Could it be that I absorbed a portion Brian's infectious positive attitude choosing happiness and contentment right now rather than more sadness and guilt?

I don't know the answer.

What I do know is that some days I feel badly for not being more emotional over my loss.

Some days I don't.



  1. Feeling a little guilty, huh? As though you're being disloyal to not be miserable, depressed, lonely, and heartbroken to the fullest measure every day? What kind of woman is that? What kind of mother is that? What can a woman who refuses to allow time and God to lessen her pain actually accomplish in this world. Can she teach her sons that God is sufficient and faithful in healing their pain? Can she teach her children that God will never leave them nor forsake them, if she refuses His healing and grace... his tender care?

    Your marriage wasn't less incredible, nor your devotion a fleeting one, simply because you haven't crawled into bed, curled up in your robe and sobbed yourself to death. BUT - your God IS incredible, his faithfulness a surety... because you haven't crawled into bed, curled up in your robe and sobbed yourself to death.

    Your children would be harmed if their mother refused to leave behind the immense pain of those first days of grief. They would live their lives steeping in the grief, and it would be irresponsibly selfish for a mother to value her grief over her life and the future of her children.

    You are having some healing. It isn't "all better", but it's healthy. It's important. It's OK. It's nothing to feel guilty about. No one who loves you should wish for your family to be eternally grief-stricken. You have nothing to make penance for. You didn't kill your husband... you don't have to feel the utmost grief for all of your days to prove you love Brian.

    You are a woman and a mom. Accept the relief that God is giving you. He's been faithful to you. He wants to help you heal so that you can be His woman and the mother to His blessed souls living in your house.

    It's not unnatural to feel what you're feeling... but don't allow yourself to be fooled into thinking that you must cling to the pain because you "shouldn't" have a life beyond widowhood.

  2. Angie, maybe you are just surprised you can have a conversation about Brian and not be overwhelmed by your grief. I know you, I have read your blog, I know you are not unfeeling. You just had a few moments where you were actually able to get through it in one piece. It has not been a year, but you have been grieving for much longer than that. I'm not expert, but this is probably part of your healing process. I still pray for you every day. My heart is with you. Love ya, Noelle

  3. Angie, I agree with all the comments so far. You are an amazing women who is able to do the right thing at the right time and show your loss in a way that benefits everyone you know.
    Your family will never forget how much you and Brian loved each other or how the two of you took care of each other. They will understand the changes that take place as you move forward through time. They do not seem to be the type of family that condemns another because of their way of dealing with the loss of Brian.
    You are a healthy and normal woman with a lot on your plate. You have two young boys that depend on you and how you handle the day to day changes that life bring you. You are awesome!
    Your sister in Christ, Karen W. in S.W. Ohio

  4. Could it be that you're a very strong woman? Could it be that you spent so much time preparing for his death that you began to grieve before you even lost him? Could it be that by the process of your blog you've learned that sharing has helped you accept this with grace - whether online or in person?

    Don't beat yourself up over it because I'm certain that NOBODY thinks there is something wrong with you!

  5. There's nothing wrong with you. You're not being cold or anything. Getting over grief is a natural process in life and it's helped by time. As cliche as it sounds, 'time heals all wounds, regardless of how you feel right now.'

  6. Angie, I reacted much in the same way to my mother's death when I was 18. We had an increduible, loving, non-conflicted relationship that was the envy of all of my friends. I think it may have freaked people out when I did not fall apart all the time. I think in the beginning it was that wrapped in cotton feeling of being carried by the Holy Spirit. But beyond that, it was just the way I coped. I remember laughing with friends a few weeks later and thinking-- is this weird, should I even be laughing? But my laughter, and your coping, are not a turning away from but a turning toward life. You are in a place no one wants to be in, but you are coping, and caring for the boys. Your grief, and your love for Brian are in no way diminished by your getting up every day and facing your new life. XO, A

  7. ...with you as you walk this road, and Still Believing! Love, Karye & Terry

  8. Give the praise to God. He is the healer!

    Love you.

  9. It sounds like you are experiencing the "peace that passes all understanding." Maybe that's a gift, a blessing, or an answer to all the prayers that have been prayed over you and the boys. Maybe it is an adapting of Brian's great attitude into you. Maybe it's all of the above. It's neither right or wrong it just is.

  10. Every one deals with things in their own way. I truly believe that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to grieve.

    I recently read some literature that said that emotionally healthy people rebound much more quickly than previously supposed.

  11. I gave birth to Mark 17 months after Angel died. Everyone in the room cried when he was born, except me. I didn't feel the need to cry.

    Sometimes I did feel guilty for being so wrapped up in loving him, and not grieving her.

    Sometimes I didn't feel guilty.

    Grief...what a trip, yo!

    I think it's great insight on your part when you recognize that you live with this reality 24/7, while others are faced with it when they see you. Totally different situations require different coping mechanisms.

  12. Just like children all grow at different speeds, grief moves at a different pace for everyone. And while today was a good day, you may have other days when it hits you like a ton of bricks & you have to go hide in the bathroom & have a good sobbing cry & 'get it all out' before you can compose yourself. Take it 1 day at a time & don't try to put yourself, or your level of grief, in a box. You're doing perfect!

  13. There's nothing wrong with you. Praise God for the progress you have made and continue to turn to Him when you have those tough days. You are so strong - what a gift for your boys!

  14. You live this everyday. Others can forget it for a few moments, an hour...

    Brian wouldn't want his memory to be a burden.

  15. I was going to comment, which I don't do very often here, but Annie said it all. Listen to her. She sounds like a very wise woman.

  16. I'd say it's called healing.
    ANd you make good points in that you deal (have dealt) with the loss every day and these others deal with it when they see you.

    I also remember after my sister died... that at some point (in the first year? second year) when I realized that I hadn't thought about her that day... or that week --- I felt AWFUL! How could I not think about my dead sister? I'm a horrible person.

    25 years later, I'm here to tell you it is healing.
    If we steeped ourselves in grief every day of our lives - what a mess would that be?

  17. Whoa. I didn't even read the other description of being 'steeped in grief' before I wrote mine.

    Although.. that's pretty accurate!
    For Mr. Burns I referred to him as mired in grief... just as ugly.