Shut in

I’ve started reading about the stages of grief and I saw that the first stage is denial. The examples they give is the denial that your spouse is sick or going to die. I definitely think I went through that, but that means I was in the denial stages for my entire relationship. I knew George had cancer, and when he got sick I would help him but I never wanted to treat him like a cancer patient.  When he got terminal in the last month of his life, it was extremely difficult, and I don’t think I was in denial. I think I was optimistic that he would get better. When he started to become disoriented and couldn’t control himself anymore, I certainly went into shock. I still sometimes think I’m in shock because of how quickly he passed away. We returned from our honeymoon on October 25th, and then on November 25th he died. How would you react?

Maybe my diatribe above is what they mean about denial. I don’t know. My mind is so scrambled right now. One minute I’m focused on cooking and then another I realize I need to cancel his credit cards and then I go into hysterics. One thing is for sure, I’m withdrawing more and more. I’m screening phone calls because I just don’t want to hear it anymore. The platitudes of “if you need anything, let me know,” or, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through. If you need to talk, let me know.” I’m not just getting this from my close friends but I’m getting this from people I’ve never met before. So perhaps the denial stage isn’t necessarily denying your loved ones illness or death, but how you treat yourself. I’m denying myself from the outside world. I don’t want to talk, I don’t want help, I just want to be left alone. I’m even changing my walking routes so I don’t run into other people I know. The other dog owners in my complex knew George, they didn’t know me and I know if I run into them they’ll go “we haven’t seen George in awhile.” I know those 6 words would plunge into my heart and twist my stomach. He’s dead. That’s why you haven’t seen him. Dead.

I might be slowly entering into the anger phase of grief…


About J.

Fitness professional, fitness & nutrition writer, widowed at 28. Writing about getting through grief through self-care, physical activity, and the ​constant feeling of being uncomfortable.
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