***I should probably preface this entry with somewhat if a warning that I am probably going to use some colorful language, so this likely will not be suitable for work nor reading to your children as a bedtime story. Or, ya know do and see what happens. I mean, Little Johnny must learn from somewhere, why not from his parent(s), right? ***
Did you know that there is such a thing as anticipatory grief? Well, I didn’t, but having entered the expansive world of Widow-hood, I have learned all about anticipatory grief. The concept being that you grieve even before you’ve lost the person you are grieving for. This usually occurs under circumstances of long term illnesses with a prognosis of death, and mostly involves the caretakers of the person who is ill. It’s grieving the inevitable loss. Death is going to happen, and when it does, it’s almost like you’ve prearranged your grief. And although some people may see it as ‘jumping the gun’, it’s almost the bodies defense mechanism knowing that the hardest times are yet to come.
But I digress, that is not what this is about. Call this my anticipatory apology. I am likely to be a very bad friend over the course of the next few months, ahem, years. It’s possible that I have declined your offer for plans, flaked at the last minute, didn’t return your text, or pick up the phone when you called. And If I haven’t done one of those things to you yet, it’s highly fucking likely that I will. And if by some chance I did accept your invite to do something it’s also just a likely that I will go and look miserable at some point. And for that, I am sorry.
It’s not that I don’t want to be there with you. It’s not that I don’t want to talk or respond to you. It’s not that I don’t want to be there to celebrate with you, be a part of your milestones, or even just be happy for the sake of being happy. It’s simply that I can’t talk to anyone, go anywhere or do anything. I haven’t felt like getting out of bed or getting dressed or breathing. And unfortunately, since I need a paycheck, getting up for work is not optional. And God, I am trying really fucking hard to be there for you the way you have been there for me over the last few months. I have not forgotten the love and kindness my family has been shown, but every time I go out with friends, go to a birthday party, attend a school function, or do pretty much anything, it’s another reminder of how much I miss Andre. That half of me is missing and that I have changed and that scares the shit out of me. It’s like having woken up to someone having hit the reset button and all that’s left of my previous life is my two beautiful daughters and memories. Most days I need to coach myself to put one foot in front of the other, so the idea of doing something as simple as going to party is so overwhelming that disappointing someone seems easier than the effort it takes me to walk out the door.
I am sorry. I am sorry that I chose sitting at home alone to drink wine alone instead of being somewhere with you. I am sorry that I left your kids party early. And I am sorry that I declined on all the plans you offered. And I am even more sorry for this next part, because I have no right to ask for a favor, especially on the tail end of me explaining what a crappy friend I am, but here goes: Please don’t stop asking me to hang out. Please don’t stop inviting me over. Please keep inviting my kids’ places. Please ask me to get a drink or dinner. Please don’t give up on me, because I hope in time the heaviness will lift and the fog will fade, and the sadness will be ever so slightly less paralyzing, and I will say yes.
“All in all is all we are”