Pictures are hard. You want to see them, to remember, but they also make you so very sad when you think of the loved one that will no longer enjoy those things that brought him joy, no longer hear the stupid puns or weird observations he was so keen on sharing. The family BBQs, birthday parties, holidays, drinks with friends, road trips. You’ve met some of his friends and they are exactly the kind of people you hoped he’d be friends with – witty, welcoming, caring, regular people. People that enjoyed his company, that can tell a joke, that miss him. And it makes you both sad and angry all over again because you can’t help but wonder why he didn’t reach out to one of them, why he didn’t raise his hand and say, “hey, I need some help here.”
Onward: that’s what we do, right? We make plans, we arrange a service, we carry on with the day to day activities that we were doing eleven days ago. Only now there is this grief running beneath it and it catches you by surprise when you scroll thru your social media feed, or find a photo in your kid’s album. And though your appetite has returned, it still affects your sleep, makes you foggy-headed and slow.
You know grieving is a process. You’ve lost family and friends before, to illness and old age; you know that time softens the grief. But this is the first in your life to leave under these circumstances and you grapple with the anger, which you weren’t expecting.
You try to catch up on work, chores, missed appointments. You return to your hobbies, the easy ones that don’t require tons of focused thought. Has it only been ten days? It feels like forever. And yesterday.