Gail Patricia Caldwell
October 04, 1953 - June 10, 2017

The Christmas etc. that wasn't !

The Christmas etc. that wasn't !

Boxing Day, and I can say only that I survived. Christmas without Gail, my first, was a small nightmare in the midst of an even bigger one.

Shopping for myself, listening to the endless carols and syrupy songs was a trial by fire. At times I could feel myself coming apart at the seams inside a Safeway store. Tears were my companion every time I ventured out in public. The constant ache of abandonment, of solitude and isolation were monumental. Not just from Gail being physically absent, but from what I have discovered.

We are a death and grief avoidant culture. We push away from these topics or anyone actively involved in them. Up to the point of a service the outpouring of support is gratifying. But, as soon as the curtain comes down tumbleweeds blow through your life. You're on your own.

For the most part, it doesn't matter whether it's friend or family, their degree of discomfort in your situation is entirely personal. You may be surprised at what you see and hear.

There are those who suddenly "know what you're going through!"  or "know how you feel!" There are also omniscient psychobabblers who will invoke the name of the deceased. "She(__) wouldn't want you to be unhappy." , "She(__) would want you to move on with your life." , "What would she/he think of you doing that?", "She would roll over in her grave if she knew what you were doing."

This is a prime example of what I call K.I.A. syndrome. This is not Killed In Action, but Know-It-All. Suddenly surrounded by them, I have heard, "but they mean well!"  Don't believe it for a second. These aforementioned remarks are stoppers. They want you to stop. They are uncomfortable with you, the way you talk, look, feel. You are in grief. You are mourning. They don't like it and they want you to stop. Under the guise of sagely advice.

Many years ago I heard Dr. Alan Wolfelt speak. He is probably the premiere grief counsellor in North America.  He suggested that handing a tissue to a person who is crying is a covert message telling the person to stop. The tissue becomes a stopper. Stop the crying!

Lord knows I've done it. I've handed the tissue. But no longer.

And Know-it-all-itis is just that. Nothing more, nothing less. Stop!

But they have your best interests at heart!

If that were true, then,

Say nothing and just listen to me!! Just listen to me talk about my pain. Listen to me in the misery that I feel over how my life has been torn apart. LIsten to me reminisce about the love that I have lost. Just listen. No advice. No cajoling. No fixing. No tissues. It's just pain, on a horrendous scale, but it is still just pain.

It will not last. Nothing ever does. But today, for now, it is here. As am I.

All bets are off. Everything I've known, been certain about, is gone.

This is my life. Pushing for me to shape up and fly right won't work. This is where I live. I will change. I will live through this. But in this moment I cannot see the end.

Having anyone tell me about "the light at the end of the tunnel" only adds insult to an already injured and shattered heart.
















Started by Robert Flowers on December 26, 2017
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