4 months today since Andy died.

Somehow the last four months have felt like an eternity, so I keep thinking this should hurt less by now, and then I realized it’s only been four months.

I continue to be amazed by the feelings. The universality and yet individuality of this experience is hard to reconcile. I feel the heaviness, the sadness, the anger, the frustration, the “crashing over and over again into a reality that can’t be real” as Megan Devine calls it.

And yet, it feels so personal. So strangely unlike what I hear from others. The nuance in this grief is sort of awe-inducing. Like, yes, I feel angry, but to lump it in with the anger we think comes with grief feels like it cheapens it; that it doesn’t accurately capture it to call it anger. Righteous injustice, maybe? Gross indignation? It’s more than just anger.

And the heaviness.

Yesterday, Ronan and I had a beautiful day. We went out to lunch, went to a park for a couple of hours, played at home. Even the battle over dinner that resulted in Ronan wanting to go to bed early was weirdly fine.

After I put Ronan to bed a full hour earlier than normal (at his request! Poor kiddo was so tired.) I sat on my bed, folding laundry and watching Lost in Space, and felt as if I would never be able to get out of bed again. Andy and I used to joke that after putting the kiddo to bed, the gravity around the couch or our bed would increase. This was that, but more. It was more than just the exhaustion that comes with parenting a young child. I’ve had friends assign the word “depression” to it. And maybe that’s it. But it feels so foreign. And it’s entirely born from the feeling that Andy could not be a part of and witness to our beautiful day together. It was the kind of day that when we talked about having a child, we pictured this kind of day.

I hate that he can’t be here for this. And I hate the fear and dread I have over the endless days stretched before me without Andy.

I did the math that if I live to be 80, I only will have gotten Andy for 11% of my life. That feels terrible. How do I live with such a small amount of him?

I’m grateful for friends who continue to ask about him, say his name, tell me their stories about him, and express their incredulity at his absence. To say it is helping isn’t quite accurate, nothing helps right now. But, it normalizes. It makes my desire to talk about Andy, not just as the source of grief, but as a whole, beautiful person who I am still deeply in love with, normal. People who still treat him like my husband, and not a chapter to move past, they are my helpmates and life preservers in the most harrowing storm I’ve ever weathered.

It’s also weird that this storm, being the most harrowing, is almost entirely internal. Cancer care, healing from being a child of alcoholics, that journey was far more visible. This is a silent, internal storm, so I think it seems like it’s not happening. But it’s happening.

My own internal Hurricane Andrew.

3 thoughts on “4 months

  1. I read the other day that “depression” and “grief” are not the same thing, which was extremely helpful for me, because grief definitely feels similar, especially energetically, for me, (cue the deep, heavy, exhaustion) but knowing it comes from outside me rather than internally is useful. Dunno if that is helpful to you at all, but it’s useful to ME knowing it’s okay to be fucked up for however long I need to be, but that I’ve also *done my work* and much of the fuckedupness right now comes from losing my Mom and me being so busy I’m not really able to deal with it, and that’s the difference between losing someone who’s in your life on a daily basis and someone who lived somewhere else and was often out of the country: I have the relative “luxury” of allowing my brain to kinda pretend she’s on a long excursion. But then it hits REALLY REALLY HARD when it bleeds through, the longer I go on not fully processing it. My Dad is coming to see my show mid-March…and to see him without her will probably be my undoing. Yeah. You are right: it’s really fucking hard. ❤

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  2. Thinking of you and Ronan, wish I knew what to say or do to help you on the path ahead. Just know you are both in my thoughts and our home is always open for a visit.

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