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The silencing of grief

Grief is so much more than losing a person- especially when that person is your spouse.

Grief is losing your shared history and the part of yourself that was only drawn out by that particular person. Losing a spouse means losing memories, shared language and inside jokes. It's holding your tongue instead of saying something out loud because the person you want to share it with - the one who would understand- is gone.

I've been a lot quieter since my husband died. I'm quiet by nature, but he brought out my voice because I was so comfortable in his presence. I often said to him, "I'd never say this to anyone else but..." and he'd listen, sometimes laugh, and then tell me that I should definitely not share those thoughts wirth anyone else! What a gift to have someone that you can be completely honest with who won't reject you.

I could be silly or stupid, irreverent or ridiculous, and he'd love me the same. We could have whole conversations with just a glance. I often had to avoid his gaze across a room because I knew what he was thinking without even looking at him and couldn't risk cracking up if I caught his gaze.

There are whole parts of me- and my life- that have been diminished since he died. Inside jokes... made up words... a shared smile over our child's antics.

I have plenty of people on my life to talk to, but the things we discuss are just different. There's no one to tell the insignificant details of my day to. No one who catches a sigh and asks what it's about or sees me in a funk and wonders what got me there.

There are funny moments that I don't tell people about and stories way too embarrassing to share with anyone but him. There are things I can't remember that are now lost to time because he was the only one who would remember and he's not here to ask.

This has been the silencing of grief in my life: not that I am now silent but that there are so many things I leave unsaid because he is no longer here to say them to.

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