I have been musing over the inexplicable things some friends have said to me. On two occasions friends have sought to console me – at least I assume that’s what they were doing – when I have expressed sadness over losing my husband. They have countered with “couples are not always happy.”
Well no, but couples make the choice to stay in the relationship even if they are not always happy. Clearly there is enough happiness for them to maintain the relationship, or enough needs are being met so they are stay invested in the relationship.
It is such a bizarre thing to say to someone. Is it really meant to make me feel better? That other people might be sad or unhappy?
And in one way it makes me angry too. Try having no choice; you will die no matter what you do. I can only imagine how hard it was for my husband, no I can’t even imagine what it must’ve been like. I can only say what I experienced. When he was diagnosed it’s as if all the hope and the joy was sucked out of my life and I was living in a vacuum. I couldn’t see anything good in the future.
My heart was a solid, heavy lump in my chest. I couldn’t think straight. In the early days I would wake up in the morning and for a split second forget and be blissfully ‘normal’, then I would remember and be under a cloud of sorrow.
Later there was no forgetting. I would despair over how I would survive it. The sorrow felt so great, I felt trapped, I didn’t want to watch him suffer, but I couldn’t walk away and let him suffer by himself.
And now two years on, selfishly, it has become about me. I still miss him, but I feel lonely more. I want to be in a relationship again; not any old relationship though. Obviously I can’t replace him or our relationship but I want to try again with someone else.
Most of the time I feel OK, I’m not excessively sad or unhappy because you have to get on with life. Even the two year anniversary was OK. I passed it with friends and didn’t feel too sad- a few days later though the sadness has hit again.
I still feel embarrassed about it, eg when I was out for lunch the other day, and inexplicably felt bleak and sad and teary. I don’t want to show that to people, to have them think I am weak, to have them think I am still grief stricken. I am lonely, yes, but not grief stricken, which is progress. Still, I’d like to not feel lonely anymore.
I’d really like my friends not tell me that not everyone else is happy anyway. That’s not very helpful. I shall, instead, listen to my friends who are more empathetic.