The nature of grief

I wanted to write this yesterday but didn’t know what to write. I’m still not sure I’ll know what to write today.

Two nights ago, I had a dream about Vaughn. It was the day of his execution and I was allowed to have a contact visit with him. He went off after our visit to go and shower and get changed and ready. I woke up thinking what a wierd thing it must be to get ready for. Do you shower beforehand? And how must it feel to take that shower? To know that you are getting yourself cleaned up so that, in a few hours, when you are no longer alive and your family are allowed to come and see your body, then you are at least presentable. Wierd, wierd, wierd.

And then I started to think about Vaughn. I thought about his face, his smile, his easy laughter. And about how imagining myself talking to him felt strange. It felt strange to imagine a dead person back to life and imagine a conversation with him. There is so much happening in my life right now that I would usually have written to him about so I imagined telling him these things. Then I stopped imagining it because it felt odd.

I’ve not met him that many times. He’s on a different continent so it’s not like I was seeing him every day but I would imagine conversations with him all the time. Now that he’s gone, there’s this mental block when I try to imagine a conversation I might have with him. It feels wrong.

When thinking about all this gets to a point where I realise I’m feeling sad, I’m kind of relieved, really. It reassures me that I am capable of emotional responses and that I do have feelings, tucked away somewhere behind all the ‘carrying on’ and ‘not falling apart.’

One of the things I’ve worried about previously was never realising what has happened, never understanding that he is dead. I think it’s changing now. I do realise he is dead. Over time, I’ve started being able to comprehend that no more letters are arriving and that he is no longer sitting in that little box behind a glass screen, with a phone pressed to his ear, waiting for me to visit.

On the other hand, when the children left for Australia, I stood at the airport and watched them leave and the grief was immediate. I was really, really gutted. It didn’t take very long though, to recognise that they will have a lovely happy, sunny life there and that they look well in the photos I have seen. There is no longer the grief but simply the excitement to get out there and see them next year.

Not being present for Vaughn’s final hours has made the process of understanding and grieving quite drawn out. I’m approaching two months since his death and I’ve no idea what the next stage of this whole process is.

6 responses to this post.

  1. You are going through this as you need to go through it. The next stage will present itself when it’s time. You’re awareness is going to help you through it so don’t fight anything. LLM, keep in mind, not many people have gone through what you have gone through so continue to be patient with yourself and live this wonderful life you have worked so hard for!



  2. Posted by pamasaurus on September 10, 2013 at 23:33

    You probably won’t know what the next stage is until you get there. Everyone experiences grief differently. Just take it one day at a time. You’ll probably never stop missing him, but it will get easier!


  3. beautifully expressed, as always. hoping things are getting easier for you… ((hugs))


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