Since Angela’s passing, I have been grieving. In her final weeks, I took a step back from work to be present with Angela and my family. In the aftermath, I shut down my business for two weeks to being to deal with the funeral logistics, begin to handle the multitude of loose ends (insurance, Social Security administration, banking, other stuff), make headspace (and heart space) to be with my daughter and my own grief.
Our dog is experiencing the loss in her own way. She seems more vigilant, looking out the front windows as if expecting Ang to return. She sits in my lap more often now, too. I consciously make more time to spend with her.
For those that are concerned/interested in my plan and learnings for grief, here is what I have been doing and experiencing. All of it, as I understand, quite normal and expected.
My Grieving “Project”
There are three areas I am focusing on with my grieving.
- Faith – through daily prayer
- Emotional – Chaplin/grief counselor at Hospice for some undetermined amount of time to help me process this grief and find some acceptance with it.
- Mindfulness – Practicing meditation via the Calm app with the grief meditation
All of this to say, I am doing the best I know how for myself while also tending to my daughter. She has handled all of this brilliantly. I think the most impressive thing I have witnessed is her going headlong into her first week of school just days after Angela’s memorial service.
Aside from my project for grieving, I have been dealing with my reality of life without my late wife.
The Reality of My Grief
Since Angela’s passing, many things have been happening. I cry at the most random times. Sometimes something like a song triggers tears. At other times with no warning, grief comes crashing down on me like a wave during a hurricane. Hard and without warning.
For some time now, tissues have been strategically located all over the house and in my vehicle. Just in case. And they are now refilled with some regularity.
I continue to talk to Ang, out loud, in the morning and the evening. These were always some of the most special, tender, intimate conversations we had. Usually quite brief. But, a way to bookend the day, if you will. Now it’s a way to keep her in my heart. It might sound crazy to you but, I am not ashamed (or the least bit crazy).
I’ve left the bed with the same sheets as the day she left for hospice, for now. I tried, futilely, to find her scent on the pillowcases. I know I will soon have to change the sheets because… ick. I leave her half of the bed made up. Nightly, I make a little extra room for the dog at the head of the bed.
I am getting out of the house/office a lot more. I started by attending a local professional networking event that I hadn’t been to in many years. This was something I wasn’t able to do while caring for Ang. But, it’s doing me some good to get out, meet and mingle with fellow professionals again.
Something else I found… support, in many forms. I have some incredible family members and friends that have reached out to me over the last few weeks. Although some friends and family are a distance away, I am extremely grateful for their connection.
And those online communities that I belong to or formed (initially somewhat selfishly) have been amazingly supportive in a multitude of ways. All taken together it’s incredible. The love for Angela, my family and the love we shared, has translated into so many hundreds of messages and cards of support. I have been blown away.
I’m taking this all a bit at a time. Not expecting to be massively better in a short amount of time. I know the waves will keep crashing and may become smaller over time. But, time is the only way I will find acceptance for Angela’s untimely passing, begin to move forward and continue to honor Angela.