Usually, for your Friday post, I share something written in my own early years of grief. I don’t often post from where I am now.
But these days somewhat far from that first explosion are important too: new things happen, and he is still dead.
Writing without the deeply personal is not the whole story of grief. To give the whole story, to give as many handholds as possible in the steep climb of grief, we need to hear personal stories. Each Friday, I’ll post something from my own experience of grief and love. It’s an inside look at love, at grief, at life.
This week, a post from right now, here, in this very season:
A very long day today, attempting to build the new chicken coop. For the 10 millionth time, I wish him to not be dead.
He was a carpenter. He had skills, tools, patience, intelligence, and an uncanny ability to translate my vision into solid, practical buildings.
With him dead, I waste money and time, bite my tongue a lot, try not to think how this would not be happening if he were not dead.
For two days, we build, take down, build, take down, build take down, the same walls over and over, because kind, unskilled helpers don’t know how to build, but don’t know they don’t know how to build.
It’s not just them: my own lack of skill shines bright, without Matt’s skills to take up the slack. I give directions they don’t understand, because they are not builders, and I can’t explain clearly enough to bridge the knowledge gap.
They do not know that every stupid mistake not only costs me more money and time, but also bangs that gong again and again:
I need him to not be dead. I need him to not be dead. I need him to not be dead.
And this is one more thing that those not living in grief can’t understand: you don’t just lose your partner once.
They are missing everywhere.
As the poet Donald Hall wrote, “you think the worst thing is them dying. But then they stay dead.”