I’ve been thinking about writing a book about grief, combining my grief blogs, the letters I’ve written to my dead mate, the journal I kept those first few months after he died, and the various bits of information about dealing with grief I’ve collected during the past nine months. Now I’m wondering if anyone will want to read such a depressing book.
This morning, for the first time, I read some of those letters I wrote, and I couldn’t believe the raw pain. The writing chronicles my journey, and perhaps people will see beyond the pain to the insights and the struggle to find meaning after such a soulquake, yet jeez! It’s so damn sad. On the other hand, people might find comfort knowing they are not the only ones going through such trauma. On the other other hand, I might want to bury my head in the sand before I get halfway through putting the book together. On the other other other hand, it could be cathartic.
I did notice something interesting, though. The letters I first read this morning were the ones I wrote four or five months ago. Since those were so agonizing to read, I was afraid of looking at the first ones, but I held my breath and jumped in. Oddly, those first letters are more chatty than angst-ridden, like I was writing to someone who was only going to be gone for a short time. I remember the pain hitting me right after his death, which it did, but apparently it kept on growing until by the end of the first month (when I naively thought I’d be over it) I was so desperate, I went to a grief support group hoping someone could tell me how to survive. They couldn’t tell me, of course. They could only show me by their progress that it is possible to survive.
Good thing I don’t have to make a decision about the book for another three months. Or even longer. I don’t want to write it before the first year of grief is up because I don’t want to skew my healing, and besides, I’m hoping that after a year I’ll be more hopeful, wiser, stronger. Seems to me I’ve been saying that very thing for months. First, it was the end of the first month that was supposed to bring me hope, wisdom, strength. Then I thought I’d have achieved those things by the third month, then the sixth, the seventh, the ninth. Maybe twenty-four or thirty-six months is more realistic. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?) grief takes as long as it takes.