Grief is Exhausting

Yesterday’s grief update — I Am a Three-and-a-Half-Year Grief Survivor — was very sedate, no great emotion. And that’s how the day went — sedate, no great emotion. I kept myself busy and endorphinized with walks, exercise, and errands. I actually felt happy for a while. (It’s easy to be happy when you are zipping along at three miles an hour beside a dry riverbed at night with new friends, and only flashlights and stars to illuminate the walkway.)

Today, however, I am tearful. I woke with a great yearning to see my deceased life mate/soul mate. I wish I could talk to him, find out how he is (or if he is). I wish I could feel as if once again, I were home. (He was my home. Everything else is opening rosejust a place to live, though I am gradually learning to find “home” in myself, because of course, wherever I go, there I will be.)

Grief is exhausting, even after forty-two months, and maybe that’s what hit me today — exhaustion. I get tired of trying to find reasons to live and ways to be happy. I get tired of trying to focus on the positive elements of my life and to find ways around that vast emptiness where he once was. The more I do these things, the more of a habit they will become, but his absence is still such a significant factor in my life that the creation of happiness and meaning is a conscious effort. I am always aware that that whatever I am doing is not an augmentation of an already full life, but instead is a way of spending the hours and maybe building a new life for myself.

I feel silly at times even mentioning my sadness because so many people have experienced horrific tragedies that make the death of one middle-aged man seem insignificant, but his death is exceedingly significant to me. And it’s significant to the world (even if no one else is aware of it) because the death of a good man (or woman) somehow diminishes us all.

So today, I will allow myself to be sad that he is gone from my mortal life and from this earth, and wait until tomorrow to once again pick up the pieces of my life and continue on without him.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.