Well folks I think I was doing wonderful riding the waves of grief. I feel like I was conquering the big ones on my own. And then yesterday happened. Some of the vivid imagery showed back up to haunt me. One of the things I have not told many people is that one random day I could not find him. When I did it was in our attic and he was touching a beam and looking around. He had carried up some items to storage so it seemed normal. But I looked at his hand grazing the beam and I asked, “Hey is everything OK with the new home construction?” He said yes it is, look how beautiful it is outside from here. We had a window in the walk in attic space (which is really just a gigantic unfinished room. We looked out together and left the space side by side happily, so I thought.
So why is this entry about sleep and not negative imagery and needing more EMDR? Well because I had not slept good I was vulnerable to the darkness, the thoughts, less on my resiliency game. Less on my guard with people and what I should say and when and to whom (as all of you Widows(ers) know you do not tell everyone the same things and certainly not the same way).
Why didn’t I sleep you ask? You see I have a good friend who was having some girl problems. He took my mind off my grief and let me into his life. He treated me like a human not a widow. He always has since he found out. I would happily stay up late and debate the subtleties of the craziness of love and romance with him. Shoot years ago that was all we did. He was there for me too. We exchanged conversations on messenger until we both fell asleep. I was useful (or maybe not being I am hopeless romantic!). I was not just the sad young widow who had her husband taken away at 35. Thank you (I am studying gratitude too). So I went to bed late and I was dreaming when I woke up. Dreaming a good dream one of my best ones in a long time. I was actually feeling good about the day ahead not a cloud in site.
The bad stuff seeped into my daytime. So I let it creep into my conversation with another friend. A friend I think is good with me sharing this with them (maybe not?) . And I cried. I dealt with it I got it out. I let the wave swallow me for a short time. But I came out unscathed. And then I stupidly, opened up on another level to that same person that I had told I was crying. I said something to that person that was very scary for me. Something that showed I am thinking about them sometimes and curious. And then the wave hit me again and crashed me to the ground. This wave has another name it’s called LIFE. You see in life re-entry, as you start fresh, the universe does not care about your past and will knock your ass to the ground. It was maybe too soon, at the wrong time, it was definitely poorly defended and random. It was a weak attempt that should have been held back until I knew more details. It was unplanned. And the response in my opinion equally less thoughtful and not what I had expected to hear. But it may have been fair with no context, no explanations, no background. It was a feeler question that needed to wait. But our self consciousness is out to play as we are grieving. Our lack of relevance and purpose is out to play along with it. And we do things that we hope won’t ruin it. We try to jump in but really we are still looking for some drift wood because we are not good swimmers yet. We have a false sense of ability based on our sleep deprivation. We are sorry for how it came out. We are sad for the response but understanding. We hope sometime to have the right talk at the right time.
Sleep my friends. Sleep is good, it is nourishing it is replenishing. It is how you will ride the waves again day after day. I remember saying to that same person that I wish someone would just help me for a few days so I could sleep. Take me to somewhere quiet where I can be. Find me a lake or ocean to sit by and help me escape. So I could turn it off and tune it all out. Remember I only took off 11 business days when it happened. It is excruciating when you are so sleep deprived that you are in pain. You wish someone would know what you need but they just cannot understand because their life path hasn’t been a big grief wave.
Sleep stole your strength. You looked weak. You dropped the ball and your guard at the wrong time. Rest. Sleep. Nap. I promise with time you will be able to sleep a bit more. I believe it took me close to 5-6 months to sleep. I hope you will find sleep much sooner.