I’d like to make a PSA for myself and for at least a few other people out there who have suffered a significant loss:
You can say the word dead. You can say the word died. You can say “I’d kill for _____ right now”.
You can complain about how annoying your husband is being. I get it – husband’s are annoying. It’s in their job description. 😉
You can talk about the wonderful anniversary plans you have coming up.
You can be excited when your child meets a new milestone.
In the almost seven months since Joshua passed away, I have witnessed countless moments where someone says one of the aforementioned words or phrases and a slight flinch and awkward silence immediately follows.
It’s more painful to watch that than it could ever be to hear about how you were “dying laughing”. Last I checked that was a good feeling, anyway.
I will admit, in the first few weeks hearing about anything involving death made ME flinch a little bit. It took me a couple of months to say that my husband died instead of “passed away” (I do still prefer passed away though).
But I’d really like for people to feel like they can be normal around me. Nothing about this situation is normal. It isn’t normal for someone to suffer from so much mental anguish that they self-medicate. It isn’t normal to be 29 years old with a dead husband. But I can feel and visibly see your discomfort around me and it just amplifies the abnormalities.
If I have to be the one to use the words first, I will. But be warned I have a flair for the (intentional) over-dramatic. 😊
My husband’s name is Joshua. He is dead. He died on September 9, 2016. His death has affected me greatly. But I am still alive. I want to hear about how awesome your spouse is. I want to hear about that annoying thing your spouse did. I want to know what amazing and romantic anniversary plans you have. I am excited for you when you find out you are expecting a baby.
I am still here. I want to be reminded of how “normal” life can really be. And sharing your life experiences with me will allow me to share some of the awesome and romantic things Josh did for me, how annoying he sometimes was and what plans we had for our future.
I know about death — don’t let that stop you from being open with me about life.
And please, don’t flinch or pause or cringe or look at me out of the corner of your eye to see how I’m going to react. I say those words too.