Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

Fine. Fine. Fine. Fine. Fine.

In 2015, I was totally fine. Finer than fine. And why wouldn’t I be? Just a few months before, I’d lost my husband to brain cancer, my dad to cancer of the everything, and my second pregnancy. By “lost them,” I mean that they died. I didn’t lose them at sea, or in the dairy section of Costco.

Everyone from close friends to Internet strangers wanted to know how I was doing. And everyone heard the same thing: “I’m fine.” “I’m fine.” “I’m fine, fine, fine.”

If you can believe it, I was not actually fine. Watching as my husband’s brain tumor reduce him to a thin, gray replica of himself? That had a negative effect. Having our second child vacuumed from my uterus? Made an impact. My dad going from a healthy to dead in five months? It took a toll.

But nobody wants to hear about how you’ve spent the small hours of the night hunched over your husband’s laptop, reading emails he sent people years before you met, trying to absorb any part of him that was left, however small and digital. Or that’s what I thought. I assumed that the feelings I found so icky and uncomfortable I could only experience them in private would also be unpalatable to the people around me. So I concealed those emotions, or coated them in sad-but-witty Instagram captions until they were the kind of thing you could double-tap.

Before Aaron and my father died, before I had a miscarriage, I’d had very little experience with disaster. When I’d observed others in crisis — a friend’s father dying unexpectedly, a co-worker’s child suddenly hospitalized — I was uncomfortable with their discomfort, unable to meet their gazes, eager to avoid the topic that sat between us and instead focus on something more…pleasant. For their sake, of course. Because who wants to be reminded of what they lost, or what they may lose? Who wants to talk about the hardest thing they’ve ever gone through, when they could instead discuss the weather, or how it totally feels like a Thursday but it’s only a Tuesday?

{{Everyone who has ever lived through something awful raises their hand.}}

I assumed that what the people around me wanted was for me to make lemonade, and not dwell too much on the fact that I had absolutely not ordered lemons in the first place.

It wasn’t denial — there was no denying the empty space in my bed, the crushing solitude of being an Only Parent. It was that I didn’t know what grief was supposed to look like. As a child, I rarely saw my parents cry. Their grief over their dead parents seemed to end at the funeral, and I assumed that mine should, too. Without any real social customs to guide me, I made my own. I wore a white shift to Aaron’s funeral. I gave the eulogy in bright red lipstick and lavender hair. In Victorian times, widows wore black. Read More

Source:: BuzzFeed – Health