The greatest aftermath when a loved one dies, is the void of relationships. That slow slippery slope of loss.
First word gets out of the illness, then the sudden influx of communication and visits, and then that drip-dry effect. That effect, like a wet cloth hanging on the washing line, slowly being left to drip dry in the hot sun or the dry wind.
It cuts through you deep, and slowly. That sorrow as you sit and wait for all those who said:
“I will see you soon”
“Let’s keep in touch”
“We must meet up for coffee”
“I’m always here for you”
While the pinging of your messages go from ten a day, to two a day to one a week to maybe’s and silence.
The epiphany that with death comes a reality that few have mentioned. A reality where relationships and friendships cultivated as a couple – a husband and wife – over many years, which may seem like a lifetime ago yet feels like yesterday, dies. Overnight.
Yes, these months – in time of grief, seems like an overnight occurrence.
Then the new dawn, a rebirth of the singleton, the widow – my mother. Slowly finding new roots, to keep her grounded in the old, the past; the memories and a different world.
My observations, on the outside, looking in.
This does not have to be her reality though. All you have to do is remember that she is still here and she holds his memories in her heart. Invite her for tea, invite her for lunch – let her spend the day with your family. Let her know that his death is not necessarily the death of your relationship.
The lesson? Cultivate relationships, friendships, that aren’t dependent on others – dead or alive. If you can’t maintain, then rather abstain.
*post read to my mother and published with her permission