Friday, June 6, 2008


A week into the year after the year we lost Jim.

I was told by some in my grief group that this year is harder than the first year. The first year is struggling to accept, to deal, to rearrange life plans and goals, to get thru the day and the night still wanting to go to the next day.

Without knowing exactly why, I have been pretty emotionally numb this past week. Not super sad, not super happy. Not crying, not losing control. Maybe waiting for the next up or down of the ride.

Maybe I can describe it as a feeling like I am treading water waiting for that second wave to hit.

The first wave hitting me was his death and that wave went on for a couple months. Then there was that space between waves. It was the time for treading water, with my head bobbing and some sputtering as water going up the nose. This would be the times when things were crazy and I didn't know if I would get thru even the next day. Trying to float, keep my head up and having little waves hitting me. The little waves of grief or despair or depression or frustration or pain. The little ripples swooshing my body and brain all around, but still I was coping.

Treading in the water. Once in a while my feet has touched the sand down below. A feeling of security. Holding on to the thought that I made it thru the bad first wave. I could make it thru these ripples. All the while knowing that the second wave is coming. How big or small it will be I can't tell, my back is to it. It will hit and I will just feel the slam.

If you have gone to the beach you know what I mean. Standing out in the water, feeling the waves hit you. The waves can knock you right off your feet and leave you struggling to grab onto something. Getting up can be hard, but it is an instinct.

Grief has been described by myself and others as a roller coaster. Ups and downs. It is like the waves of that keep on hitting, then the lull, then the next wave. Does the ride end? Do the waves stop? Can one tread water or swim to reach firm sand. I am trying.

After rereading what I wrote. I think of a little girl. Hannah. This post is dedicated to the memory of Hannah and her Mom who is riding the roller coaster.


Rach said...

Hi Bets,

Thank you for the dedication. I've used this same analogy myself and I truly appreciate your concern with my feelings. You are an amazing woman. :o)

I too have heard year two is the hardest, that year one you are getting through all the milestones and THEN there is year two... I can't say I'm looking forward to it, or really, quite frankly, any other year without Hannah, as I'm sure you feel about going on without Jim.

HUGS, HUGS and even bigger HUGS, my friend!


Laurie said...

Big Hugs to you Betsy and to Rachel too. You both have had a roller coaster ride this past year. As an outsider, I watched both of you and cried with you and laughed with you and just felt my heart hurt so much for the both of you. I am praying this second year does not follow the pattern that you hear about from others. I pray that both of you have blessings and joys that outweigh any sorrow that comes and slams you in the back while you are not looking. I know you will get back up. I just wish you didn't have to do this. Love and Hugs to you today.

Laurie in Ca.