Sunday, May 31, 2009

An Anniversary Story

A couple that happen to be very good friends of mine just had their 16th wedding anniversary. I agreed to have their party at my house. That was not a good idea. However, leave it to me not to figure that one out until after I said, "Yes."

Last month would have been my 25th and I had to be brain dead to think I could deal with this so soon like a grown-up. So...I make absolutely no preparations until the day of the party. I figured that if I didn't have time to think about it it would somehow be okay. Not.

First of all I did everything at the last minute so I was late getting back. Yes, you can be late to a party that is at your own home. Next, I didn't have time to cook what I promised so I bought it cooked. I really wanted to but every time I stayed home that day all I could do was cry. I figured if I was running all day doing everything last minute I wouldn't have time to do that. Wrong again. I cried in the car, at the grocery store, at M*acy's, at S*am's Club. All day, everywhere.

I get home, throw together the food I brought (thankfully others brought their "real food" all home made) greet a few guests and go in the bathroom to cry. Then I wash up, come out, greet more guests and the guests of honor and go outside and cry. Yeah, I'm feeling pretty dehydrated by now. Then after about a half hour I go back inside and pretty much keep it together the rest of the night.

I don't think the guests of honor were aware of this. At least, I hope not.

It was a nice party and they are a great couple.

The worst part of it for me isn't how sad I was or how empty I felt remembering my better half...it was the guilt. I felt/ feel so guilty for ruining it. Even if no one else noticed. I did. I feel so selfish for thinking of myself and my loss when this is such a special day for them. I feel like a selfish teenager. Yes, an everything is always about me, teenager.

It's only been six months since I lost him but shouldn't I at least be able to control when and where I fall apart? I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable around me. It was so different when I lost my daughter. I felt entitled to grieve when and where ever I needed to. It was my right. She was my baby. After all, not many people know what it feels like to hold your newborn in your arms and watch helplessly while she dies. It is my right. But, many people have lost their spouses. They survive. It makes me feel like I don't have the right to grieve when and where I need to. Like I should quit whining.

I did kind of make up for it by buying them way cool gifts.

I just feel so selfish. Selfish, sad and empty.

3 comments:

Jeanine said...

I'm so sorry you felt like you couldn't cry in front of everyone, but I'm glad you were able to go off and let it out. Ruby, I'm thinking of you and sending you my strength. I can't imagine the heart-wrenching time you are having, but know that there are people who care and are cheering you on.

Anonymous said...

You are the most unselfish person I know. You give when one least expects it. And, i know it's so hard to imagine but You ar still the strongest person I have ever met. You've made it 6 months. Who cares how others have gone on. You have a right to grieve for as long as it takes. And who cares what others think. You usually don't.
Love you. S

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I can't really imagine how much it would hurt to lose Patrick. I hyperventilate just thinking about it, so to put a qualifier on the amount of grief you're "supposed" to be allowed to feel isn't giving yourself enough credit. Would you fault someone else for being devastated at an anniversary party 6 months after their spouse died? No. You wouldn't. You would be caring and supportive and try to make things a bit easier for them by allowing them to grieve. Give yourself that same support, ok?

Remember my offer still stands. Anytime, ok?