beach

Grief is…coming home

October 30, 20233 min read

Grief is…coming home

After our restful, if weirdly Benless, time at a sunny all inclusive it was time to come home. Somehow, we were still exhausted and returned to our routine of filling the day with reading, walking the dog and lots of streaming services. At first, I thought it was just jet lag, even though neither of us really struggle with that usually. Nothing is usual after all. After a couple weeks I knew there was more going on here than that.

It took some time to feel into what was happening. Coming home had highlighted again the depth of our loss and in some ways how the weight of it was still so tiring. It’s not that there was any unreasonable expectations or magical thinking. I knew Ben wasn’t going to be here when we got home. And still, while we were away, it was a break from being here where his absence is so present. I didn’t see that until a conversation with Kathleen about her upcoming trip to a friend’s wedding. I was wondering how she was feeling about traveling again so soon after our trip. She would be traveling alone, which she’d done many times, and going to a place that wasn’t particularly tied to Ben. When I asked how she was feeling about it, she said she was excited for the wedding and all the fun leading up to it. And, she said, it wouldn’t be here. Wow. That really hit me. We had talked before about whether it made sense to move, as many people do after a loss and decided that we loved where I lived too much. We would have to find a way to be here, with the loss of Ben, and have peace. And we weren’t there yet.

In some ways dealing with my condo felt impossible. Ben and I had had projects planned that hadn’t happened and I still wanted to do. We didn’t feel ready to make permanent decisions about Ben’s belongings and had been using parts of his room for storage of Kathleen’s things that we’d brought home a year ago from her apartment across the country. She had moved into Ben’s room anyways and was living in chaos with no room to breathe. Ben’s things were all still there, with her things and things that one of us wanted when she moved again. There wasn’t any visible floor space except a path from the door to the corner of the bed. Dealing with it all felt daunting so we hadn’t. But time was up. When Kathleen commented that she’d be ok because it wasn’t here, I knew I had to do something. I asked her if, while she was away, I could deal with her room. I’d reach out to friends to come help. I’d get a storage locker for some of Ben’s things and the things for the future. Create some space for her to feel able to relax and rest. She loved the idea, and I did too. It felt like time for movement. Nothing permanent but movement, nonetheless.

The bonus benefit was it would give me something to do while she was away. I was feeling unsure about how being alone would feel. I realised I have lived alone for very little of my life and thinking about being in an empty apartment felt awfully quiet. I reached out to a select group of friends that I knew had the needed balance of get it done and sensitivity to the task and they created a miracle. That story is coming in the next post – Grief is…accepting help.

Back to Blog

TESTIMONIALS

★★★★★

Through her insightful teachings and thoughtfully designed programs, Suzanne offers a path guided by emotional intelligence and real life experience to address the full spectrum of the complex emotions and consequences of grief while expanding the capacity to engage fully with life post loss. Her heartfelt approach also honours the depth of loss through the invaluable practice of cherishing and expressing love for what has been lost and experienced.

Bonnie Lynn

Business Owner/Consultant

★★★★★

In a recent peer meeting, I shared the statistics you provided regarding the number of co-workers that are dealing with grief at any given time. We committed to not only acknowledging the grief but also to providing sustained support.

Kay McBreairty

Program Manager