Ruth in chapter five of the book “The Sisterhood of Widows” couldn’t really believe her husband was dead as per this paragraph:
“When we were leaving the funeral parlor I asked, “Where’s Andrew?” Then I thought ‘Oh my God’, look what I just said.’ I was so used to having him beside me. It was like a bad dream and I thought I would wake up and everything would be the way it was before.”
When did your denial begin? Most of us don’t talk about death in our everyday conversations. After all why would we when everyone is healthy? But by now, a terrible reality has come into your life and nothing has prepared you for that last visit and then they are gone. And when it happened, you find yourself in denial – “It can’t be”.
There is a period of time when we know they are gone but in our heart we just don’t feel it can be true. Maybe that denial is necessary to get us through the outpourings of sympathy, the paperwork and the funeral.
In the early period of your grief journey you may leave your loved one’s voice on the answering machine like the widow in chapter three:
“While I waited I found a box of Kleenex in the car and I just started cleaning everything inside and out. I was so high strung and scared that I called home three times and got Jack’s voice each time. That’s why it hasn’t been changed because I didn’t want to lose it. I thought that I’m never going to hear his voice again and I find it comforting. Jack says “Sorry can’t come to the phone right now” and it seems like he is talking to me. I think I will try to get a copy of his voice. If I feel lonesome I know I can call up and hear him. It’s been almost two years and his voice is still on the answering machine telling the callers to leave a message.”
Be kind to yourself, you are doing the best that you can and you will deal with reality as your grief journey progresses. Every widow travels the grief journey in their own way.