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Reality Check

on December 27th, 2017 by Rebeccca

I thought the pain would ease with time, but it is actually increasing.

The shock and disbelief that I experienced during the first couple of months were actually protecting me from feeling too much pain all at once. The pain is delivered in small doses as the reality of the situation sets in. This was confirmed to me in the writing of Dr. Alan Wolfelt in Grief and Mourning Basics (google the page – highly recommended if you are working through grief).

People keep saying that the firsts are always so hard – the first birthday, the first anniversary (tomorrow), the first Christmas.

The firsts are hard. They are the cracks that let the light in. The light exposes the harsh reality. He’s gone and he isn’t coming back.

Going to the first concert without him – sitting in the audience without that warm shoulder next to mine. Exchanging glances in a shared reaction. Walking home arm in arm. That’s hard.

Flying to Mexico without him. Looking down over the landscape and discussing which part of the country we are flying over. Anticipating the warm weather, the tres leches cake, the fish tacos, the vibrancy of the Mexican culture. The comfortable, shared experience. Reality check – he’s not here beside me. The crack widens and more light comes in.

Sitting down to the Christmas dinner at the nursing home with my mom – without him. Sitting on the couch in the dark during the power outage – without him.

I can’t believe he is gone, but with time, I am believing it. Each experience without him brings the reality check. He’s gone. You’ll get used to it. You’ll survive. The light is coming in.

It is so very painful, but there is also joy and comfort. People are so kind and patient with me. Asking how I am doing. Offering support. Inviting me to dinner, to parties. A neighbour whom I barely know stopped by with a small gift. She said she walks by every day and as she does, she says a prayer for me.

I am blessed and want to thank all of you who read this, who offer up those simple prayers, who think kind words, who leave a comment. The reality crack is widening, lubricated by tears, and the light is pouring in.

| Posted in Grieving

17 Responses to “Reality Check”

  1. Alma
    December 27th, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Bec, Your words are so powerful and so full of emotion. Your feelings are so beautifully articulated. Thank you for sharing with us as you continue on your most difficult journey without Galen. We miss him so much too. Sending much love to you.

  2. Shauna
    December 27th, 2017 at 10:47 am

    My heart hurts for the pain you’re feeling. I am so thankful that you have support & comfort coming from so many people.

  3. Shirley Caswell
    December 27th, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Thinking of you a lot and what you write is helping me with learning to cope with my brothers passing which will be 2years in Feb which was not expected so it is still hard to accept.Keep on writing these posts as they are helping a lot with learning how to cope with the grief we share

  4. Evonne Stauffer
    December 27th, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Thank you for sharing your sorrow, I write this with tears on my cheeks. Your mourning is not being wasted, you are growing stronger and those whom you are sharing it with are growing with you. Many of us have our own sorrows to deal with and somehow your words minister to each of us. Keep writing, keep growing. My thoughts and and prayers are with you.

  5. Pat
    December 27th, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Rebecca I have been fortunate to have been spared the deep gut-wrenching fall into the sudden loss of that partner so close. I have however journeyed willingly and thankfully with you through this journal. I ask my self – what will I feel, how will I cope, how will people react to me as a half of a relationship they used to have? I just want to say a huge thankyou for letting your feelings sneak out, slide out, flow,crash and even overpower- I’m hungry for your words- you have no idea how many will be touched because you made this effort❤️

  6. Lina
    December 27th, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    That is so insightful, but I am sure that the pain is difficult enough even in small doses. I am amazed at a God that cares so much for us that he provided a way for us to not be totally overwhelmed at one of the most difficult times of life.

  7. Elizabeth Horon
    December 27th, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Becky. My heart grieves for you. I know the pain of all those firsts. Yours is still so fresh but time and God will see you through and as strong as you are you will become stronger. Praise God that He gave you so many wonderful years together. Galen was a treasure – you were blessed – as was he – to have you. Hugs❤️

  8. Pamela
    December 27th, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Your writing will help you heal. I just bury myself in my work and am still holding the anger in. You are so brave. You are one tough cookie. You will continue to adapt and grow, Galen will always be there in sounds and smells with the breeze on your face and the crunch of the snow under your feet. Keep those memories they represent how wonderful your life has been with Galen and how wonderful it will be as you continue without him. All is good. Love you much.

  9. Debbi Jones
    December 27th, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Your willingness to honestly share your grieving journey is a kind of light for others. I have not faced what you have -and if I am honest, I will admit that I’m a bit afraid of how I would handle it. Your courage is sobering and yet inspires. I think of you often, Bec. I would like your address so I can write you – using pen and paper, space and time for pauses. Until that happens, know you are in my heart.

  10. Irene Lautner
    December 27th, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Rebecca! I miss you and the people at the home. Thank You for sharing. I miss Rudy a lot too, it is a tough journey but i am hoping in the new year when the days get longer and the weather gets warmer that the future will look brighter. I think of you and your Mom often; also Louise and Tom? Nice that you got to Mexico for a little get away. Take Care

  11. Wendell
    December 27th, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Remember the woman from Nokomis reflecting on the loss of her husband? She said that you never really get over it. At first I thought that was depressing but perhaps it is helpful in shaping realistic expectations.

  12. Diane Fehr
    December 28th, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Rebecca, you could write a book. You have a gift of words.

  13. Luana
    December 29th, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Your analogy of the light and the reality creeping in is so accurate. Hopefully acceptance will also enter via those cracks so that one day the pain will lessen and those wonderful memories of a “life well spent” will not be so painful.

  14. Darlene MacDonald
    December 30th, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Thank you Rebecca for sharing your journey. May you have strength and courage as you face your reality. May the tapestry of the life that you and Galen wove together be your comfort and warmth as you are working through this.

  15. Verity Brink
    January 9th, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    My words are so small compared to all of the above: I love you.

  16. leigh kennel
    January 15th, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Thinking of you with love.

  17. Patty Friesen
    February 12th, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Just checking in – thank you for the Robbie Stamp link. Thinking of you these long winter days.

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