This story is written based on my personal experience after the suicide of my husband in 2005:
The sun brightly peeks through the window shade in my bedroom. It must be late morning. I lie still. Getting get up requires more strength than I have. It’s been days, weeks, or months. My brain is foggy. With great effort, I pull myself out of bed and grab the crumpled clothes off the dusty floor and put them on. On autopilot, I head downstairs, snatch up my keys and purse and find my way to the car. It seems to have a built-in sensor and gets me to my destination.
I squint from the bright lights and put on my sunglasses. I walk past several people. I’m unrecognizable. I want it that way. My hat and glasses hide my identity. As I walk, I hope the reason I’m here emerges. Feeling dizzy, I stop. A grumbling sound roars and a sudden uncomfortable movement rattles my stomach. I grab a bottle of water and sip. It’s hunger, again. I deny it. No morsel of food has touched my mouth in days. Only deprivation satiates me.
I hear voices and remember the night my house was crowded with people.
Some I knew, others I didn’t. Their faces were plastered with strange looks and their voices sounded hypnotic. It seemed to be a masquerade party. I closed my eyes and imagined them away, but they were still there when I opened them. Shock vibrated within my bones.
Someone suddenly bumps me and my water spills. The memory fades. I continue to walk. I finally remember why I’m here. For chalk and an eraser. I find them and make my way to the cashier. I place the items on the belt. “$11.47 please.” I don’t move. A man yells, “Lady, I’m in a hurry.” I’m unable to focus. Again, “Lady, what’s your problem? Cashier, get this crazy lady moving.”
The cashier says, “Can you please pay? And sir, please calm down.” I fumble to find my credit card.
As I walk to my car, I hear a voice, “take my hand, I can help.” “No, I angrily respond. You can’t. No one can. No one understands. Didn’t you see how I was treated?”
The voice responds, “Don’t think that you can take an eraser and wipe away your pain and then rewrite what happened.” “You have suffered great tragedy, but I am here to help. You can take my hand and make me your friend, or you can make me your enemy. If I am your enemy, you will live with bitterness and anger and stay stuck in negativity. As your friend, I will help you understand your pain and sorrow. There is no time limit. Everyone processes his or her experience differently. If you trust the process you will heal. The choice is yours. You can’t deny me. I am “GRIEF.” My hand extends and I say, “I am ready. I can’t face my husband’s suicide alone. I need help.”
“Yes, but you must remember, there are no rewrites, only new beginnings.”