I still find the way the grieving process is working its way out in me to be very strange and unexpected.
Lately I’ve realised that one of my ways of coping with Ben’s death is by throwing myself into doing things ‘in his memory’…staying up late thinking of ways to increase readership of his blog, working on turning the blog into a book, fundraising for the hospice, writing my own blog, posting melanoma awareness info on Facebook, putting up pictures he took, or of him, around the house…and it goes on.
I guess it’s good – positive and pro-active. But it’s also prone to getting obsessive and unhealthy – as I lie here in the middle of the night writing this, unable to sleep because I’ve spent all evening working on and talking about Ben’s blog and my mind is racing.
It reminds me of how I used to be about work, before I gave it up for the much less stressful life of being a full-time parent. It seems that in the absence of a job, I’ve unintentionally turned widowhood into one – a new life of campaigning, fundraising, event planning, publishing and blogging.
It wasn’t a plan – it’s just happened this way. Do I want it? To be defined so entirely by what has happened to me? Recently I was given the grim epithet ‘skin cancer widow’ in a local newspaper headline – do I really want to encourage that label and wear it like a Macdonalds badge?
Not especially – but I don’t have a choice, it’s what I am – and for now I think it’s helping me to counteract the sadness and loss by being busy making and doing things for Ben and for his memory. Though it’s not necessarily conducive to relaxation or getting enough sleep!
So anyway, not what I thought grieving would be like – but I suspect this ‘work’ is part of the process for me.