Sometimes, when I walk into a place or people walk into my workplace who know about my Ex’s death, I feel like I have a companion. He’s big, has a long trunk, and big, kind, unsure eyes. He’s my invisible elephant.
“How are you?” people will ask me, eyeing the elephant. “What’s that you have tied up in the corner behind you?”
“Oh, that?” I’ll say. “That’s my elephant. He goes almost everywhere with me still. His name is Greeef.”
“Oh,” they’ll say. “How are you?” they’ll ask again, this time ignoring the elephant.
“Fine,” I’ll say. ‘Fucked-up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional,’ I’ll think to myself. “Yep, just F.I.N.E.”
“Good. Good to hear,” they’ll say.
Yesterday morning while filing piles of papers, I found a copied document from my counselor on grieving. I had wondered where I had put that when I moved in April. I started to read it and was able to pay attention. Amazing! I had been filing for 2 hours before Little Guy woke up, and I didn’t have time to read all the words then. I put it back somewhere safe so that I could find it again.
After not going back to sleep this morning after Boyfriend left for work at 5 a.m., I decided that it was time. It’s time to start trying processes to work through my grief. I still struggle with grieving the loss of someone I didn’t like that much. After reading the chapter this morning, I gave myself the reason that the traumatic event warrants my attention. It must. I bring my elephant with me everywhere I go and the 9-month mark arrives in a few days.
Yes, that’s me judging myself for grieving for so long, and I know I have more ahead of me. Now that I have a little more time to myself, I will have more opportunity to work through my feelings. I hope that I can find Greeef a new home sometime soon, when I’m ready.
The good (and bad) news is that I have a friend who just got her own elephant, similar situation. I think we can help each other and talk about our elephants. She said something last week that I haven’t forgotten. She said that she feels like she has started a new book of life after her loved one’s death. That’s how I felt, too. I felt like I started a new life, post-Ex, when he died. I felt reassured and connected after she left, along with distracted and unable to focus. Oh wait, those last two mean the same thing.
Going to a grief support group would probably help, so that I can hear I’m not alone going through these feelings and stages. It would mean a few inconveniences, like asking for Little Guy to have a weekly sleepover somewhere, driving 45 minutes to get to the meeting, and not being home one night a week. It would probably be worth it, and it would socialize me, which I have avoided as much as possible for the last 9 months. That’s not like me, and I want to feel like me, which is to say, social and not a train-wreck. I’m ready to leave my elephant at home more often.