I've read and been told by my fiance's family that a person who is grieving shouldn't make any major life decisions for the first year after his or her loss. But how is that possible? Doesn't losing the person you love and have dedicated your life to force you to start making major life decisions immediately?
Two weeks after I lost Philip I had to go to a job interview in another state. I guess I didn't have to go, but I went because I didn't have a job and we'd moved in with my parents during the last few weeks so they could help us. I felt like I didn't have a choice. I got the job and accepted it because I didn't know what else to do. I don't know if I did or am doing the right thing...I don't know what the experts would say about this decision, but I just did it.
In the last seven days I had to sign a lease for a new apartment in the new state and then I came back and bought a car. Every person in my life kept asking me if I was excited and/or happy. And I couldn't even fake it. I wasn't excited or happy. Finding and leasing the apartment was a nightmare for many reasons, but all I kept thinking about the whole time was how I wasn't ever supposed to have to do this alone again. Philip and I were planning on buying a house in the next year after we got married in October. I looked at two places and just chose one because it all felt the same to me and I didn't have the energy to look around. All I felt was "I can't believe I'm going to be living somewhere alone again, without him. How am I going to live everyday like a normal person when he isn't here?" And when I bought the car, I thought the same thing. This SUV was supposed to be the thing we did together. It was supposed to be the car we got so we could start our family. All I felt when I made these major life decisions was lonely and sad. And I feel guilty. Guilty that I'm here still doing the things we had planned together, but not really enjoying any of them.
But how am I supposed to not make these sorts of decisions for an entire year? I feel like I have to do these things to survive. Getting out of bed every day and choosing to participate in the world is a major life decision, at least to me it is. But then there is another part of me that feels like even though I'm doing all of these things and making all of these decisions that it isn't really me at all. It is like I'm watching myself do these things--almost like an outer body experience. And there is still another part of me that believes this isn't really my life and that I'm going to wake up from this nightmare and Philip will be there, healthy, and mad at me for thinking all of this was real. I wonder when that will go away...the feeling like this is all just a really bad dream. I wonder when it will feel more real, or if it ever will.
I've also read that it will get easier with time...I guess the "it" there is my pain and sadness. All I know is that I feel this loss more intensely as time goes on. I feel more alone each day especially as life moves forward for all of the people in my life. The smallest things make me want to cry or scream. And the more intensely I feel this loss, the more I want to be alone because no one understands...the more I want to talk to Philip because he would be the only one to get how I was feeling. It is weird to think that the more lonely I feel, the more I just want to be alone with my sadness. I miss him more every day and I grieve for him and the life we were planning much more than I did after he first passed.
I keep thinking I'm ready to do milestone type things like taking off my engagement ring. I have it all planned out--I'll go get the ring reset to something I can wear on my right hand. But every time I talk about it or get in the car to go the jeweler, I can't. Or maybe I'll start selling some of the things he wanted me to sell, but that he loved and so I can't. I told myself I'd finish my dissertation by Oct. 17th because that was supposed to be our wedding date and since he wanted me to finish so badly, it could be a different sort of thing I could do for him. But I haven't been able to write in weeks and time just keeps passing by.