Coping with loss.




I feel as if I’m functioning on two levels.  On the surface I continue as normal.  Going about my busy life, laughing, talking, being a grandma, being a friend.  Singing in the choir, going away  for the weekend.

But buried deep, deep within me is a terrible sadness which occasionally bubbles to the surface like a simmering volcano,  when moved by a song or a sudden  memory  or something on TV.  But it quickly hides itself again because, just yet,  it’s too much, it would overwhelm me, take over, paralyse me and I’m not ready yet.

Other widows contact me and no words need to be spoken because there is no way this grief, this loss can be expressed….but they know.

So I guess I AM  dancing.

I’m doing my best.

Loosing someone to death reminds you of your own mortality and I’m conscious of every precious moment.  I don’t have time to sit and grieve, I don’t have time to waste.

I thought about a ” bucket list”. What do I REALLY want to do?  But I couldn’t come up with anything more than spend time with people I love.

My daughter took me to Paris.  It’s something I’d always wanted to do with her, but she would never leave her boys.  Now they are older and there’s someone to leave them with she took me as a Christmas present.

I was nervous about her reaction.  She’s not interested in history, art or architecture, doesn’t like shopping or food.  But in the event we had a ball.  She thought the food was ” awesome”. Loved a ride on the river. Loved the croissant’s and just the quaintness of it all.  I even got her to a jazz club ( cafe Universel) and she had a good night.

The eccentricities of the locals frightened her a bit at first. But I said ” they are just French”

So the days pass, filled with all sorts of activities.   Hopefully towards a time when I can cry and also to a time when I won’t notice Michael isn’t here so much.   Strangely I feel his presence in the apartment all the time ,  maybe this is just a coping strategy for the mind to cope with the awfulness of death, or maybe he’s really haunting me!

I found it was very important for me to spread is ashes, a kind of ritualistic letting go.    And there were so much of them , five and a half kilos….thats a lot of ash!

I have been to various racecourses and fittingly ( and illegally!) left  about half a kilo at each place.  I’ve happy memories of these places. And on our wedding anniversary I went to the beach at St Anne’s to scatter the remainder.  It was an awful wet cold day but as I pulled up in the car  the rain stopped and the sun came out.

It was very windy though and despite facing away from the wind, I still got covered in grey dust, which I didn’t realise till after I’d been to our favourite beach side cafe and had lunch!😨


9 thoughts on “HOW DO I LEARN TO DANCE?……

  1. Very touching post, Denise! I admire your ability to deal with losing Michael while going on with your life! That’s what he would want you to do! I know you miss him and he will somehow always have a presence in your life! Just take your time in grieving and do whatever feels right to you! Thinking of you with lots of love!


    Liked by 1 person

      • Just take your time and it will happen when you’re ready – good to know that you are feeling inspired to write again!

        I’m doing well – Thanks for asking!



  2. I think of you so often and was glad to read your update. Now that I have a love, It is so helpful to see how you’re coping with this great loss. I am trying very hard to live in the moment and not grieve a loss that hasn’t happened yet, but there are times when you can’t help but wonder how you’ll deal with the loss. I know life will go on because that’s really our only choice. Keep doing what you do and know that you are thought of and loved! 💜 Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    • Strangely enough, because Michael was older than me I always had that fear too. But as he said worry never changes anything so I always tried to live in the moment following Michaels example. We had many happy years for me to remember now and those memories help. I don’t regret anything or wish we had done anything different. Just tell Joel you love him every day and never waste time on petty arguments.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As always you’ve brought a soulful perspective to your experience. I so appreciate your voice. It was especially nice to read about your daughter’s trip to Paris. She couldnt have had a better guide.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for this post, Denise. You’re often in my thoughts but I didn’t want to write and ask how you’re doing because I know that it’s a hard question to answer — particularly by email. It’s good that you were able to travel to Paris with your daughter. As you wrote, the most important thing is spending time with people we love. All else pales by comparison. Wishing you well and sending hugs. Mary Kay


  5. A year later, and I finally read your post on dealing with your grief and dancing in the rain again … sorry it took me so long to finally catch up with you, but as you know I’ve been away from WordPress myself and just recently back. Now that I am back, I hope to see you here again as well, when and if you are ready to be back. Loved your blog ad the fact that you got to spend time in Paris with your daughter, that was important for both of you. And I also loved the fact that you got a little hug from Michael before and during your lunch at the beachside cafe, it was his way of being with you that first time of having to be there without him, even if he couldn’t be there in the physical plane … Much love to you, Denise … Keith


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