This weekend Joe and I saw the movie Hereafter. I didn't really like it, but that's not here nor there. The movie dealt with the afterlife.
I don't deal with death very well. In fact, I don't deal. I'll be the first to admit that I almost live in a state of denial for several months. Yes, I know denial is one of the stages of grief, but sometimes I feel like it takes me ages to get to acceptance. Other times, I'm there when the person passes.
I visited my grandfather in the nursing home the day before he died. I don't know how, but when I left that nursing home, I knew it would be the last time I saw him. I went back to my dorm and cried and bawled, and wrote in my journal about my memories with him. The next day he passed. I don't know how I knew it, but I felt I had done the majority of my grieving before he even passed.
On the other hand, when I was about 19, a close high school acquaintance died in a car accident. I went to the viewing to help support my other friends. About a year later I was scrapbooking a New Year's Eve party and it hit me, "Amy will never have another New Year's." I had to stop scrapbooking and grieve. This was such an opposite experience from my grandfather's.
Today is my in-law's 40th wedding anniversary. The problem is, Mr. Joe's not here any more. I know it's been 3 months, but I keep expecting to see him when we go watch the football games with Joe's family. Between the movie last night and time, I'm realizing I can't be in denial anymore. I'm almost afraid to grieve because then I accept the hurt I have and realize Joe and my mother-in-law are experiencing it ten to hundred times worse. I'm a fixer and I know I can't fix this. I want their pain to go away. I want my mother-in-law to have her best friend back. I want Joe to have more time with his father. I want to have another dance with Mr. Joe. I want to go back to my phase of denial, because it didn't hurt as much.