Grief is a strange thing. It’s not linear, or predictable. In fact, it’s twisty, and stealthy, and strikes out of nowhere. When you lose someone, you spend a while being sad every day, but then, eventually, you start getting back to your regular self. One day, you have the realization that you got through a full twenty-four hours without shedding a tear, and it would seem like some sort of progress, except that as soon as the thought passes through your mind, the tears begin to flow. It’s been ten weeks since my granny died, and I still have those moments that suddenly overwhelm.
I was caused to think about this after seeing one of our clients today. Actually, her husband was our client first, but then he passed away early this year. She chose to continue the suit, and she was a strong, put-together woman these few months that I’ve known her. She came to pick up her settlement check today, which brought to an end something that she’s been hanging on to for a long time. Most people are glad when they get some money at the end of a long lawsuit; she only seemed sad. We chatted for a couple of minutes, and as she was leaving, I wished her a happy holiday season. She’s an honest lady, and very matter-of-factly told me she didn’t expect it to be good; in fact, it was going to be very hard. Of course, that’s not the kind of thing you can argue with, or smooth over with some sort of platitude, so I just told her to stay strong, cherish memories, and take care of herself. I’ve never lost a spouse, but I certainly know the difficulty of facing the first holiday without someone important. And, it brought home to me that I’ll be having another of those firsts just a week from now. I wasn’t ready for that thought to pop up like that, and it hasn’t left me yet.
But Thanksgiving really is just around the corner (with Christmas then lurking just behind that), and it’s supposed to be a time of celebration and gratitude, a day set aside simply to give thanks for all that you have, though that can be hard when you can’t stop thinking about what’s missing. I hope our client and I can both find a way to enjoy the day, anyway.
*Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net