Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reshaping Normal

I've experienced enough life changes to know that normal never returns. I know it takes time, that normal reshapes itself into what we have now.

It hasn't been enough time for me, just a month since my brother's passing. I struggle every day to deal with that. There is something else I continue to struggle with also. Something, that I do realize, is preventing me some what, from accepting the new normal. Something that continues to prevent me from being "his little faerie".

That something is, survivor's guilt. Not guilt that my brother passed and I'm still here, I know my brother wouldn't want that for me. No, my guilt is centered around my Sister-in-law. She is so much more to me than just the woman my brother married. She is one of my very best friends, the sister I always yearned for.

In many ways, especially in our relationships with our husbands, we are much the same. She is the only woman, in my real life, that I could talk openly and honestly with, about my relationship with Musicman, without having to censor myself. She always understood, because her relationship with my brother was much the same as ours. Musicman and my brother are much the same when it comes to their personalities and the things in life they find important. My surviving brother even commented on this similarity recently to Musicman.

The first 2 nights after my brother's passing, before Musicman arrived, the little bit of sleep I got was in a pullout bed, with my sister-in-law. We spent those hours talking about the fact that she is only in her mid 40's, younger than me, and now a widow. She talked a lot about the things my brother told her during his illness, about their lack of  a physical relationship. He regretted that he was too ill to have one with her any longer, he wanted her to find someone else. She can't fathom that, I totally understand.

Her pain from losing him is palpable. I didn't then and still don't now know what to say to comfort her. I can't even imagine what she is going through. Those nights, I just held her hand and let her talk, until exhaustion finally gave her a few hours of relief, in the form of sleep. I was there for her when she woke up in a panic because she thought he needed her. During the entire 7 months of his illness she never once left his side. Then, in the blink of an eye, he was gone.

I can't seem to get those memories out of my head. They are definitely affecting the way I interact with Musicman and I don't know how to fix it. I know, with time, it will get better, but I want it all to be better now.

I feel like a china doll, suspended in time, one second before she hits the floor and shatters. The slightest breeze is to be feared, for the potential damage it could do.

12 comments:

  1. Faerie- I am sorry for your loss and continued grief. It sounds like although you are having difficulty thinking what to do and say to your SIL, just you being there to hold her hand or listen is what she needs more than anything. I lost my Best Friend going on 2 years now next week. We were BF's for 50 years and closer than most sisters. I still feel out of place and most days on the verge of tears. But I go on , as she would want me to and try to honor her memory the best way I can, every single day. Those of us left behind have it so hard sometimes. Just know that you and your SIL are not alone- There will be a new normal one day and you have to take the time to grieve. Hopefully sharing in the wonderful memories of your brother helps in some way.

    Sending hugs and prayers.

    ~faithful

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I do know I am not the only one who has experienced loss and I truly appreciate the support as I work through this very difficult time.

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  2. You will get through this Faerie and so will your SIL. Time does help, just do it one day at a time and in the blink of an eye a year has passed. Losing someone you love is hard and as you said there will be a new normal, just love yourself and forgive yourself enough to process the change and accept What Is not What Was.

    Hugs

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    1. Thanks Sunnygirl, I know you speak with the wisdom of experience. I am finally trying to take some forward steps and move on with my life. Having this place to vent and work through everything helps immensely. The support of friends like you is priceless.

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  3. I'm praying for you and your sister-in-law, and all who loved your brother. I'm so sorry for your loss. May God give the comfort and peace that y'all need. -Belle L.

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    1. Thank you Belle, I appreciate the prayers and the support.

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  4. Time may help but I know time may seem too long to wait sometimes. Your best friend knows you are there for her. Thinking of you. Sending love and hugs.

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    1. I've never been a very patient woman, maybe that's part of the lesson I need to learn from this situation.

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  5. Lean on him, faerie, he won't let you fall. None of us are guaranteed even the next five minutes, but we have to make the most of the now. That's hard for me, too. Daddy is forever trying to keep me in the moment. Tell Musicman you need an anchor to the now. Hugs and wishes for peace.

    <3
    cd

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    1. I do work hard to live in the moment, but I often fail at it. Perhaps that is another part of the lesson I can take from this.

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  6. I'm so sorry about your brother faerie. It may be a cliche but I know that you know that time really is a great healer. It's just getting there eh. ((Hugs))

    Dee x

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    1. Yeah, getting there seems to be the problem at the moment, but I am trying. It's nice to hear from you, hope everything is going well with you.

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