The Sting

Posted by Danny

Monday, January 24, was the eleven month anniversary of Lisa’s death and by 2 in the afternoon all I wanedt to do is climb in bed.  For me, the sting burns in a myriad of ways.  It can last a few hours.  I’ve had it last as long as two weeks.  It can come because of the anniversary – the 24th – I hate the 24th.  Who celebrates or recognizes an eleven month anniversary of anything?  We don’t celebrate our 11th month birthday, not even in the first year; and yet, in grief, we hang on to that day – it hits us – month after month after month.

The sting can hit when a holiday is heading my way.  It can hit because I found one of her feminine products in the bathroom drawer.  There is no rhyme or reason.  And I find myself unconsciously beginning the slide.  When I realize it’s coming, I can typically pin point the reason – “Crap, it’s the 24th.  I should have prepared.”  But you can’t prepare.  It’s subconscious.  Your body just realizes it’s time to grieve.

They say, “It’s normal.”

It’s NOT normal for me!

Never in my life have I felt this level of pain.

DJ was sick today.  I headed home mid day to make her lunch.  I checked email and knocked out a few work projects.  At 1:00 I had an hour and a half meeting that I phoned in to.  I laid on the couch listening to every word, trying desperately to focus.  But all I wanted, all I could think about was Lisa.  The sting can be paralyzing.  On the outside you may see me sitting in a meeting, having a conversation with my kid, checking email.  On the inside, my mind is in one place.  My mind is full.  My mind is consumed with my loss.

The sting makes me discontent with many aspects of my life: work, home, relationships.  The sting can clutter my mind with thoughts of future loneliness.  The sting robs me of my patience with my kids.  It is claustrophobic.  It’s gripping.  It doesn’t last forever.

We spend a great deal of time sharing the funny aspects of our  life – and there are many.  But it’s not all funny.  

I hear there are people out there reading this blog who are going through similar situations to mine.  My goal is for this to be helpful – to show that you can laugh during grief even as it hurts like hell.  What I’d share with those in similar situations is that it takes a tremendous amount of fight to see the good through the pain.  It’s exhausting.  And yet, without it, what’s left?  

It’s worth the fight.

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19 Comments

  1. BC

     /  January 25, 2011

    What a courageous post Bruce. Make no mistake that you are no doubt helping those in similar situations, Im sure Lisa is proud of you and your family being willing to share the good and bad times as an encouragement to others, I didn’t know her well, but what I do know is that she was about making this world better…this blog and your vulnerability are doing that for many people, keep up the hard but great work. And know that you and your family are enveloped in prayer daily by those who love you guys.

    Reply
  2. Mom

     /  January 25, 2011

    Again I say, I am so very proud of you, my son. You will make a difference in someone’s life just because you HAVE been there. Then it’s not all in vain.

    Reply
  3. Sherry B.

     /  January 25, 2011

    I know what you mean about counting the months. I mark the 20th of each month. Each time it passes I feel like I am getting further away from my daughter. It is a sinking hopeless feeling. And I can’t stop time from moving.
    Thank you for sharing it all – the good, the bad, the ugly and the funny. You put in words what I can’t and it makes me feel not so alone. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Lynn Moss

     /  January 25, 2011

    There is nothing we can say except thank you, we love you and we appreciate you more than you know.

    Reply
  5. Marian

     /  January 25, 2011

    Hey Bruce…we are the only culture that doesn’t recognize grief….yet it is known that it takes at the very least a year to overcome the deep grief that one feel over the loss of a loved one. It is OK embrace it and honor it….Lisa is definitely worthy of it….never apologize for it….,Know that what u feel is healthy….it will
    not only benefit you but also more importantly the girls…..keep on keeping on! Love ya man!

    Reply
  6. Annette Jay

     /  January 26, 2011

    Bruce,
    You amaze me with your ability to put into words what you’re feeling in an effort to help others who share your grief. Know that you are prayed for often by many.
    Blessings,
    Annette

    Reply
  7. jo nance

     /  January 26, 2011

    I love you, Bruce.

    Reply
  8. Katie Martin

     /  January 26, 2011

    I have shared your post with many, many people that I know who are struggling with their own losses. Your honest, wrenching portrayal is the most ‘real’ thing I think I have ever come across on the loss of a loved one. Thank you for sharing. Lisa was very, very blessed to have you.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  January 26, 2011

      Thank you Katie. It’s a fine line to balance. You have to look toward the future, but there is a great deal holding you back that you simply can’t control. It’s the hardest, strangest thing I’ve ever encountered in my entire life.

      Reply
  9. Mary

     /  February 2, 2011

    I can honestly say that–at some point–the 24th will not hold the same power that it does for you now. It may take another year. Maybe two. But someday, the 24th of every month but February will resume it’s spot on the calendar as a normal day.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  February 2, 2011

      I look forward to that day. It’s nice to hear from folks who have been through this –

      Reply
  10. I read your “D.A.D.D” FP post and liked it so much that I had to start at the beginning of your blog. I am usually a post lurker but felt I just had to reply to this post.

    I agree with Mary that eventually the 24th will be a “normal” day. I was 14 when my mom passed away. I’m now in my late 40s (just one more in this particular decade but looking forward to the many adventures in the next one!) Honestly, I don’t even remember the date she died (I’ve effectively blocked it out) but September is a melancholy month for me and May 8, her birthday. I know it’s so cliche, but time does heal, however long that is.

    Thanks for sharing you and your family’s lives. It blesses many. And congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    Reply
    • Thanks! This is Danny’s post, but I had to say thanks for your kind words and for reading. I’ll make sure he sees your comment.

      Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  February 8, 2011

      Thanks for giving me hope. This is a tough month.

      Reply
  11. I am very touched by your post. Grief is one tough thing. But you are so right that one can be in the midst of tears and pain and yet joy or laughter at the same time. They aren’t mutually exclusive.
    When my sisters and I get mired in our grief and soak the phone lines with tears one of us always says,”What would Jeff (My lost brother)say if he saw us like this?” That always gets us focused cause he would be pissed seeing us crying and down hearted. I remember him still holding my hand as he lay dying, when we were still pretending it wasn’t happening. I said to him I wished it was me and not him. He crushed my hand and said,”Judy live! Live!” We never spoke of dying after that.

    http://gmomj.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/today-my-brother-became-a-grandfather/

    Reply
  1. One Year Ago… « The Real Full House

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