When a loved one dies it’s a blessing for them if it’s quick—to go without suffering. But for those left behind, it’s heart wrenching. So how do people get through it?
There’s no right or wrong way. Actually, that’s not exactly true. When you’re trying to comfort your grieving husband, there things you should definitely not do.
For example, the day my husband’s mum died we sat on the couch exhausted, unable to do anything but stare. Avery wanted to play but we just couldn’t. Then I remembered I’d picked up some movies from the library so I popped one into the DVD player to keep her occupied. When I noticed my mistake, it was too late. The movie I had chosen was Up! If you know the sentimental story, you’ll understand why this was a horrible choice.
Of course my husband, being the quick wit he is teased, “Nice one Lis. What’s next Titanic? Maybe Sophie’s Choice followed by some Terms of Endearment?” And we laughed. Because if you allow it, you are sometimes blessed with a moment of humour as a reprieve from the grief.
Or several moments if you’re married to a buffoon.
A few days later my son and I were learning to play a new song—him (expertly) on the keyboard and me (what’s below novice?) on the guitar. I suggested “Say Something” by Great Big World. The song is pretty, but I had never seen the video. Clearly, because I pulled it up on You Tube so my husband could hear the song. And that was bad. Very, very bad. If you’ve seen it, you’ll get why. This wasn’t remotely funny at first. A scene in the video hits way too close to home. But a few days later my husband was able to see the humour in my brutal attempt at comfort and teased me about my “special knack” for cheering people up.
I don’t know how to end this post. Every last line I’ve written sounds wrong. I’m all over the place—this post is a maladroit mixture of sentimental and silly. But then, isn’t that life? Earnest moments, punctuated by comical ones to help us get by?