And I just want to say that the hospice's Bereavement Counselor is a great guy, and has been so much help to me....it has been over six months since my husband, Byron Raymond Perkins, died on 29 June 2009, and the holidays were horrible, and I was all by myself, and I got through them.
He pushed me, a little about that - no, I did not want to inject myself into other people's family celebrations, and yes, I figured since everyone knows my husband died, IT WAS UP TO THEM TO INVITE ME, at least that's the way I saw it.
Yes, I have been and am depressed, many times - but when he started talking about choices, I just lost it - I screamed at him: "I saw my husband _die_; I saw him take his last breath - AND THERE WAS NOTHING I COULD DO ABOUT IT - DON'T TALK TO ME ABOUT 'CHOICES'!!!" (that was not actually what he meant - he said that I could not make any choices about the past, but about going forward, which is true)
The counselor also asked me about how he could best help me (at first, I thought he was talking about stopping our sessions (read: abandoning me)) - but he was not - he wanted to make sure he was still being helpful.
And then I realized a couple of things - the counselor is the ONLY ONE that wants to listen to me talk about Byron - everyone else gets uncomfortable if I mention his name, if I want to talk about a funny memory I have of him, or how much I miss him, or what have you. For everyone else in the world - it's over - he's gone, done, left. Not for me, not for the one who sees his picture in my cubicle at work, or the ones I have on my dresser in my bedroom, not for when I open the Memory Box I made, and look at his baby picture, or his doctoral graduation pictures, or our wedding pictures - not when I look at his death certificate - he's not gone for me, and never will be.
The hospice counselor had talked about our dead loved ones as a "giant elephant in a room, that everyone else squeezes by, totally ignores, talks about everything else in the world but the elephant". I totally agree!
I also realized that I feel guilty because I could not save Byron - I thought I could, but I couldn't - and I'm beginning to understand that.
Peace be with and upon you all - Yaca Attwood Perkins