Grieving Pains



Just recently, bumps, scratches and bruises have mysteriously appeared all over my body.

A quick inventory: On my left forearm I have an deep yellow, inch-and-a-half-long bruise. On the underside, I have an angry red scrape that curls around from front to back. On one palm, I have a wee boo boo. Further down, I have four pink slashes, in various states of healing, across my shin.

And yesterday, I slightly burned my right forearm accidentally blasting hot water instead of cold while  washing dishes.

Other than the singed forearm, I have absolutely no recollection of how I got these wounds. I don’t remember any fisticuffs in my recent past, or ever, really. I don’t think I’ve challenged anyone to a duel and don’t recall getting up in someone’s grill.

But since Mike died I am a one-woman wrecking crew. Unfortunately, my body is the demolition site.

I am more injury prone than my pre-K son. I run into walls, misjudge the width of door frames and walk into open cupboards with my face.

In the past, I have generally had control of all my faculties and all four limbs. I have never carried myself like a ballerina but I’m no lumbering galoot either.

Many bizarre things happen when your spouse dies, I am discovering. Along with your memory and day-to-day brain power, you lose a sense of your own body and the space you take up. Other than the obvious pain, and feeling like a dummy, it troubles me that I have become a klutz.

Turns out, I am a completely normal klutz. Clumsiness is directly related to stress, my social worker told me. At least I think it was her. My memory is shredded, along with the skin on my shin.

Even though I honestly and truly feel like I am doing quite well with this whole grief thing, my stress tank is full. And when your mind is whirling with every other little and big thing—settling the estate, raising a little man, and doing my nails, for example—there is simply no room for your body to naturally remember what to do and how to navigate through the world. While that’s not a scientific explanation for why I am suddenly Buster Keaton with bruises and a lot less funny, there’s some comfort understanding the method behind my body’s madness.

Like many stages in the grieving process, this too shall pass. Until then, I hope to retain all limbs.

3 thoughts on “Grieving Pains

  1. Myself, I have actually taken to writing it down when I bump into something that I know will leave a mark, just so I remember where it came from and that its nothing to worry about. It helps me. So do mani / pedis. Get a lot of mani / pedis. 🙂

  2. I did not know clumsiness is stress related. Thanks for passing that along! I’ll be taking a second think next time I find unexplained bruises on the old bod.

  3. Thank you Robin for keeping this blog going. I found it on May 31, 2015 while having a Sunday morning coffee and my husband in the chair across from me doing odd behaviors while I was reading through Mike’s blog entries. In August of 2012 my husband, Don, was dx with asymptomatic metastatic hormone resistant prostate cancer to his bones. That Sunday morning as I was reading through Mike’s thoughts and experiences, Don’s odd behaviors progressed into seizure activity which it turned out was due to brain mets (one of Mike’s favorite words?) He died on July 4, 2015 with his bones stable but his brain and liver invaded. I am gutted and now realize what it really means to have that very significant other gone forever. {So far I am not endangering my limbs like you are!} But I do hate having to navigate the many stages of the grieving process.
    I love that Mike told you and all of us how much he loved and respected who you are and how lucky Will is to have you there as an anchor for his growing up years.

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