Today was a good friend’s birthday, one of the big birthdays that can’t go by unnoticed. Weeks ago I received an invitation to her party, she’s a twin, so a big bash was planned. This was an easy birthday date to remember, her birthday is one week before Kevin’s, my now gone husband. When I received the invitation I struggled with what to do.
In life, Kevin was so outgoing while I was content to stay in the shadows watching his antics. Going to parties was definitely something he loved, for me not so much. For Kevin crowds were a buzz, he loved the action, and if somebody drank too much or acted like a jerk all the better, he’d tell stories about it for weeks. Birthdays were big, especially his own, but he didn’t mind winding up by celebrating somebody else’s before the real big event – his. And that’s what today’s party would have been, a wind-up on a grand scale, he’d have loved it. So this month has been tough as we head into the first birthday with him gone.
So this friend whose birthday it is, gave me the best gift of all. One of the hardest things in life is dealing with the unspoken. About a week ago while we talked about all sorts of things, she brought up her upcoming party. She told me point blank that she knew I’d been invited and suspected that I was probably quite conflicted about what to do. She was absolutely right. There are times in life when our genuine desire to rise above loss and grief just isn’t enough and we can’t, lightheartedness isn’t possible. When the past can’t be put aside even for a moment. So, generous as she is in her friendship, she told me she understood if I wasn’t able to attend. I love her, whether I go or not, she knows. A lot of other people love her as well, and this is a day to celebrate and enjoy.
So I passed on the party. A tough decision since it felt wrong and right at the same time, wrong to miss such a special occasion for someone I love, but right because I likely would have been emotionally unstable. Whose to say if I made the right decision? I just don’t know. I do know that every now and then there’s this voice in my head that says perhaps I am stuck in poor-me mode. When I hear that voice I don’t feel bad, I actually feel good, because it makes me think that I am starting to regain a sense of awareness and belongingness in the world around me. The truth is that grieving gets tiring and it’s confusing as well, for me and for everybody else.