Grief is weird

So, you guys remember how I applied for that Damn Fine Words scholarship?

Turns out, I won!

I’m excited about this opportunity to help develop my writing skills. You know, seeing as how I work as a writer from time to time. Classes started yesterday, which means precisely two things:
1. You’ll be hearing a lot more from me over the next 10 weeks.
2. I’m going to have to figure out something to say over the next 10 weeks.

So what should that be?

I’ve gotten quite a bit further into my personal life here than I ever thought I would, but it’s turned out to be a pretty good thing. I know that since I wrote about the struggles we’ve been having over the last year, I’ve had several people tell me that they’ve found solace in their own losses. That’s all I could have ever asked for, that maybe by being open about how absolutely awful this whole trying to start a family thing can be, that maybe someone else would feel a little less alone.

But of course, that also means that practically everyone knows what’s going on in my life, in my head, and that’s a bit trippy. Questions that were once polite conversation starters now take on such a somber tone, as if people are afraid I’m going to break down at any second.

“So, how ARE you?”

“Anything new?”

“How have you been doing, you know, with everything?”

I know that talking about this is difficult for people. They don’t want to say the wrong thing, or do the wrong thing, or be insensitive. But here’s the thing: If I want to talk about it, I’ll talk about it. If I have news to share, I’ll share it. If I’m on the verge of some mental breakdown, you’ll sure as hell be able to tell.

More than anything, don’t pity me because my life went a little off-track this year. As low as the lows were, there were also some pretty great high points this year, too.

Grief is such a strange emotion. It isn’t something you carry around at the front of your mind, all day, every day. Sometimes it takes a back seat to the wonderful things going on around you. It lets you appreciate the good things, the sunny days or the goofball dog at your feet, and it gives you a break from feeling sad.

And on those good days, seeing pity in your eyes doesn’t do me any favors.

I don’t want this to come across as a list of dos and don’ts, because quite frankly, it’s not so simple as that. There are no hard and fast rules on how to get through this, not for me and certainly not that can be applied across the board.

So if you want to know how I’m doing, ask, but know that it might be a longer answer than “fine.” Trust that if there’s something I want to tell you, I will, and don’t assume there’s anything wrong unless I say so.

Who knows, I might even have good news one of these days.

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