July 20, 2006
As I move from acknowledging Michele's death to accepting the new reality of life without her, I have become aware of the segmentation occurring within my personality. No, I'm not developing split personalities, although one could argue it would be hard to differentiate from my behavior prior to her death, but I am starting to set aside parts of me in order to complete the transition from shell-shocked suicide survivor to grieving widower to widower to a fully functional member of society.
I don't think the transition is ever complete, just like I don't think grief ever truly ends. There are times when I still have powerful grief emotions about my sister's death more than thirty years ago. However, I do think that one can actively participate in the discovery of the new personality resulting from a trauma. My venture into eHarmony and seeking out new friends and potential relationships involves a great deal of sifting and setting aside; and not just through the detritus of a shared life, but mentally and emotionally too.
The outward indication of this process has been several emotional outbursts. I think as I dredge up and deal with pieces of me that I am leaving behind I go through a small grief process again and again. Certainly I don't cry at every single change, but over time the pent up emotion needs to be released. This week has been filled with release. It's exhausting and difficult, but I feel essential to my getting back to "normal."
Or at least what passes for normal.