Last week, and continuing somewhat into this week was, as my husband put it, "the worst week we've had in a long time." And while that's true to some extent, I always raise an eyebrow (mentally...I can't actually pull a Spock physically--they both go up) when someone announces something as "the worst."
The last week or so has been unquestionably shitty, between emergency vet visits for my dog, to two failed attempts to have surgery, to the realization that surgery probably isn't in the cards for him and we're facing an end that will arrive sooner than later, but how soon we cannot guess. And now E is ill; he'll be okay in time, but in the meantime, he's miserable, and we didn't need more misery on top of all that's going on.
But still...is it the worst? Oh hell no. Not by a long-shot. This is life on planet earth: a fair amount of "shitty" is to be expected. I made some quiet noises to E about how my view of "the worst" might vary from his own, and he knew what I was talking about, and said that's why he qualified his comments by saying "in a long time." I thought about debating "long time" with him, as 4 years doesn't seem that long ago to me, frankly, but decided in the name of marital harmony to let that one pass.
I wondered, as I moved through my grief, if my new perspective as to what qualified as a big deal would eventually erode and I'd start bitching about little, stupid things like I used to. And I probably do, but a lot less than I did before I was widowed. I get annoyed, like anyone, but I can let it go pretty easily. "Yeah, it sucks. Next!" This is one of those "blessings of grief" the books like to talk about. When you have experienced horrible circumstances, and the pain of surviving through them, everything else looks like small potatoes by comparison. Also, I think in discovering that you have the ability to keep going when you hurt inside, when you hurt inside more than you ever could've imagined hurting, you learn your true mettle, and it's harder to get overwhelmed when bad things just keep piling on.
That is not to say I enjoy it, or greet these challenges with a smile and open arms, for they surely do not please me in the least. But I sigh and get through it because I have learned how to sigh and get through things by sighing and getting through THE thing. I survived my love's death, and through it, I learned that the people and critters I love are going to die, too. That it is almost entirely out of my hands. That I will get through it, and, in time, probably without much screaming and gnashing of teeth, because that just doesn't do any good. It doesn't make me feel better, it doesn't help me cope, it doesn't get done what has to get done.
Sometimes it's trying to me that other folks are gnashing their teeth, though. They lack the perspective I paid so dearly for, bless their hearts. In E's case, I realize that I'd have to be dead for him to get it, which really doesn't sound like too good a deal for me, then. Still, I wouldn't mind too much if everyone in general could chill and see that this, too, shall pass. In this, I see my yearning for peace. Ever since A died, peace is all I want. Joy is nice, happiness is groovy, but peace...peace is what my soul aches for.