Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Shallows and The Deeps

The hardest part of this awful grief experience has been the broken promises, the awkwardness, the thoughtlesness, of some people. Knowing someone cares, having someone go out of their way to help, having someone who rings up out of the blue to say "I reckoned you're having a bad day, I care" because it's a birthday, anniversary etc, it's worth so so much. 

When the phone is silent, when people cross the road, or when they look at you and know by your eyes that you're hurting but instead of catching your hand they change the subject to something trivial, that cuts through our hearts.

I thought I would lose my mind last year from all the broken promises and abandonment. And the ones who came back on the scene in January, the 1st anniversary, to say 'phew it's a year at last, you can get back to normal now'. 

But, after 15 months I'm content to say I didn't lose my mind AND I've become philosophical about them and stronger for it. 

Now I look at them and know that there are two types of people: The Shallows and The Deeps. The Shallows are weak, cowardly, self-serving people who are all about the drama (hospice, ambulances, funerals) but don't care about your feelings once the 'drama' ends - as if our grief was last year's reality show and the season has ended so it's boring now. They have no integrity and no character traits of any value. Harsh but true. 

Then there are the rare gems, The Deeps, they are the caring, giving, selfless few who will drop everything to come to you, cry with you, laugh with you, let you ramble on about your love, your relationship, your grief, tell you to sit down and "have a glass of wine", won't judge you for the mounting dishes and the child's dishevelled hair. They are gold. 

And here's the thing... it's not a question of only wanting people who talk about Diarmuid. It goes deeper than that. It's knowing that we can talk about anything (perhaps not even mention him) but behind whatever conversation we're having they know, they're aware, they get it. There is pain and there is loss and it's real and they don't hide from it.

I now feel sorry for The Shallows and I'm glad I'm not one of them because I have empathy. My children have empathy - I'm raising three young people from The Deep species. To hell with The Shallows. Honestly, they're not part of my life anymore because they don't deserve to be. 

To the rare gems, the Deeps, the golden few, thank you from the bottom of my heart. 


  1. "Last year's reality show" - yes! A show other people can choose to watch or not, tra la la.

    And - of the Deep Species. Nice.


    1. Thanks Megan - those Shallows make this grief 'journey' so much harder. But it feels nice to dismiss them and move on a teeny bit xxx

  2. You might be a bit harsh in judging your friends. We lost a daughter 17 years ago when she was 17, and its difficult for people to figure out what to say to you. We had our best friends who called us every night for months afterwards - they were exceptional. A lot of our other friends just did not know what to say. I suspect that you have a lot of friends like that.

  3. I think about you often, from the other side of the world. I can't believe it's been over a year - thank God you have a few Deeps in your life. Continued prayers and best wishes, I'm sorry but I don't know what else to say. I pray you find a little bit of peace and eventually once again some happiness. Please don't think it will never happen again. *Hug*

    Judy from the Dis

  4. I stumbled across your post and got a lot out of reading it.
    I became a widower nearly 8 weeks ago, with two children 7 & 8.

    Today, someone said to me "it's better that the children were young when she died - it would have been worse for them if they were 19, because they'd have more memories of her". Well, I'd have given anything for the children to have been adults.

    The phone doesn't ring much anymore. My sister thinks that she understands because her partner's elderly father lost his wife.
    Other people think they understand because they lost one of their parents. (I've already lost both parents, and this is totally different.)

    I don't know what I want from people.

    I don't want to be told to be strong for the children.

    I don't want to be told that things will get easier with time.

    I don't want pity.

    I suppose I just want them to listen, understand and show that they care - that it matters.


  5. Deb - I found your blog as I was googling "appropriate widow grieving time". My wonderful husband of 32 years passed away on September 17th, suddenly, but the signs were all there in the weeks before. He was my lover, life partner, and best friend. The "yin" to my "yang". We would finish each other's sentences (and thoughts). It is refreshing to read your blog (and I've read every post). I too have taken to blogging, and that is how I talk to Grant. I know he hears me, I just wish he'd talk back. I will continue to follow your blog. Love & hugs, Becca