• Joshua Bentley

Grief Gab #4 - Unpredictability


“See. See! I’m right again. Nobody could have predicted that Dr. Grant would suddenly jump from a moving vehicle.” (Dr. Sattler jumps out after Dr. Grant.) “And there’s another example. See, here I am now by myself talking to myself. That’s...that’s Chaos Theory.” -Dr. Ian Malcom concluding his talk to Dr. Ellie Sattler, Jurassic Park

Today marks the 3-month anniversary of the untimely passing of Joni. And despite the fact that it’s an anniversary, I’m actually doing really well! You’d think that I’d be bummed or at least solemn, but I don’t feel that way today. And that’s OK.


Grief is unpredictable. This year I thought Valentine’s Day would be difficult, and it was, but it didn’t throw me for a loop like St. Patrick’s Day. Today is the 3-month anniversary and I expected to be a little more solemn than I am, but I’m doing great. My birthday is on the 9th and I expect it will be hard, but...who knows?? And what about the big holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas)? I’m positive those are going to be difficult, but you can just never tell when grief is going to come knocking.


I was speaking with the Middle School nurse the other day because our youngest was having a tough grief day. She saw someone in the school halls that looked like Joni for a second and that threw her for a loop. The nurse herself said that it was a bowl of M&M’s that set her off because her mom loved them and always had a bowl of them out. Another friend of mine who lost his mom had a thought hit him in the shower six years later and had to stop so he could process what he was feeling (aka - crying).


But here’s the thing - I can’t let grief dictate what I plan to do. A friend has invited me to go on a sort of friend and family camping trip in July. They didn’t know that it was about 3 days after my wedding anniversary. But I can’t let that stop me from making plans. Will I actually be able to go? Maybe. And if I have to back out at the last minute because I’m having a hard time then I have to back out and they’ll understand. What I’m not going to do is worry about “my commitment” and “follow through” and “being a man of my word” because the pain of grief demands to be felt and if I need to take the time to deal with my grief, then that’s what I need and people who matter will understand.


It’s kind of like snow here in Washington. Joni and I always used to say “You’ll know it’s going to snow when it’s actually falling from the sky.” No weatherman can tell you for sure whether it’s going to happen. And until the moment it happens, I can’t let it stop me from living life. Same with grief. Joni demonstrated appreciating and enjoying life in a whole new way and wouldn’t want me to avoid living “just in case” grief happens.


As always, thanks for reading.


#GriefGab

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