It’s been 100 Days since he left us.  Remember when you were a kid and 100 seemed like the biggest number in the world?  It’s still a big number,  but in widow years it goes by much more slowly.  I feel like I’ve aged 10 years in these last 100 days.  Watching everyone else’s lives go by is like watching them in fast forward.  Life goes on. Their lives go on. I’ve been left behind.

I’d been warned that after a funeral people disappear.  Maybe it’s because the action is over…those individuals that feed on crisis and helping in a crisis now have nothing to do. This was hard…the people that had been there week after week helping during Dan’s illness drifted away and left a void. Maybe it’s because our pain is overwhelming to witness and they have to turn away.  Maybe they loved him as much as I did and they can now focus on their pain.  Dunno.  All I know is people disappear.  I expected his friends to fade away.  Which they did.  Almost immediately.  I expected some of our mutual friends to disappear.  And some did.  Even family has to take a break from the pain sometimes.  It’s exhausting watching someone you love suffer so much. And it’s okay.  People come in and out of our lives when we need them to.

There are those stalwart few who don’t disappear.  To quote one of my favorite memes, they stick to your face like an octopus. They call, show up, force you out of your house.  They bear witness to your pain, your grief, your anger, and they love you anyway. They ride the roller coaster with you, holding your hand as you scream on the way back down.  When you fall, they curl up on the floor next to you reminding you that you’re not alone. These Non-Disappeared are the ones that will help you survive. Hold on to them.

Photo credit to Lauren Giuffre.