The Deep Dark Hole
It was a Friday eight weeks after my husband’s death. “He died on a Friday.”
I was assigned to my local office that day. That’s where I got “the call”
I was driving his truck for the first time. “He died in his truck”.
It was the “Perfect Storm”
I just should have stayed home that day. I was sad and exhausted and things were not going well at work. Perhaps I had returned to work too early? Perhaps I was not ready to be fully engaged in my job?
Who was I to be making these decisions anyway? I had no experience with profound loss. I could not think straight let alone make decisions like how long I should stay out of work and how many hours I should work. I wanted to do the right thing. I wanted to do my share of the work, I wanted to keep busy and not be so sad all the time.
The problem was the grief was still so fresh. At some point that morning, it all caught up with me, the sadness, the loneliness, the confusion about what I should do. I spoke to my supervisor and we agreed I should go home and that moving forward, I would work fewer hours and not do as much as I had been doing.
Of course I had to drive the truck home. By the time I reached my house I was overwhelmed with sadness. I had pain in the very depth of my soul and I could not manage my grief. I felt like I was spinning out of control. I thought I could not go on any longer, that living without my husband was not going to work for me. If only someone could just give me a shot and knock me out so I did not have to feel this way, I would welcome that. I would welcome being in a coma until the pain was gone.
I felt like I was in a deep dark hole. A big pit like the one in the movie “Silence of the Lambs” No one could help me, no one could see me, no one could possibly understand. What was the point? I could not go on! I could not manage this grief anymore. It was just too hard.
What should I do? I had no answers. At some point I managed to call my sister and ask her to please come and be with me. She of course came right away. She had never seen anyone like this before. She had never seen me like this. The poor thing did not know how to help. Think of happy things she said. Think of your family, your grandchildren. I said this is so much bigger than that. I cannot see my way out of this. I am not looking at my world the way you and everyone else are looking at it. I see nothing but darkness.
For the first time in my life, I had just a glimpse of what Depression must feel like. It was scary. Everything was dark. I could see no way out of the pit, the “Deep Dark Hole”. I could not see anything but pain, sadness, despair.
For hours my sister sat with me while I cried. Why was this happening? Why was I suffering so much? How would I go on? Should I go on?
None of the things that usually helped me manage my grief were working today. This was so big. I began to think I would feel like this forever and that scared me.
After about seven hours, I became so exhausted and reached a point where I could not fight my way out of the pit any longer. I would collapse there until I found the strength to climb my way out.
Eventually I reached a turning point. How that happened, I will never know. I managed to climb out of the Deep Dark Hole and see a single ray of light.
I would pray that I never enter the Deep Dark Hole again!
I would continue the fight. I would work harder. I would find the strength. I would go on.