Friday, April 1, 2011

Harsh Realities....

It's been almost nine months since David passed away.
I was sitting in his favourite comfy chair by the window, reading the morning papers. I had been up most of the night with a stomach bug, so was taking it easy that morning just a couple of days ago.

Grief still comes in waves. I can be fine for a while and then some trigger or sometimes even nothing I can put my finger on, brings out a fresh round of tears.

The telephone rang. Do I get up to answer or just let it ring?
"May I speak to Dr. Nelligan, please?"
"Um... may I ask who is calling?"
"Are you his wife?"
"This is Lily from Blaa Blaa Pharmaceuticals. Dr. I-forget-his-name would like to know if Dr. Nelligan plans to attend the upcoming symposium on such-and-such a new drug"
"Oh" (pause, while I choose my words)
"Oh, Mrs. Nelligan, is he already planning to attend? In that case, sorry to have disturbed you." (don't I wish!)
"No, Dr. Nelligan died last summer."
"Oh. I'm sorry."
"I thought the medical community would have been aware of this. His obituary was published in the medical journals."
"Our mistake. I don't think you will be hearing from us again."

I certainly hope not, I thought, but did not say. I guess this young lady was just doing her job, but she didn't sound the least bit sorry, nor did it occur to her that saying "I don't think you will be hearing from us again." sounded more like "well, you know, we might call you back next year if we forget that your husband died."

Some days this incident would have lingered for a few moments then let go. That day it hurt. Probably because I was not feeling well.

Looking out the window to distract myself,  I noticed the familiar V-formation of Canada geese flying home, signaling the return of spring and warmer weather.
"Welcome home" I called out to them with a smile. And then continuing my conversation with the air or the cat or the window,  "Ahh, David, I see you sent geese to cheer me up. We always loved to watch the geese returning home after a long and cold winter."

 I suppose this type of phone call will continue until I move and change my phone number. And I'm sure others have stories similar to mine or worse. But it always seems to come at a time when you're unprepared.


Grammy said...

Hi Wendy, the tears come because you need to release. It is all a part of healing. Laughter is also a part of healing and can be used like an aspirin. Let out the tears then make your self laugh. I found that research showed even faking a laugh had the same healing quality's. When I was going through all the t& d last month. Laughter stopped the tears for me. And got me back on the road to healing.
I send you lots of healing energy. And lots of smiles hugs.
I feel your energy to. You always brighten my day. : )

amelia said...

It's still early day yet. Some people take a lot longer to heal than others and I don't think there's any right or wrong and the calls will probably continue until you move. I'm sure you still get mail for David, I know I still get it for my dad and he's be gone for two and a half years.

I heard geese this morning and I'm wondering what they will do as our lakes are still frozen solid and the ground is still frozen and snow covered.

Beth Niquette said...

I wish people were a little more thoughtful in their words...


Nature Rambles said...

I agree with Beth's comment. I suppose you'll still have some of those calls coming...

Despite what you're going through it's nice to see the Spring flowers you've posted. And thanks for leaving your words on my blogs.

Take care, Wendy. (Hugs)

Hilary said...

Also agreeing with Beth. There's little anyone can do about making a mistake.. not keeping record up to date.. etc but she sure could have been more compassionate about her response to you. I am glad that those geese helped to cheer you. It is a process of a few ups and those dreaded downs.

Maggie May said...

One of the things my daughter (who lost her husband two and a half years ago) finds is that very same thing. Why don't people update their files and computers?
I think you are doing very well. I am sure grief comes in fits and starts for ages but I'm glad that you get comfort from Nature wherever you look.
Maggie X

Nuts in May.

mxtodis123 said...

How callous of that woman! I just cannot believe how unfeeling people can be. A little compassion goes a long way.

joanne said...

be gentle with yourself. Healing comes in it's own time, or so I'm told. I'm glad David sent you a smile..I'm sending love and prayers. take care..;j

Cheryl said...

My dear Wendy, as a friend once said to me...let the tears flow, they heal a wounded heart. You need to cry, to release your grief, to honour David and all he meant to you.

People can be insensitive. We are not all the same. Forgive her Wendy and let her go.
Your heart is broken, perhaps she has never experienced the pain of losing someone so dear. One day she will understand.

I do hope you feel better soon.......sending you healing thoughts and gentle hugs.
Know you are on my prayer list.....I pray for you, along with others, each night before I sleep.

Shammickite said...

You probably gave her just as much of a shock when you told her that your husband had passed away, as she gave you when she asked to speak to him.
She probably just didn't know what to say under the circumstances. She wasn't trying to be rude or callous.

Rose said...

I'm sure the caller didn't know what to say, but you would think she could have expressed some form of sympathy. I hope that the geese helped to make you forget this incident, Wendy. David may be gone physically, but his spirit is surely hovering nearby, reaching out to you when you need him.

Karin said...

Thanks for sharing your grieving journey. It helps me to learn how to be there for the many female friends in my social circle who have recently been widowed - almost a dozen in the last six months!

I'm so glad you found joy in watching the geese return! God bless!