One of the hardest parts of grieving for Madeline is watching Mike go through the grieving process. Even though we are both struggling through the same horror and missing the same little girl we both love so completely, we are doing it in such different and personal ways.
In the early days, when things were really hard, I watched Mike go through intense struggle, and it was so difficult for both of us. I couldn’t help him, and he couldn’t help himself. I did my best, though, and he eventually made it through.
Now, fifteen months later, the grief isn’t so dramatic. It is quieter. Less obvious. As a result it is even more personal, and this makes it even harder to know how to help each other. Some times the days pass uneventfully…except for the fact that Mike’s smile is a little dimmer. His enthusiasm for things a little weaker. In those days I don’t ask what’s wrong, because I know what is wrong, but it is still hard to watch. Other times I will find him at the computer with wet eyes, and I can see on the screen that he has been looking at photos or videos of Madeline.
Don’t get the wrong idea. We talk about our grief and how much we miss Maddie. We talk about her everyday. And we cry together. But still I don’t know if I am helping him, or even if I know how to. It is unbearably hard to see your husband in pain and not be able to take it away or make it better.
Therapy has been so helpful for me and has been such a great outlet for my feelings. I wish Mike had an outlet like that. I think talking to someone could be really helpful for him, but therapy is such a personal thing, and as of now, it isn’t a path he wants to go on. It isn’t for everyone, so I don’t push it. I will just help him as much as possible, and hope that when I can’t he can find ways to deal with his pain.