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Fallout

One death follows another,
But without the fanfare,
The flowers,
The sympathy cards
Of the First.

A long-time friend is uncomfortable
with your grief
and departs in a murmured apology.
They really have become so busy,
But do call if you need anything.

The congregation looks askance,
Wondering what you did to deserve
Such misery;
An army of Job’s comforters
Twisting scripture into a
Cat ‘o Nine Tails.

The fatherless child taunted,
The inflated bill from the workman
The lazy man requests a loan.

Like a lover’s blows,
Only the first punch surprises.
The rest rain down
and are hardly felt.

For those who are meeting grief for the first time, it can come as a shock that life (at least for everyone else) returns to normal so soon. And that the widow radar comes out and creates a target on your back for every shyster in the tri-county area. Or that those around you can be so callous as to suggest that you – or worse, your child – need to develop a thicker skin.

I hope that you, if you find yourself in this unenviable position, are able to turn inward and recognize the traits of PTSD that you are probably experiencing. That you put everyone else outside the fence of your existence and focus only on what has a right to live in your space. You may not be able to stop the assault, but you can let it wash over you until you are stronger, knowing that it is their burden and not yours.

 

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