"Give it a fucking rest. You don't have to remind everyone of the date and time of Greg's death. You fucking Facebooked it and less than 6 months later, you're fucking someone else. Saying pretty words doesn't change that shit."
This comment was left for me by an anonymous source. Of course it was. I wouldn't want to be accountable for this statement either. But I do think it has some merit and wanted to address it. I'm pretty sure whoever wrote this (and I have my suspicions) is not the only one who has assumed the worst of my behaviour in this regard.
When Greg died, I had the impression that a lot of people expected my grief to somehow equal the amount of love we shared, as if that's even possible. People judge how people should behave all the time, but it is an interesting thing when someone dies. There is weird protocol that is laid out but never divulged. Everyone wants you to feel & act a certain way. People gauge your mourning period like it somehow validates how you cared for the deceased. Some don't want you to be happy until they feel you should be, because otherwise you must not have valued your loved one enough.
Some expected me not to get out of bed for months. Some expected me not to laugh for weeks. Some thought I would obviously be alone for the rest of my life, eventually dying of heartbreak.
Enough. It is impossible to be enough for some people.
This could have happened. I could have allowed myself to do exactly what I felt like doing and let my life and my soul just waste away. But I have said it before and I mean it: Greg would never have allowed himself to be with me if he didn't know that I was strong enough to make it without him. In fact, we discussed whether or not he would want me to date/marry/fall in love if he passed away. He was astonished I would have even asked such a question.
"I would want you to be happy."
I will be Sheena and Greg for the rest of my life.
But beside that, I am still me. I am still the girl that makes off coloured jokes and says shit you should never say at funerals and dinner parties. I am still the one who cries at pictures of baby meerkats. I am still the girl that burns grilled cheese sandwiches. I am still the girl who can't fall asleep without noise. I am still the girl that tweets like it's going out of style and makes friends and thinks people are the most amazing things ever.
I'm still the girl that loves. Often. Liberally. With abandon.
And I will continue to. I will continue to love men. And women. And affection. And sex. And this may upset people that can not understand how I can exhibit such behaviour after six short months. People may not understand how I can be happy with another after the relationship that I had with Greg. They have even expressed that they don't understand how I can adore one and mourn the other.
Let me assure you, I can. And do.
People do not have to appreciate or respect my fumbling attempt at normalcy. But people are also in the fortunate position to not have to feel the void and longing that sits like a vacuum inside of me every fucking minute I am not asleep or ensconced in the love and support of my friends and family. I am still aching. I am tired of my own voice. I am still in healing and may never not be. But certain things lighten the load of this weight. And the love and affection and beauty of people are invaluable to me.
So, while I do not feel the need to justify my behaviour, let alone to someone unwilling to even sign their name to such a vile and insipid comment, I do understand that death is a muddled emotional area and insight is valuable. People want to know that Greg's name and memory has not been disavowed. They want to know that he is still as big to me in death as he was in life. People want me to honour him the way he so deserved.
And I just wanted to assure you all that if he were able, he would ease your minds. He would tell you he is just as loved and brilliant in my life as he was the first day I ever met him.
And then he'd tell you to see the new Star Trek trailer. It's awesome.