The year after Daddy’s suicide, my anger funneled into a constant release at my husband. In my eyes, he did nothing right. A marriage counselor explained that many times grief spills out at a safe target—but, looking back, I’m not so sure that’s the case. His very nature made me think of my father.
Once at a restaurant right in the middle of a conversation, my father’s face superimposed itself over my husband’s. Now those blue eyes belonged to my dad, and they looked straight at me. My ears rang. My heart hammered. Swallowing, I told myself this was just my imagination, but still my breath caught in my throat as my husband’s voice drummed in the background. I sat there looking at the two most important men in my life. Alive, one touched my hand; dead, one broke my heart. Twisted waves of anger and adoration for both rushed at me. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. But I didn’t. I threw my napkin down and walked out.
Perhaps through a window, I could have seen my husband’s face change again. Possibly a legitimate confusion played across his face for several seconds. His widened eyes would have revealed it. Then his anger would have taken over as pupils pinpricked and jaw muscles flinched. But I didn’t see if he sat there methodically chewing his own anger. Outside, I leaned against a brick wall with my chest heaving.
Recovering from Daddy’s suicide was like living in between two worlds. Half the time, I thought I was crazy; the other half, I was filled with a terrible, hurting anger. Emotional confusion inhabited the very center of those worlds. My husband wanted—no, he needed—valid explanations. I didn’t have them.
Loved ones need to understand what’s going on with you. Find a way to explain.