Death, love, beer, and grieving with a significant other

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Recently, one of  Awesome’s  friends whom he worked with died suddenly and very unexpectedly. His death rocked the entire company that Awesome (my boyfriend) works for, and the outpouring of community support has been overwhelming.

As in most areas of life, men and women tend to handle grief in different ways. My father’s parents passed away when I was a kid, but when you’re young, you either don’t really understand what is going on, or you can’t grasp the significance of losing a loved one. As you get older (I’ll be 30 this year), you start to realize how short life is, how fast it goes by, and how you can lose someone in an instant.

But as an adult, I’ve never had someone really close to me pass away. I assume if someone close to me died, I would cry, be angry, and want to talk about it with a loved one, basically sharing my feelings at every turn.

Awesome, on the other hand, prefers to act like everything is okay when he is really suffering on the inside. I didn’t find out just how much his friend’s death had affected him until Monday night.

He was attending an improptu memorial at a local bar with his work colleagues and texted me to say he wasn’t sure when he would be home. Hours went by. I got a text message at 11:40 p.m. saying that he was a little drunk but still going to drive home and that he just wanted me to know in case he “didn’t make it.”

I texted back that maybe I should pick him up, to which he replied “Bib you have to drive in the mobtibgi.”

I interpreted that has “Babe you have to drive in the morning” and promptly called him to tell him I was leaving to come pick him up.

When he dropped himself into my car about 20 minutes later, he reeked of alcohol and I can’t say I was pleased. It was about 12:15 a.m. on a Monday night, I had to get up for work at 6:30 a.m. and I didn’t think that memorializing your friend meant downing 12 beers in a period of four hours. But instead of acting like a bitch, I asked him how the memorial was, and when he started spilling out all of his feelings about his friend, I realized that his liquid courage was his way of dealing with the shock of finding out his completely healthy friend had died.

Today he is going to the official memorial, and I know it’s going to be rough for him. I hope that instead of pushing his feelings away he will realize that I am here to listen to him, but just in case he decides to celebrate his friend’s life with a pint, I’ll be waiting with car keys in hand.


One thought on “Death, love, beer, and grieving with a significant other

  • May 3, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    I feel his pain. While I don’t drink when I’m sad, I don’t discuss my feelings with others either. Opening up on that level is difficult to some people, and some of us just like to grieve internally, by ourselves. I’m glad you’re understanding of it (As opposed to some GF’s I had who would pressure and pressure me until I’d snap at them. Just let me be in my quiet moments of reflection.)

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