Better?

I have been told so many times in the past few months that the mythical “stages of grief” are unique to each person. That they are not linear or ordered nicely and neatly as we see them laid out in articles and handouts. That we may take months or years to pass through a stage, we may skip stages and replay them…or we may never get through them all. While I know all this logically it still is a source of frustration for me as my clinical, ordered mind wants to start, progress and complete a process that will leave me “better”.
I recall Willie’s Dad saying to me, about 3 months after Willie died, that he had a horrible thought… that, what if, people really never did get “better”. That, what if, they merely became very well versed in putting on a facade of “better” for the world to see but inside, they were just as torn and in pain as they were when they first lost their child or loved one. At the time, I brushed it off and re-assured him that there was no way that was true…that we would be ok, someday. Maybe not soon, but eventually…that we had to have hope.
Approaching the 6 month mark soon and feeling like I am getting worse instead of better as I struggle to make sense of it – or even accept it. That hope for “better” that I so valiantly relayed is fading and being replaced with a belief that he may have been right. I have become incredibly accomplished at being able to be part of conversations again that involve not only kids, but talking about my kids. I can speak about Willie and not cry (most of the time)…I can be in social settings for long periods of time and not hit that wall of just being done. The truth though is that for the most part, it is a mask….I do have moments of joy and fun and laughter that is genuine and sincere but all in all, something is just gone from me and I’m not sure it will ever be back. Part of that which is missing is the belief that I will heal and be “better”. It was there a couple of months ago even but seems to have wandered off….