My grandmother has been widowed for nearly nine years, so in this as well as every other thing in life she has a great deal more experience than I do. My grandmother also believes that it's possible for one to be widowed and swear-free.
My grandmother is mistaken.
I mean, she isn't really. It's working out for her to go through life alone and with pristine language, probably because she had pristine language before she had to take on the world by herself. I, on the other hand, realised some time in my teen years that the occasional swear word makes this planet a lot more bearable to be on, and if I have to be on this planet by myself, I'm bringing along whatever four-letter words I darned well please.
(Not in grandma's house, though. Not even I am that rude.)
And it's a space where it's okay to use whatever language seems appropriate to what we're feeling on any given day. Much like Nora's book (don't read it if you're going to be offended by the language. She doesn't pull punches), which had me giggling, crying, and nodding along.
Here's a bit that I couldn't resist tweeting, just because it's fairly universal in grief, but easy to forget when someone else is the one struggling. Nora is talking about spending some time with her siblings, and why that has changed:
It was a comfort to have them, but grief is not a set weight to be distributed equally. It cannot be portioned and divided.The people at the center of this grief, by the way? We get that you don't know what to say. I've been doing this for 1.25 years, and I don't know what to say to other people, either. I have a long list of what not to say, but my list of what to say is still inadequate. There are moments that the words don't reach, indeed. So if you hear me using words that you find a bit shocking, know that I'm doing it because those are the words that reach the farthest into how I'm feeling.
It's hard for me to be around my family...and this is why. Grief is lonely, no matter how many other people feel it. They are different, each one, because we've lost different people, different versions of the same men. We are each carrying our own load, and is is ours alone to bear.