During Grief: Sharing Chores with My Husband

This is what I wrote on sharing chores with your spouse before the miscarriage.

This is what I’ve learned since the miscarriage.

It’s so different doing life while inside grief… I wish I’d known all this before it hit. I could’ve saved my Husband and I some tearful discussions.

1. Stuff is going to fall

Let it.

When dealing and muddling through grief, the priority is letting out the pain. Don’t hold back a good cry because the kitchen is a mess. Just cry it out beside that sink full. It’s healing a bit of you that’s bleeding inside.

2. Give grace

You and your significant other need some room to be yourself.

You need room to do you.

Whatever your mourning/lamenting style is, whatever your spouse’s mourning/lamenting style is, embrace it and give grace.

He didn’t get the grass cut? Hire a guy to do it and tell your man you love him.
You didn’t get the towels folded? Shove them where they go unfolded and take a relaxing bubble bath while you’re so close to the tub.

Grace.

3. Communicate softly

When speaking to each other, pick the softest time. Maybe not early in the morning before the first, comforting cup of coffee, or late at night when emotions are so near the surface. No one wants to hear about the garbage can before bed when they are sad.

Pick the softest place to communicate. Maybe not over text. Maybe not over the phone.

Pick your soft tone when speaking to your spouse. Be careful with one another while you are both so sensitive.

Pick your words carefully. Be extra soft. You both need it.

Chores don’t go away, but your spouse might leave the room crying if you are harsh. Be sweet. Be kind. Be soft.

4. Give more grace

When you wanted the chore done oh, so badly, and it isn’t done, weigh it in light of the future.

Will this mildewed basket of clothes bother me in a year?

Will this messy car hurt me in a few months?

Sigh and just let it go. (Or shed a tear and walk away.)

5. When you can, ask for help

If you can get a little help with your chores, consider it during the roughest grief period.

A house cleaner, a yard man, a chef service, a drop-off laundry service, etc. are a good decision while you and your spouse are distraught.

A friend or a family member might be willing to pitch in, too.

Ask.

It’s temporary and might ease the burden you both feel so you can focus on you.

6. Understand grieving may take a long time

For our recent miscarriage, one friend said the discombobulation could last 4 months, another friend said years.

My Husband and I determined it varies from person to person, from couple to couple.

If you expect grief to take awhile, it just makes everything… more… okay.

After the first two months, I’m writing this after having another crying spell this afternoon. I have to tell myself to slow down still and not be in such a hurry to “be better.” Guilt is not allowed anymore. Why?

It may take a long time.

And no one can tell me (or you) exactly how much time it will take.

7. It’s temporary

Things will get better. They will not go “back to normal,” but they won’t hurt like death forever…

Just keep saying it: this is temporary.

Feel the feels, sob the pain, cry the anger, lament, grieve, but know it’s not forever.

Take it day-by-day. – Kalla L.

I agree with my friend’s saying so much: take it day-by-day.

For example, on a simple day, no work was needed at my job, just a meeting of a creative writing church group for a few hours. I’d planned all week to go, excited to write with my friends, but, the night before, I cried so hard, I nearly vomited. That morning, I woke up with a stuffy, swollen head, exhausted, my heart as heavy as a rock. My Husband encouraged me to forget it all. Scrub the plans. Scrub the pending chores. He’d go to work, he wanted me to stay in bed or on the couch. He proceeded to check on me every two hours. And I needed it. This was weeks after the miscarriage. Weeks.

Just when I thought I was getting “better,” everything would crash again. Week after week.

When one or both spouses are going through times of “okay” then “not okay,” it’s a scary roller-coaster. All you can do is pray, cry, sing to God, cry, pray, sleep- out of exhaustion, rinse, repeat.

The last thing you need is to be demanding of yourself or your spouse. It just makes the season 400% worse. (Yeah, I know 400% isn’t a thing. I’m married to a data scientist. That’s just how it felt.)

Keep reaching out to good support sources. (You know who they are.)

You’ll get through this.

I’m not even all the way, but I’m seeing some daylight now.

I believe it for both of us. Me and you.

You’ll get through.

Then you and your spouse will toast that sparkly clean toilet. And on that future day, you’ll say it.

I’m going to be okay.

 

endkevianaelliot