My memories of my grief when my partner Joan died in 1986 are as clear today as if they happened yesterday. I recall being in Shoppers' Drug Mart a day or two after her death, and suddenly standing still, unable to move, unable to breathe. Most of all, I was unable to make any sense out of anything I could see. What were all these people doing? What was all this stuff on the shelves? Why was buying and selling going on when Joan was dead? How could life just go on, as if nothing had happened?
I think I stood there frozen for a matter of seconds, although it felt like forever. I wanted to scream, or throw things, or ... instead I put down the things in my hand and left the store. Everything in my world had changed. Nothing in the outside world had changed. Reconciling that seemed impossible.