12/09/2013 02:36 pm ET Updated Feb 08, 2014

How Does Anyone Know I'm Grieving the Death of My Husband? Widows Used to Wear Black

I know the world does not stop when someone dies. It didn't stop when my husband of 42 years died 10 weeks ago. Though it certainly should have. Life goes on as usual for everyone else. I am in the world with them and try and understand how they could not feel the pain, my pain.

I find the supermarket deadly, I can't go back to the discount warehouse and the drug store is a mine field. All around me are people doing normal things. Maybe they too have this hole, this emptiness, but it is not allowed to show. They certainly don't see mine.

You used to wear black when in mourning, announcing to the world your fragile state. But black has lost its meaning, and become just another fashion color. It is such a fashion staple that colors are described as "the new black."

I want to walk around with a big sign that says, "I am in mourning, handle with care." I lost my husband, my best friend and my soul mate, all rolled into one.

With friends who know and understand its a bit easier. But recently, I've been in social situations with people who do not know. And inevitably, dinner conversations drift to someone they know who is sick. Been in the hospital. Has cancer. Is receiving treatment and then the details.

Or talk tends toward death. The other night, it was about pets who died. And how painful it was. I was thinking I could relate -- I too have had a recent loss. Your pet of 13 years. My husband of 42.

I hear the expression, "I just can't imagine what you are going through." OK, I can get that. I couldn't imagine it, either. Even when I knew it was coming. I'm now wondering if by saying this it then gives the person permission to not go any further. Can't imagine, so not going to try.

I am raw. Every time I think the passage of time will help, I'm reminded of how long it been since I last saw him. Touched him. Heard his voice. And that won't change. Ever.