On being Pathetic

05_15_09.JPGSometimes I am quite certain that I am pathetic. Not only am I pathetic, but I am the pathetic-est of all. I am sure that no one anywhere is as petty, jealous or pissed off as I am. I feel like my cat Sophie must feel when she sleeps with her face jammed into her pillow. I don't want to see anyone, I don't want to hear anyone, and I especially don't want to speak to anyone...

This morning I sat down at my computer to work on a chapter in this so-called book that I am writing. This book that, if things go the way they are going, will most likely never get written.

Anyhow I sat down to write and realized that I had two choices. I could write a chapter that made me look good, like a good widow, a smart widow, a competent and gracious widow. In short, an admirable widow.

Or, I could write the truth. I decided on the truth.

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I can't stop thinking about David.

05_14_09.jpgNot that I actually try. But today it's more like he is ALL I'm thinking about. Even when his beauty fills my mind I can't help but feel partial. Like someone tore off my legs and somehow…I’m still living. 

I've wondered from day one (of widowhood) how long I’d survive this life. “Time” I no longer understand nor try to comprehend. I can only hope I don't live long enough to forget. If I think for too long about how much I already fail to remember, I panic. Fearing that one day there will be nothing authentic left of David in my consciousness but only a notion of who he once was. 

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A Lighter Shade of Grey ....

05_13_09.JPGToday's post is really for all of the "newer" women who are on this path ...... the one we didn't want to be on, the club we didn't want to join.

I was trying to think of what to say to a new friend whose husband died a few months ago.  She is in the middle of what I call the "black".  I am not a veteran in this process, by any stretch of the imagination.  But I can see that I'm slowly moving forward.  And so I wanted to encourage her, and those of you who are in the "black".

My heart is so heavy for each one of you.  I wish there was something I could say, something I could do to take some of the pain off of you.  But I can't, can I? 

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Grateful (me, mom, and grandma in the pic)

05_12_09.JPGThis past weekend was my fourth Mother's Day without Daniel. The last three have been very difficult for me, and had I had time to think about it, I would have dreaded this one too. Oddly enough I was too busy to think about whether the weekend would be hard or not.

It was hard in a different way this year. I missed him, as I usually do, but it was so much less of a bitter feeling that it surprised me. No pity party this year, no envy of other mom's with adoring husbands to wait on them hand and foot (or not, as the case may be). I wished Daniel could be there to enjoy it and his absence was noticeable as it usually is. I wished he could have spent some quality time with me and with Grayson making me breakfast or whatever they might have done. I missed him of course, but the overall feeling I had for the weekend wasn't bitter or angry or envious, it was grateful.

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My Inner Voice

05_11_09.JPGDecision making has never been difficult for me. If asked to choose between one thing and another I pick one, and stick with my decision. When facing a challenging task I determine a course of action and get moving. When a problem appears unsolvable...I go for a run, and nine times out of ten come back with an answer. And then came widowhood.

One of the most disturbing aspects of widowhood for me was the very new experience of constantly questioning every decision I made. Was I doing this or that right? Should I choose one thing or the other. One minute option A seemed best, the next minute I was more inclined to go with option B. I called people and asked their opinions often...and I let myself be swayed toward their way of thinking regardless of what my gut was telling me. Buy a new fence or fix the old? Sell Phil's truck or keep it? Get a gardener or teach the kids how to mow the lawn? Vacation or no vacation? 

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Celebrating Moms

05_10_09.JPGSports practices, music lessons, school meetings, homework, school projects, dinner every night, getting multiple children to different locations at the same start time, crying for daddy, asking where he went, consoling, advising, figuring out what the best solution to the problem is when you only have one opinion to consider....any of this sound familiar? The list of the duties of a single, widowed, mom is so long I haven't even scratched the surface here. Not only is the list very long, but there is not another person with whom you can split the list. Remember those days? You take son here, I will take daughter there. Would you please go into his bedroom...I went in last time he called! What should we do with this problem? What do you mean I am overreacting?! Oh, the things I miss about having a parenting partner.

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Help is Better with Self

05_09_09.JPGI believe for me, that a huge part of figuring out one's grief, one most know themselves. Now I know some could say this goes without saying, but after the loss of your soul mate it's difficult finding out who this new you is, or in my case, who this new me is.

It is has been through meeting others in like situations, reflecting on my own thoughts and actions, and lastly, making myself aware of auditory and visual things out there that may help in describing things that may not be able to put into words, that I have grown leaps and bounds.

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Widows and Dating (Only for those who are ready to think about it...)

05_08_09.jpgDear Wonderful Widows,

Last night was the first evening of this month's ‘Widows Dating Again Class’. It was fun and I know we all learned a lot.

What struck me after the class was how truly vulnerable widows are. I don’t mean that we are vulnerable to unscrupulous men.

We are vulnerable to our own need to connect, to touch, to be touched, and to our desire to rid ourselves of the devastating loneliness of loss.

If we expected our husband to die or if he died suddenly, the loneliness of loss is always sudden. There is no way to prepare for being alone and no way to anticipate and prepare for the unremitting loneliness that follows. It is this loneliness that makes widowhood so long and so arduous. And it is this loneliness that has us make mistakes.

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Indifferent

05_07_09.JPGIndifferent: Lack of feeling. Being neither too much nor too little. Neither good nor bad. Neither right nor wrong.

Journal entry this week: I wish I was upset, but I'm not. I wish I felt sad, but I don't. Depressed?...don't think so. I want to cry, but I can't. Scream... but I won't. I feel so out of place. Maybe this is it. I've finally snapped. I lost it to the point where I feel nothing. No ache. No agony. No burn. No malaise. Might this be the calm before the ruthless storm blindsides me once more? Or the end to my most vivid nightmare? The silence is eerie... unsettling... yet, not out of place. Still, this is wrong... I feel neither torture nor exuberance. Where's my drive? Motivation? Passion? Is there any of that left within me?

Purgatory.  Emotional purgatory... that's what this is. As much as I want to feel something... I'm can't. No pain, no energy... no David.

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Sometimes I talk to him ....

05_06_09.jpgYes ..... sometimes I talk to Jim.  This is a new experience for me.  I've been a widow for over 16 months and I've never really "talked" to him .... until recently.

I couldn't do it before.  I couldn't believe that he could see and hear me.  After all, I have no doubt that he is in Heaven .... no doubt at all.  And I have no doubt that there are no tears .... or sadness in Heaven.  And so I believed that there was no way he could see or hear me ...... or he would be terribly, terribly sad.

He would hate to see what his death has done to me.

And so I couldn't talk to him.

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