My car broke down.
It's been acting up quite a bit lately. I took it in and they said it needed new struts. That wasn't cheap. But it was still making weird noises and behaving strangely. A few weeks ago it didn't want to start...then it finally did, so I immediately drove down and had a new battery put in. Then a few days later it still didn't want to start...when it did finally, again, I drove it back down to the shop. It stayed there all day and the guy tried starting it dozens of times, and it was fine. *snort.* Of course the car behaves for someone else. Then a week or so ago it was like Mt. St. Helens...enter, new radiator. But it still wasn't right. I know my car. Something was wrong.Read more
Most people have heard about the so-called five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance - modeled by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. Even then, she clarified that these are not the only emotions felt during the grieving process, nor do they always appear in this order. It is now widely recognized that grief, for any reason - as a result of a death, illness, break-up, etc - is experienced with a wide variety of emotions, depending on the personalities and situations involved.
People were quick to remind me that I shouldn't look for these particular stages of grief after Mike died. And I listened to them. I didn't require anything from myself; I allowed myself to feel what I felt. I was told that everyone grieves differently, and whatever I feel, and whenever I feel it, is ok.
I'm glad for that. But I have to admit that I did, and continue to, experience many of these so-called stages of grief. She wasn't too far off the mark, at least for me, and in fact, reading about them has helped me feel - well, more "normal" for how I've dealt with Mike's death. It's an ongoing process, and I understand it will not be over for a long time - in fact it will never be over on many levels. I will always carry the memory of my marriage to this man in my heart, and I will forever miss his presence in my life.Read more
I could lose my house. In fact, I probably will.
For the first few months after Mike died that thought kept me awake at night. It was the single biggest fear I had in that terrible, dark time. I felt like I was choking on grief, and drowning in panic. I could barely breathe when the waves of fear came over me.
I went through every channel I could find to try and keep it. I was constantly calling the banks and talking to different people. I filled out so many forms and applications my head was spinning. I found a wonderful local nonprofit to mediate for me and pestered my attorney with questions and freaked out every time I got some disturbing letter in the mail. I have a stack of paperwork about two feet high from it all and that is no exaggeration.
Today I changed my relationship status on Facebook from "married" to "widowed". I have been staring at that line on the page for many long months now. For whatever strange reason, it has given me great comfort to see it posted this way. Facebook may be a silly, meaningless network in many respects, but that status was still not something I could give up easily. In my heart, I have felt married to him still, and perhaps in a way, I will always feel married to him; he will always be with me. Giving up that label just seemed so...final. But I realize in this bizarro world of social media that maybe it had become appropriate to make this change. No matter where my life may take me now, I am in fact widowed. That is the simple, heart-breaking truth.
I'm not married anymore, and it was no choice of mine.Read more
I lost my husband on February 17, 2013. Mike had a heart attack in his sleep; he was 59. I was about a month away from my 45th birthday, and we were a few months away from our 14th wedding anniversary. I found him that morning. It was the single most shocking and horrible thing that's ever happened to me. The past 439 days have been the longest, strangest trip I've ever taken. And it's not over yet. It will never be over.
Anyone remember that legendary warning from Woodstock not to eat the brown acid, which was supposedly giving people bad trips? A few months ago I was trying to explain to a friend how surreal my life, and the whole world in fact, seemed now that he was gone. It's as if I wake up each morning and take my daily dose of the bad brown LSD and then move on with my day, the colors and sounds swirling around me unrecognizable, the panic and paranoia clenching my throat, my heart racing.
When Michele first contacted me about joining this wonderful community here at Widow's Voice, I was deeply honored and grateful for the opportunity to share my story, and connect with others on this journey of healing. I immediately started writing some introductory paragraphs about myself. And then wrote them again. And rewrote them. Again. And again. And again.