commented on Conversations with the Widowed
2019-10-29 10:40:16 -0700
The 3 things that come to mind about my husband, Bob, that I’d really love for people to know about him is that Bob is love personified – he truly loved unconditionally and always dealt with people on a 1-to-1 equal status level. Bob was a natural ‘people piper’ … people flocked to him and just enjoyed being in his company. Bob was an honest-to-God peacenik: n.o.t.h.i.n.g.r.a.t.t.l.e.d.h.i.s.c.a.g.e. Nothing.
The most unexpected and surprisingly hard thing for me in this, my new life, is the crying. Openly. Unexpectantly. I can’t control it. I hate crying; crying always meant vulnerability to me – I never really even cried around Bob. IF I cried openly, Bob knew I was dealing with something monumental and felt frustratingly trapped. I am not a girly-girl. I am tough – I am never in situations of entrapment. But since becoming a widow, the crying happens and I can’t stop it. I feel trapped by this new life. And I don’t even care anymore if people see my weakness …
I am proud of the way I have been able to do things solo that I could never – or would never – do when Bob was still with me in the flesh. I have gone on solo adventuring drive; recently crossing the Hoffstat Bridge in the Mount St. Helen’s area of our home State: this bridge is very looooong and spans about a 2,000 foot deep ravine; when Bob was still present in the flesh, I always pulled over when we got to it, and said, “If you want to get us to the elk herd on the other side … you drive from here.” But I recently did that drive on my own (literally cried with relief & kissed the ground on the other side. LOL). I swear I could feel Bob smiling with pride and applauding my victory ;-) Last night I got past another long drive hurdle. I am doing this! Bob is proud of me.
The loss of my husband’s physical presence in my life has taught me that life goes on – and that because his spirit continues to live on, I am always loved and never truly alone. Bob is still very much alive, and his love still surrounds me.
I would love to tell the general public that grief and loss never goes away: it subsides, and then comes back in sneaker waves. Unbidden and totally unexpected; and your world is shaken again. Widows constantly live in a gray world. It is not something we want: it simply IS. Widows do not immerse themselves in the gray, but the gray exists and will always exist. We crave color in our new life, but all the color in our world – which runs parallel to everyone else’s world – is now muted and has lost its brilliance. We are doing the best we can to live joyful and vibrant lives in a world that has now lost it’s sparkle for us. I am thankful for the people in my life who understand that and don’t expect more from me than I can give at any given moment, and given day of any given week of any given year. My husband was my life … and my life has drastically been altered. My husband colored my world with glorious and unconditional love: that all ended for me December 14th, 2018 at 8:05 a.m. My life is different now. The shades of this new life I live now don’t “pop” anymore. People who know me and knew us, understand that. I don’t have time for those who don’t; trying to explain to those kind of people drains me, and I don’t need the energy vampires in my life. Selfish? Maybe. But I make no apologies.
There are too many songs that meant a lot to the both of us at different times of our relationship and marriage! But, I can pick 2: “Happy Together” by The Turtles, because we were happy together al of our lives – and we couldn’t see us loving anyone else but ‘me for you & you for me’. And “One Hot Mama” by Trace Adkins – my husband made that his ring-tone for my number: for 44 years Bob told me I turned him on and was one hot mama ;-) Even with his last breath. Bob loved this fat and sassy grandma, who he always looked at with eyes of love and remembered as his 17 year old young chick bride. LMAO
No new hobbies. No new career. But I am making a new and bold move to another State, forging a new and bold life with my kids and grandkids who live too close to the city for my comfort. This is a huge step for a country gal. But, one I believe Bob would be proud of. I am also stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to trusting people with my heart. I am learning to love as Bob did – unconditionally and whole-heartedly. Trust has always been a big issue in my life: even with Bob … and I loved him. Bob understood me, and loved me unconditionally. THAT was his legacy. I am going to do everything in my power to carry that legacy forward and instill it in our children and grandchildren.
My Faith remains the same – Bob was a Christian too: death never scared us. My thoughts on life is that it goes on, and so do we. Our life is what we make of it – we can sit in misery … or we can get up and get moving. Movement is healing. Healing is life-inspiring. Living is how we honor our spouses that have gone on Home ahead of us. Honoring our spouse is loving ourselves as our spouse would if they were still her with us in the flesh. I choose life. I choose Bob’s love all around me. Bob is still my husband; I will honor him.
The word that comes to mind when I think on the word ‘Widow’ is RESILIENT. I was always a strong, tough, and adaptable woman; but since becoming a widow, I have learned to bend in new ways I never thought possible to overcome the most difficult circumstance and situations of my entire life. And I have learned that vulnerability can be a strong and sturdy as steel.