...... that describes what I am.
Much better than the old, much-hated word.
I think it's very interesting that the hatred of that word is almost universal.
Men hate it as much as women do.
Any version of "widow".
Did you hate that word when you first found yourself described as one?
I can remember the first time I heard it ...... the first time someone used it in association with me.
Shock tore through me and sucked the breath right out of my lungs.
I was literally stunned.
And then furious.
That seems insane, I know, but the picture that word put into my mind was pretty much identical to the painting, "Whistler's Mother" (above).
And that was NOT me.
Hell, I didn't even feel like a widow, let alone look like one.
I still felt very much married to Jim and I thought I'd always feel that way.
I resented being called the "W word" and I refused to even say it.
But one day ...... that changed.
It didn't happen over-night, or quickly. It, like almost all things on this path, took time.
And it took meeting several other people who had been here longer.
But there came a day when I heard that word ...... and I didn't hate it. I think that shocked me almost as much as when I first heard it.
I realized then that the word "widowed" meant something very different to me than it first did. And the picture that came to mind had changed drastically.
I no longer saw an old woman dressed in black, sitting in a rocking chair.
I saw a woman who was stronger than she thought she was, a woman who could do more than she thought she could ...... a woman who was a survivor ...... after being to hell and back.
That was the new definition I had for the word "widow"...... Survivor.
But now I have a new word, a word I never heard until I was driving the other day and listened to a song on the radio. I immediately identified with that song ...... and that word.
I like it. Because that's exactly what I am.
And what you are, even if you don't feel like one.
One day you will.
I have overcome so very much in the last 6 1/2 years. Not everything, but a lot.
I'm still here. And I'm glad.
I couldn't always say that.
There were many, many days (weeks, months) when I thought that Grief would overcome me ...... when I almost gave up ...... when I thought I couldn't stand one more minute of pain.
But I'm still here.
And though I feel that I've "overcome" Grief, he still comes to visit me once in a while.
But he doesn't have the strength to pull me under now. Or maybe I've grown stronger, so I can withstand his visits now.
I will always, always miss Jim. And I will always hate that he's not here.
But I've learned that it's ok to decide to move forward. I haven't "moved on", because that seems to imply forgetting the past, getting "over" Jim's death ...... and those things will never happen.
But "moving forward" means choosing to live life and to live it as fully as I can.
In spite of ...... well, you know. In spite of everything.
And because of everything.
I'm an "Overcomer".
And so are a few hundred of my favorite people.