Another Year

I have lived without him now for two years. 

I am not entirely sure what to do with this.  There is nothing that needs to be done - I know.  There was no special fanfare that marked his two year death day.  I observed the day subtly and quietly - on my own.  Not surprisingly, no one gave me a medal for surviving two years of widowhood.  There was no one dripping praise on me for "dutifully" being Mike's widow for 24 months.  There was just his deadness looming over the day like it does every day. 


Still, two years is a significant amount of time.  I felt something, but I am not sure what.  Marking year two was less significant to me than completing year one of widowhood.  November 15, 2018 marked two years; and, next year it will be three, then the year after it will be four years, and then five years, then shortly after it will be a decade.  I realize that the awfulness of this date will arrive every year for the rest of my life.  And, really what does this mean?  Does this date even matter in the big picture?  It doesn't.  It is not relevant.  His death date is never at date I will "celebrate" because it was the worst day of my life.  


Now, after two years,  the feeling of Mike being absent, is more familiar than his presence.  The life I am living is a wildly altered version of my former life.  And, my new life does not fit right yet.  Maybe it never will.  It is uncomfortable.

I exist in the shadows of our former life and I am not content here.  I am restless where I am.  But, I do not know how to fix this.   In suburbia, without a spouse, you do not fit in with the white picket fence crowd.  I am forced to exist in an awkward type of limbo.  As a middle aged widow, my heart beats out of time and my breath is laboured because I am completely exasperated by the lack lustre feeling inside me.  I continually feel underwhelmed and overwhelmed at the same time.  Something has to change...

I am trying to piece together a new life for myself ,but when he died I was not given the blueprints for life as a widow.  So, I am designing my new life by trial and error.  I rely heavily on my instinct to recreate my life without him.  And, to say that it is tedious and exhauting work would be an understatement. 

However, despite the obvious terrible things about my life without him; there is something about these "grieving pains" that I don't altogether hate.  Something profound is happening with me.  I am just not exactly sure what it is yet.  Maybe this is what year three is about.  Figuring out what I can do.  Finding out what I am capable of.  And, discovering who I am - without him.


Whatever the case may be, I have a good feeling about my future.  I don't know why, but I know that I will land on my feet.  And, you will too.


Best to you as we live on without the one we love,



Showing 6 reactions

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  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-12-09 12:39:54 -0800
    Beth, Thank you for your heartfelt comment. It is normal to feel completely underwhelmed and then the next moment feel utterly overwhelmed. That is grief in all it’s glory I suppose. But, like I said to Beth, when our “life force” grows stronger and our desire to LIVE gets so strong it can no longer be ignored, this is when our grief softens and gets quieter. When we decide surviving is not enough, that’s when we can begin to recreate a new life for ourselves. This moment comes eventually for everyone if they work hard. If you believe that this can and it will happen for you. Best to you, ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-12-09 12:36:14 -0800
    Jane, from reading your response I just know that you have what it takes to find your way through your grief. Stay the course. Keep hope, it does change… Slowly. I find that the more the “life force” inside me grows stronger the less powerful my grief becomes. This is not possible initially; but, with time anything becomes possible again. Best to you as you continue to find your way, ~S.
  • Beth Ensign
    commented 2018-11-24 19:03:30 -0800
    I am coming up on the year 2 anniversary in a few days. I know EXACTLY how you feel. The half-life I have been living is not where I want to stay. What will I become? I don’t know at all. Some days I feel hopeful and others I feel overwhelmed. Lately there have been many tears. Thank you for putting this feeling into words.
  • Jane Santa Hess
    commented 2018-11-21 14:52:27 -0800
    Thank you Staci,
    Yes, sitting with grief without trying to change it is using mindfulness in an intelligent way. We want to feel better, but understanding that it can’t be rushed or avoided is very important. I am learning so much about grief.

    Thank you!
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-11-21 10:25:07 -0800
    I think it is normal to count time for the first year especially, but most people seem to ease up on this practice as time goes on. Do whatever feels right for you, it is your grief.
    I agree, “family and friends and events can only provide short moments of reprieve and it isn’t enough”. Grief is not meant to be “cured” by anyone or by any event. Grief is terrible. It is not easy, but it must be sat with and slowly absorbed. From my experience, you have to settle into it and give grief the time it demands. With hard work you can slowly begin to recreate a life that, although different from the one you imagined, is “okay” and one day maybe even better than okay. Best to you Jane, ~S.
  • Jane Santa Hess
    commented 2018-11-20 05:44:37 -0800
    I worry about counting the time, as it feels too heavy and may keep me stuck. I am only in the second half of year one and I feel that same lackluster discomfort and loneliness. There is this feeling that family, friends and events can only provide short moments of reprieve and it isn’t enough. I am being forced into this transformation and feel myself kicking and screaming, but, it will happen anyway. Yes, something profound is happening, and we can’t predict the outcome. I pray I can land on my feet as well.

    Thank you,