Last week was very difficult. More than one person took issue with the way I handled an issue or a choice, and one of the questionable decisions involved my opinion about the man who killed my husband.
Finding out four years later that my choice was not appreciated hit me hard. And I found myself floundering in the abyss of grief once again.
Being widowed for over four years has provided me with a certain grounding. Most of the time I feel confident about the person that I have become since losing my husband, and my post-death self recognizes that life is too short to waste time trying to please everyone. I don't hold grudges, I say I love you (even when I am angry or annoyed) often, and I attempt to honor the good in myself and others. These are things that death has stamped on my heart, and lessons that have been reinforced the hard way. So, when my world began to spin wildly this week I was taken by surprise.
My solid footing was shaken by the idea that someone doesn't think I did right by Phil. Having spent every minute of the last 449 days in an effort to leave no doubt that Phil's life mattered, that my love for him remains, and that my life is a reflection of the many things he taught me just by being himself...this was devastating news. I cried, I reflected, I questioned myself (both the old me and the new me), and I felt that awful need to curl up in the fetal position and give in to despair.
Then I remembered. I can't please everyone. Those simple words gave me the strength to stand up for myself. For some people nothing I do will ever be good enough. No memorial to Phil will ever embody his entire spirit. There are people who will never understand the depth of my love for him. Every choice I make as a widowed woman will be questioned by someone. In some circles the fact that I am in love again will mean that I am over Phil. I am certain that people around me will wonder if I will be done with this widow thing now that I have a plan for my future.
The answer is NO I won't be done with this widow thing. I am a widow. I will always be a widow. I will continue to honor the love I have for one amazing man, even as I love another one. I am certain to do some things wrong. I may not honor Phil in the same way others do, but I will do my best to remember the lessons death has taught me, and to act on them in my daily life.
And no matter what anyone else thinks of my actions, my choices, my work, or my words~I will be able to sleep at night, because I will be true to myself. Phil would be proud.
**This is a photo of me with my nephew Miles. Who could give in to despair when looking at that adorable face??**