Celebrations Realization~

I spent Mother's Day with our youngest son and his wife and 2 year old son.

They were loving and lovely and welcoming and it was a totally enjoyable time.

Even as it was heart ripping and filled with emotion because, you know...dead husband.

I'm in year 6 of this widowed life. 

You'd think I would have calmed the fuck down by now, right?

In the years since Chuck's death, all the special dates are ones that I anticipate, with all the emotions that come with such days, but this past Sunday really brought it home to me that any special day...holidays...are equally tough for me. The days don't even have to be connected to him, per se. 

The calendar holidays that are popularly celebrated, birthdays of our kids, birth of grandkids...any day that holds emotion either within our family or in the country at large...any day that carries with it an intensity of emotion and expression...

Those days just do me in, emotionally.

In considering that, this past weekend, I realized that it's because I strive as much as possible to maintain a steady balance in this life that I've created for myself. One that doesn't veer off track much. Maybe I've created a bubble for myself, so to speak.

Living without Chuck is already such an intense experience for me that I can too easily go off rail when it comes to any holiday that brings with it the intense outpouring of emotions.

I avoided facebook on Mother's Day except for a brief check in.

I do the same for all holidays. 

Of course, it isn't just about me and I fully realize that. Our kids want and need the chance to make that one day extra special for me, and I respect that. They're good with me all the time but they want to participate, especially, on this one day. Or my birthday. Or the holidays. 

I'm fortunate that they all want me to be a part of their lives. I truly am. And I want to be part of their lives.

It's just fucking intense, you know? 

It's such a godawful lonely feeling, being there, without their dad. Without the man I loved. And love.


When the ever loving fuck is this ever going to change? 

Is it going to change?

I don't know. I don't have any answers any longer.

Just intensity. Intensity inside me, ever present. 

His absence humming as the quiet but ever so loud default in my heartbeat.

So I wonder...how are all these special days for you

I can't possibly be the only one who reacts this way.



Showing 11 reactions

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  • Vartan Agnerian
    commented 2019-05-19 22:36:30 -0700
    Dearest Beth’ thank you for sharing your widow at a wedding experience too’ and I absolutely relate to that sense of feeling your husband’s essence ’ soul presence’ sometimes I feel as if I’m in “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” movie … you know ’ the church ceremony was the hardest to watch’ as sitting there’ I was visualising my husband and myself at the altar ’ murmuring ’ it was just yesterday we were the young couple at the altar’ it was just yesterday it was us …. though reality being that it had been 44 years of that by gone days style’ romantic’ contented marriage’ and sadly the last twelve witnessing my gentleman husband suffering the deterioration and the damages of Parkinson’s disease’ with the finality of aspiration pneumonia …..
    Blessed be their sweet memories ’ blessed be their souls’ ….

  • Teresa W
    commented 2019-05-19 20:58:14 -0700
    When my husband was sick, and we knew he was terminal, I was chatting with his brother and I said that everything from now on is going to have some sadness attached to it. Christmases, thanksgivings, graduations, even grandchildren and the weddings of our children. All, no matter how happy the occasion will have the sadness of him not being there attached to it. And it doesn’t matter if those grandchildren don’t come for another 10 years, it’s still going to be sad that he didn’t get the chance to be grandpa, or to walk his daughter down the isle……
  • Beth Ensign
    commented 2019-05-19 19:17:45 -0700
    Oh, Laura, I had to go to the wedding of my oldest nephew about 8 months after I lost my spouse. It was so hard. We had been so looking forward to the wedding (the first of the next generation). I felt so—redundant— there. Old, alone, sad. The wedding was at a winery, a beautiful affair, that all the guests were transported to in buses. As we were returning at the end of the day, I was sitting alone on a bus seat, feeling so sad, and I had this odd sense of my husband’s arm over my shoulder. It was inexpressibly sad, but also comforting in a strange way. Very certainly, had he been there, his arm would have been draped over my shoulder, and his shoulder was where my head would have been.
  • Vartan Agnerian
    commented 2019-05-19 18:06:43 -0700
    A widow of eight months’ So blessed that I discovered Widow’s Voice’s exceptionally unique group of writers’ each story has something so relatable to me’
    You say it so precisely’ being left a widow’ it is such an intense and godawful lonely feeling’
    and not only on special holidays’
    My recent test was attending a wedding of a niece on my husband’s side of the family’
    Through a fake and forced smile’ my legs feeling loose’ my heart shattering within ’ my throat tight trying to hold my tears’ at the sight of all his cousins and their families ’ multiplying his absence ’ It was so odd’ so weird to be among hundreds of people yet feeling so detached and oh so alone’

  • Beth Ensign
    commented 2019-05-19 17:50:22 -0700
    I’m in year 3. This year, I haven’t been able to face any holidays. Just hid myself away. I’ve been doing that a lot this year. But I’m also focusing on learning another language. I know it’s my way of not focusing on how sad and alone I feel, but—I am learning Italian, and this fall I am going WWOOFing for 2 months in Italy, immersing myself in another language and culture. Maybe when I come back home I’ll have some new insight, maybe not. Anyway it will be an adventure and a test for myself—and it is a goal to focus on.
  • Bonnie Rozean
    commented 2019-05-19 10:23:09 -0700
    His absence humming as the quiet but ever so loud default in my heartbeat. This says it all so perfectly beautifully. Just experienced my first Mother’s day with my two beautiful adult children and without their wonderful father. Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to father’s day! One day (holi) day at a time. One foot in front of the other. Thank you so much for your post. You are not alone!
  • Ron Marro
    commented 2019-05-17 06:57:13 -0700
    Hell yes, 15 months out and I can’t imagine any of this changing. I walk through the day in a daze. This second year brings more and more reality to the fact that Sandi is gone for ever and that’s it. Avoidance and sleep are my only solutions. Sucks.
  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2019-05-16 22:25:08 -0700
    I’m at 8 years as of April 16 and the intensity of the loneliness just seems to increase on any emotion filled day or landmark in our kids lives….sigh
  • Cathy
    commented 2019-05-16 17:39:19 -0700
    I, too, find it hard to take those “happy” days, whether they be birthdays, moms day, dads day, 4th of July, etc. You just can’t designate the day to be a happy one when he is missing from this world. And yes, Jan, I’ve gotten many bday cards telling me to have “the best day ever”….that just isn’t possible, how could anyone send that? They just have no clue to this afterlife without him. I’m not holding my breath for things to change, just always waiting for the next challenge to face alone… they just keep coming. Sorry, no answers here either.
  • Jan Johnson
    commented 2019-05-16 12:00:52 -0700
    It is my first birthday today without him, and I just want to hide away somewhere, with no communication, and sleep the day away. Instead, I am grinding my teeth, wiping the snot off my nose, and ugly crying my thank you’s to those wishing me the best. I am offended by those who think it’s the “best day ever”, and I cry over those who recognize it for how hard it is for me. Th

    They can’t win, and they truly want the best for me, so I am learning how to extend grace to them, as they have to me.
  • Teresa W
    commented 2019-05-15 17:40:25 -0700