When my husband died, I was still in the process of integrating in to his 'before life' and forming connections with his friends. We lived in Brisbane and he was from Sydney, so most of his close friends weren't local and we therefore didn't get to hang out with them regularly.
I knew they were wonderful people though, lots of fun, loyal friends to Dan and the kind of people I was looking forward to having in my life too.
When he passed away unexpectedly, six weeks after our wedding, one of the many random thoughts that ran through my mind was 'now I will lose my connection to all of these people whom I was really looking forward to getting to know!' Luckily for me, I wasn't entirely correct.
Sure there are some whom I lost touch. Some of them have stayed in contact, checking in on important dates, liking my Facebook posts, etc. And others have been more present throughout the past 22 months and I'm now blessed to call them friends of my own accord.Read more
NOTE: I wanted to start my post this week by thanking everyone who left such lovely and supportive messages on my last piece - Scared of the Anger. To receive your support after allowing myself to be so vulnerable really warmed my heart. I love our widowed community!
At every week's end, I sit down to write this blog and sometimes surprise myself with what pours out. Regardless of whether I'm busy, riding an emotional high/low, processing a new grief feeling or just 'checking in' with myself, there always seems to be something to say.
It can be a very cathartic process. Some weeks, I'm burning with a need to get something off my chest. Often I don't even know what it is that I'm going to write about, I just place my fingers on the keyboard and the words start to form. But this week... well, I've got nothing!
It's been a year, nine months, one week and two days since my husband took his life and I'm only now just starting to feeling angry. Even typing that, makes me ill. I'm very much NOT ok with feeling angry.
When he first died, I had a fleeting moment of thinking 'how could he have made this decision for us, without consulting me!?' and then within a split second it was gone - replaced with 'well he was sick. This wasn't my husband, this was his disease. It robbed him of his logic, his understanding of consequences and his ability to make rational decisions. It also robbed him of his ability to ask for help. In that moment, he believed there was no other way.'Read more
For some reason, I seemed to have developed the assumption that dating would be easier this time around. God knows why. I think, maybe, I decided that after being through something so horrific, that by the time I got to the stage where I felt ready to open my heart again I would have accumulated some kind of positive ‘love karma’ and earned myself another nice, respectable man.
I imaged that I would make some kind of grand statement (like uploading a profile on a dating website) and eligible suitors would form an orderly queue. I’d go on a couple of dates before finding someone whom I sparked with, and we’d be off.Read more
Yesterday I was faced with another one of those big hurdles for us widowed folk – a wedding. My dear friend married the man of her dreams and began her life as a Mrs.
This wasn’t my ‘first’ wedding as a widow, my best friend got married three week’s after Dan’s death. While I attended that event, wore my bridesmaid dress and managed to stick around until after the formalities before excusing myself and going home to cry, I was still in deep shock at that point and the whole experience seems surreal to me now.
So I guess you could say that yesterday’s wedding was the first that I was really present for.Read more
I was so happy in my marriage that when I look back and remember that time, it almost seems surreal.
My incredible wedding day, filled with so much love, feels like a dream to the point where I start to wonder if it actually happened. A beautiful, delicious dream that had me walking on air for 45 days. I'd found a soul mate and we'd made the perfect match.
I was still getting used to this incredible feeling of being so blessed when I lost Dan to depression and it was all ripped away. The bubble popped.Read more
I reached another widow milestone this week: on Thursday Dan had been dead for 617 days. The same number of days that I was blessed to have him in my life. One year, eight months, two weeks and four days. That's all the time we had together.
I'd been dreading this moment for months. For some reason, I even have a countdown app on my phone, so I could watch the days ticking down. You know, just because I seem to enjoy torturing myself! As the days ticked over; 612; 613; 614; the anxiety and dread intensified.
I couldn't bear the thought of being his widow longer than I had known him. I didn't want to be that far away from our last kiss. We were only married for 45 days before he died, so the milestone of 'being his widow longer than I was his wife' passed very quickly, when I was still in deep shock. So I had held this 617 day mark as a point in time, down the track, when surely life would be easier and the pain wouldn't be so bad. I guess that probably is the case, but it's harder to see when you're in the midst of it.
Like the rest of the world, I awoke to the news this week that the tragic crash of the Germanwings flight 9252 was due to a deliberate act of the co-pilot, and my heart sunk. My immediate thoughts were for the families of everyone on board - there would be so many questions, so much pain. All these beautiful, innocent lives lost in a horrific and random act, how incredibly unfair and what an enormous trauma for their loved ones to have to make sense of.
Among those lost, were every day people including students, teachers, families, opera singers, tourists, university graduates, babies, journalists, business professionals and newlyweds. People with so much to live for, people who will be greatly missed. So many families who will never be the same again, so much grief.Read more
Over the past couple of months I have been very quietly thinking about that terrifying concept of dating again. The feeling that I might like to dip my toe back in the dating pool started creeping in around late January, at my 18-month mark, and completely took me by surprise.
After Dan’s death, the thought of finding another partner filled me with such dread – I didn't want anyone else, the idea of another man’s touch repulsed me and I couldn't understand how someone would ever make me as happy or complete as my husband had, or live up to the expectations that he had set. I had married him six weeks earlier knowing undoubtedly that he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I couldn't contemplate an alternative.Read more
As far as the 'ups and downs' of grief go, it's been a pretty tough week. It started with what would have been Dan's 36th birthday on Monday (the second since he's been gone). Despite coming up with a plan for the day and preparing as much as I could for the inevitable roller-coaster, the rug was well and truly pulled from underneath me.
I was ready for the pain, but not so ready for the loneliness, the sense of isolation and the anger. I was so damn angry at him. I haven't really felt much anger towards him throughout my grief, and it's a terrible feeling. One that, to be honest, I'm still not really ready to explore. This might be something to go more in depth on another day. But I was also really angry that the people still here in my life hadn't been more present for me this week, and that didn't feel very nice either.