This whole widow thing is getting old. I just want to be like the other women my age who are casually going about their "normal" lives. I want to be like the women who are busy raising their kids, getting scheduled manicures in between loads of laundry and maintaining a successful career. I want to be like the women who are planning romantic weekend get aways - without the kids - because finally the kids are old enough to stay home alone. I want to be like the woman who hosts intimate dinner parties inspired by Pinterest. I want Mike and I to sit around the dining table with other couples who are enjoying the good life.
In truth, I used to be this woman. I had this life before, and I want it back. I kept myself busy with work and family and somewhere in between all this, Mike and I were mentally preparing to be empty nesters in a few short years. We had a charmed life. And, I admit, I didn't do anything particular to deserve this beautiful life; but, nonetheless, I had it with Mike. Our shared life was a fairytale come true. Suffice to say that my former life was a hell of a lot more enjoyable than being a widow. I want to return to this place in time when I thought about going on cruises and travelling abroad with my husband. Okay, leave the travelling aspirations aside, I want just one thing. I want a husband who is not dead. But, mine is and no amount of wishing will change this.
Still, I want to participate in retirement discussions with my coworkers instead of leaving the staffroom because their words sting my ears and hurt my heart. I want to sit on the well worn office couches and proceed to shamelessly gush about our retirement plans with my colleagues while I recieve text messages from Mike because he knows that it is my lunch break. I want to be in the club again. I desperately miss being part of a couple because it grants you entrance into these types of conversation. I yearn to live in a reality where I am looking forward to spending Mike's retirement with him - but, I don't. All of this stuff is just a daydream in my head because Mike died before he even got to retire. For us, there will not be any retirement years spent together. There are no more years. There is no more anything. There is nothing.
There will be no trips abroad together. Mike and I will never lay together on another beach. We will not stroll hand in hand down the cobble stone streets of some far away place. We will not leisurely walk through an open air market in Thailand because Mike isn't here anymore. We can't stop to eat some exotic street food made with dodgy ingredients that were harvested just that day because he is gone from this reality. Never again will I hear Mike make one of his impulsive, uncouth, crazy comments as he excitedly experiences all these places we will never go. I can never witness Mike talking to a man selling doughnuts on a beach in Mexico again. (The best part of this memory is that Mike hates doughnuts. He would never eat one - especially not on the beach when it is over 100 degrees. But, Mike loved people and he wanted to know about this guy who was trying to sell doughnuts on a beach when it was hot AF.)
In this new life of mine, Mike is only a memory. He can not wake up and have coffee with me in my kitchen or some dreamy place along the Amalfi Coast. We will not sit together on a balcony of a boutique hotel in Santorini. We can not get lost in conversation as we drink red wine while we watch the sun go down over the ocean in Crete. He can not lean over and kiss me and tell me how "Beautiful" I am while we wander through a vineyard somewhere in the South of France. We can not get blind drunk in an Irish pub and stumble back to our hotel room. I can't stand in the Scottish Highlands with Mike and listen to him tell me about his Scottishness. We can not go anywhere in this world anymore because he is gone from here.
What a cruddy reality this is. My future is nothing like the one we had planned. There will be no cruises with my husband. The year following his death, there was no trip to Hawaii in the Spring and we never went to Italy like we planned for my son's graduation. Sure, I am self sufficient. I will take myself on a cruise one day. And, I will sit on a beach in Hawaii; but, while I do this a piece of me will wish that I was there with the man I love. And, yes, someday I will go to Paris and stand under the Eiffel Tower at night; but Mike will not physically be with me like I imagined. The way I constructed all of this in my head will never come to be. Like you, I have been forced to live a future that is radically different from the one I had planned. In our shared plans, Mike was going to live until he was 99 just like his Grand Dad, except he didn't.
So now what? Now, I spend my weekends alone and occasionally I go to the grave with a bottle of wine and shoot the shit with my dead fiance. I guess maybe I am pouting and getting lost in the past. But, it isn't easy to adapt to this altered reality. I'm trying. I do make plans and engage with my friends, but usually on the drive home from these activities I feel absolutely empty. Having dinner with a divorced girlfriend, or meeting one of my married friends for brunch because her husband happens to be away for the weekend is not as fulfilling as sharing my life with Mike. How could it be. Being in a loving relationship and sharing your life with another human being is what makes life full. The huge void inside me can not be filled with a well made eggs benny brunch or a savoury steak dinner at a classy restaurant with a group of girlfriends. All of this rings utterly hollow in comparison to my former life.
I am so tired of living this widow life.
It is mostly empty. And, most days, it is inadequate in comparison to the life that I shared with Mike.
There I said it.
And, I feel poorly about admitting this because earlier this month I blogged about seeking JOY in 2019;
and, so far this blog is far from joyful. However, what it lacks in joy, it makes up for in truth and honesty.
*I am mainly done my tantrum against widowhood. If you read further I will spin this to be more hopeful...
In this blog, the truth has spilled from me and onto the page, but this isn't enough. For me, it is not enough to say something sucks; and then, to proceed to have no solutions. Yes, I admitted that being a widow is terrible. This is nothing you haven't already figured out.
I have a tendency for being extraordinarily truthful. And, this blog is no exception. I have bluntly stated my truth - but, in and of itself, that doesn't accomplish much of anything. The real question is now what the hell do I do about all this truth?
If I don't make an effort to improve my life who will. No one can make this better for me. It is up to me to get on with it and attempt to LIVE again. But, here is the thing, I am tired. I am exhausted from trying to be hopeful. I am tired of trying to convince myself that life will be okay without him. I'm tired of missing him. Two years into this mess, I am just f@cking tired.
Life doesn't care that I am tired. And, maybe this is a good thing. Like you, I am forced to continue. Even with a heavy heart, I still have to live up to my responsibilities. I have children to raise and things to accomplish. I still have a life to live whether I am up for it or not. The survivor in me attempts to seize all the living in front of me. It's the smart thing to do. Mike would do anything to have a shot at a longer life with me. He wouldn't waste a moment of it. So, who am I to sit here pouting about what will not be. Really, what is the point of wishing for my old life back. It died with him.
I have got to recreate something for myself now. But, it is complicated because I want him back. Mike wasn't supposed to die. We had a wedding planned and a house to move into and a life to share together. I wasn't done loving him. But, I don't get a say in this and neither did he. Mike is dead. Our life together died with him; and nothing can be done to change it. The only thing left to do is for me to accept the permanence of his deadness and reconstruct a life of my own.
I'm working on it,