I wander quite frequently. It's mostly what I've done, and what I do, in this widowland.

For 5 years and counting now.

Physically and mentally...I wander.

Physically, in that I've spent these years since the death of my beloved husband wandering the country in my pink car, towing my equally pink T@b Teardrop trailer behind me.

Mentally, in that my mind is seldom where I am, physcially.

It's mostly in the past, honestly. Or totally daydreaming, a la' Walter Mitty.

The physical part...driving this pink car...looks delightful and colorful.

And it is, of course. And I mean every bit of it.

This widowed life requires it of me.

Color and adventure or lose my sanity.

The mental part, that is so strongly attached to my emotional parts, is equally real, even though it isn't real at all, because it is, well, the past that I once had. I know, of course, that it's dead and gone, as Chuck is dead and gone, but in every way that matters to me, it is more real, and more pleasant, than the emotional and physical terrain of the present.

Even though we, as widows, aren't supposed to compare ourselves and our grief to anyone else's, do you ever look at other widows and wonder how they seem to be fully grounded, and, I don't know, happy? And joyous? In a genuine way, not just putting on the face.

It's been 5 years and 8 months since Chuck died. I guess I expect to feel more grounded at this point. A bit more sure of myself and what I'm doing. Or what I want to do. I guess I hoped? that I'd feel a little lighter in my heart by now.

And I hesitate to speak to widows newly on the path about how it still is for me. That I still feel discombobulated. Disoriented. Dislocated. Dis...so many things. It isn't encouraging, I know.

If anything, I feel more so many things now. Along with a sense of Chuck disappearing into my distant past. Did we even really exist, I wonder? 

I look at others in my community and read what they do and how they think and the tools they use and I implement those tools, and whatever else I can think of, in an effort to make this different. I keep my heart open. I connect with people in beautiful ways. I push my comfort zones. I educate myself. I immerse myself in efforts towards this being at least some bit better than it has been.

Or, conversely, I think, what the fuck...I'm just going to allow myself to be sad. Let the crazy out. Be a loner. Shut myself away. Be that old woman who scares kids away because she dresses in black, with a black veil obscuring her face.

Just let myself be what I fight against being.

Widowhood is the clusterfuck of clusterfucks, in my mind. 

I absolutely, 100%, unequivically, DO NOT recommend it.

But since I'm here in it, well...back to daydreaming of a long ago Love story...

Showing 4 reactions

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  • Janet Gusdal
    commented 2019-01-31 07:56:08 -0800
    OMG, thanks for sharing this. I’m 5 years widowed and feel so very close to your story.
    Appreciate hearing it from another…
  • Terri Weber
    commented 2019-01-13 04:00:00 -0800
    It was exactly 6 years since his diagnosis of cancer January 11 (he on May 4, 14 months later). I was ruminating with this anniversary and it gave me eerie, similar thoughts as yours. Maybe this is as good as I get. No longer drowning in grief, but not happy. Kind of hollow.
  • Vartan Agnerian
    commented 2019-01-12 19:09:34 -0800
    Such honest and clear description of " Widowland " , and all that entails’ emotionally’ physically ’ mentally …
    I so needed this ’ being a widow of 3 months’ after 44 years of marriage, and nobody close enough to share or understand this terrible transition to this unfamiliar territory of widowhood’ and of suddenly not being the other half of a loving couple anymore …

  • Don Yacona
    commented 2019-01-09 11:08:36 -0800
    Arlene passed on June 10th, 2015. I have always marked the 10th of each month by bringing her white roses to the cemetery and posting a white rose on her facebook. I used to be able to count how many months its been, but lately, because so much time has gone by, I had to think about how many months its been, I was doing that today.

    I have my own version of the nasty old woman dressed in black, sort of a combination Walt Kawolski and Fred Sanford..“Get off my lawn you big dummy”. Hey it works.