Fifteen more sleeps in this house of mine and then I have the rest of my life somewhere else.
Outwardly, my life has remained stable and solid. In many ways I am a vision of “widowed success”. I returned to a good career, I still have the house, the car, and the kids. On the outside, the condition of my life looks good. Aside from Mike’s death, my life may even be enviable to some; but things are not as they appear. Like the aesthetically pleasing chocolate bunnies, I look to be well dressed and professionally presented; but, inside me there is something lacking. Inside of me, the landscape of my Soul is barren – or at least it was for many years. For a long time after he died I was hollow inside like the foil bunnies. On the inside of me there was ‘nothing’. Where there used to be unbridled joy there was emptiness.
My worldly possessions feel heavy. They are housed in my home and chain me to a life that I no longer wish to participate in. I don’t give a shit about the stuff on my walls or the sofa across from me. It is all meaningless to me. What can it do for me? What does it do for anyone really?
Moving forward, I do not want things. What matters to me is the feel of things, not the actual things. I want to live a full and joy filled life that draws inspiration from experiences – not stuff. And, sure, it is true, I do like nice things; but material things do not fill my heart with happiness. In fact, my worldly possessions feel weighty to me. They feel like a burden to me. In the near future, I hope to travel and I do not want to have to worry about storing my things while I am gone. To me, more is less.
It is Mike’s 65th birthday today. On March 22nd, I will always “celebrate” him. There will never be a birthday of his that I don’t think tenderly of him. On his birthday I purposefully choose to remember the way he lived. I celebrate the life and love we shared together. This is how I try […]
…when I move, I will concentrate on raising up the new me. It is cool. It is not lost on me that the roles are reversed. This time, it is me, not my children, who will “grow up” and into myself in the new house. It is my turn to focus on my own identity and sense of well being. It is my time to become the person I am meant to be.
There are not many places where you can be open about the “dark” part of grief and widowhood. Not just that you miss the person or that you are lonely, but the trauma of it. The details of it. But, I think it is important that we talk about it, if only so that others […]
This time buying feels different. It feels like I am attempting to fix a wrongdoing.
The wrongdoing being Mike’s death… Moving is a big step in the direction of righting my alternate life. It is forward motion. It is acknowledgement of the permanence of his death. It is necessary and it is a good thing. This move is about me. It is my decision. My choice. My sale. My purchase. It is about my family and our future. And, I should be excited about it. And, I sort of am. I am just not altogether overjoyed. I am a bit blaise and this should not surprise me because I have been operating in apathy for 4.3 years now. The move just really brings into focus how deep this indifference is embedded in my psyche.
And, in the familiar setting where my old life played out I was able to grieve for all that I lost. I let my loss seep into my bones as I walked down the familiar streets of our neighbourhood. As I wandered through the aisles of our grocery store I allowed all the sadness his death caused to drip from me. I drove around our town and tears streamed from my eyes, day after day, as I said goodbye to the future we never got to live. It has been an excruciating 4.3 years, but I am better for allowing myself the time to properly say goodbye to my life here. I am now finally at a point in my grief where I can be at peace with the past and I have accepted that the future will not be the one I anticipated living. I can move now. I am done with this place. I have taken what I can from it and now there is nothing left here for me.
I wrote this January 29, 2018. Three years later, I stand by a lot of what I wrote. Grief must be felt and attended to. You will be better for “sitting” with your grief. Lean into it – this is the way back to life… ~S. When Grief comes, Take her in your arms and […]
Being widowed has forced me to become accustom to being “lost”. I have veered off the main road and I have become fairly self sufficient travelling off the beaten path. I’ve always been independent; and, generally, I can excel under pressure; but, Mike’s death has made me even more effective in the face of adversity. I have made solid decisions on unstable ground and I have grown somewhat comfortable being ‘off kilter’.
These days, I choose to take the road less traveled because I enjoy the solitude, whereas, before the silence would have been unsettling to me. With time and experience, I am less afraid of being lost. Mike’s death is teaching me to handle the unexpected and unwelcome in life. And, sometimes I resent this lesson, but I still choose to learn from it. What else can I do?
For all it’s taken from me, widowhood has also given me an unshakable belief in myself.
Once my grief settled into me, I was able to move through life in a far less clumsy way. As counterintuitive as it sounds, by allowing my grief to make a home within me, I was finally able to free myself of it. With grief housed safely inside me, I was able to live with more agility. When I let both my grief and my unbridled, wild hunger for life to coexist within me I found a type of peace that had eluded me previously.
Coexistence is the only peaceful way I’ve been able to manage my grief. This last year, I have allowed my grief to “be”. To be part of me. To be within me. I must emphasize, grief is not who I am; I am so much more than Mike’s widow. But, undeniably, my grief is part of my psyche.
Currently, most of Boris’s ashes are interred in a cemetery in Atlanta. I did not think this was something Boris would have wanted at the time, especially considering the hefty price tag. He was too practical and untraditional. However, his mom wanted to have a place to go visit him and she wanted that for […]