I can easily say that I do not reach out to Tin’s mother and family as much as I should. I want to speak with them but it’s hard for me and I feel like I am the immediate reminder, that I trigger all of the grief for them. These widowed weights on my shoulders press down hard at times. It’s a double-edged burden. I want to speak with them but I don’t want to upset them. So conversations don’t happen as often as they maybe should.
I don’t know what’s harder. Calling? Not calling? Calling and no one answers? Or that no one calls me? I think the hardest is that last one. Once Tin was gone there wasn’t really a connection left. They move about their lives with their loss at a distance and I wake up to his pictures, his clothes and his empty side of the bed. The more days that go by the more the family fades. I know they think of me but when someone doesn’t tell you than you start to feel the truth that being out of sight is certainly being out of mind. It’s frustrating and fearful to feel you’re forgotten when your not the one who has passed on.
As the widowed, we know all to well that, overtime, it feels like people have forgotten about our lost love. What they also don’t realize is that this feels like we have passed away a little our selves. Now we walk the Earth as souls still with a worldly presence to many but invisible to those who used to see us clearly every day. It’s hard not to feel like a phone call from me conjures up an anxious apparition causing them to spook and me to fade back into the safety of the shadows.
In Dante’s Divine Comedy there is Inferno, Purgatorio and Paridiso. All those that dwell there are referred to as shades and they make their way through this misty eternal world until they receive their judgment and pass through the gates. I have been through Inferno and I now float in Purgatorio trying to heal from the fires. I fear being sent back through another fiery wave of life so I catch myself always looking behind me while trying to be hopeful for my ascendance. A lost faded shade, I press on.
As I move towards Paridiso, I’ve realized that the weight behind my shoulders is actually the physical manifestation of my evolution. I can feel the slight beatings start as I grow my widowed wings. Earned for the battles fought, they lift me ever so slightly out of bed, off to work and onto the next step of my journey but when they don’t give me rise I am drained by the weight of these great widowed wings. Some days it takes all of my effort to stand and stretch them but when I have the strength to spread them out they provide a safe space for those shades that are not ready to rise yet. I know one day that these frail feathers will be long, wide and strong as long as I keep trusting them. In time they will lift me from the shadows and those stilled shades watching will see that all is possible and they will stand…