The Young Widow - Change

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7 June 2012

Change is a part of life. We start changing from the minute that we are created. In my personal experience with change in my life, I would dare to say that nothing impacts change like the threat of death and the actual loss of a life (grief). It causes extreme change and it is immediate which can be very dangerous. I would think that with all the years of training I had with changes through out my own life, I would have been better equipped to handle such changes. Death changes everything and blasts thru all the rules. I am not sure that anything can prepare anyone for it.

The threat of death causes immediate change. Whether the threat be to you directly or to someone you love, it changes everything and everyone around you. It pours buckets of ice cold perspective over you until you are submerged. One either goes into shock and becomes motionless under the weight of the denial, trapped for the time being in and endless loop of 'this can't be', or they are driven to the opposite extreme, to take action. They say the unsaid and do the undone. Life is short they say but no one has perspective on how short. Given the opportunity to get a clear understanding of how short life really is, one is forced to react. Either reaction, when taking to the extreme, can become a huge risk. Extreme denial can cause you to die before your death. Regrets of wasting what few precious moments you were given would loom over you and nag at you during your last moments. For those who react this way but are the ones to be left behind, they can find themselves mourning before the death and the same time slips away from them causing the same regretful reaction.
Those who take action to the extreme present different risks. I have seen some sell everything, become big risk takers since they will die anyway, and say everything to everyone without fear of consequence. While a lot of this action can be good, there are somethings that are not. The prediction of death is not an exact science after all. Selling everything then receiving a miracle of more time can leave you penniless and struggling. Burned bridges can leave you without support. There is, however, very little risk for the loved one left behind. Usually, they are extreme in the amount of quality time they spend, the memories they make, and the amount of photographic evidence they take. Life is defined not by achievements but by the memories left behind.

Change from grief has both immediate and long term affects. For those who are lucky enough to make it out of the dark stages of grief, it has a ombre affect. We are forever tainted. The colors can't be washed away but there can be beauty. Our gradient color can attract many positive things and even at our darkest, I have seen that others can be impacted by knowing us and caring comes back. Our extremes are just as risky. There are some of us who die with our loved ones and just wait here in our shells until we can be reunited. There are some of us who wilt during the wait and plan for or attempt forcing the time to end. Unfortunately some of us are successful. If you are wilting and wondering, I say to you that this is not the way. I believe that going before your time will jeopardize your goal. It is hard but stay the coarse. In a time when you want to die for your loved one and you can not live for yourself, try to find joy in living for others. The greater good is healing and if you do not like people there are always animals.
Then there is the extreme of forcing the healing and continuation of life. Those that feel they must move on and so they do. They take up new families because its been a socially acceptable amount of time and they feel they have to. The consequences include another layer of unhappiness among other things.

I like to live my life away from the extremes. Like water, I like the ebb and flow. I follow the natural flow of life. I stir and crash during a storm and I am motionless and calm when necessary but most of the time I am in motion. I can enjoy the beauty of a sand castle even tho I know the tide will have to come in some time. I hide a lot of life, stories, and colors. Like the world oceans, I like to spread myself around. To be extreme could cause my world to collapse around me. The parts of me deprived of water would suffer and wilt.

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Metamorphosis collection
Metamorphosis collection | Source

This hub has inspired by an online friend. In one of her comments to The Young Widow - 6 Months, she made me realize that grief is more like a metamorphosis. Those of us that have been given the unique path to grieve for many years of our lives are given a perspective that is unmatched. Many of these people go on to impact the masses in ways that no one else could. Some become famous for it, others prefer to be a story in the hearts of a few. The burden is heavy and we are driven to the brink but purpose and meaning can come out of it. Purposes can be found. Answers may never come and the void will always exist but in that void you can fit some of the joy and satisfaction that comes from your new path. The ones that come from the things you have done while inspired by the love that was lost fit perfectly in that void. The heart has the ability to produce love like the air that surrounds us. Our hearts are not pies that can be cut and distributed until it is consumed. Their is always room for more without taking from or replacing the amount dedicated to the loved one you lost. My husband spent the 9 months before he died teaching me this thru the loss of one of our dog children. He was preparing me for what neither of us could have known. Perhaps I will tell you about Taz one day.

Change. Those who grieve can feel encased in darkness, extremely alone, and separate from the world around us. It is our cocoon. It can take a lot of time and is not an easy place to be but without a cocoon there would be no butterfly. While the life that we knew is gone and the first flight is scary, our changed life can be beautiful and the scars from our grief can decorate wings.


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Comments 25 comments

thebutterfly51 profile image

thebutterfly51 4 years ago from Georgia

Yes, I was one of the young widows who went forward into another marriage on the rebound and it is a Big Mistake! I should have taken about 5 years to grieve, but everyone expects young widows to "move on with their lives". Always moving on alone is better than moving on with the wrong person.


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

I noticed that trend of pressure to move forward because we are young when my younger, naive sister asked me if I was busy with all of my boyfriends yet just 7 or 8 months into my new life without my husband. I didn't go as off as I could have. I am re-learning restraint. I hope your story has a happy middle.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

I think of you sometimes and our early conversations about your loss. Sometimes I wonder how you are. I hope these hubs are helpful for you personally as you write. You share so much, and I also hope it is helpful to others. My heart is heavy with my old cat's death this week, but it can't compare to what you feel. Continue to express yourself. Thank you for giving hope in this statement:

While the life that we knew is gone and the first flight is scary, our changed life can be beautiful and the scars from our grief can decorate wings.


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

this reads with a poetic flow. Very nice hub!


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California

My ex-husband passed away 9 years after we divorced. He was my best friend and we both never remarried. The hardest thing for me is to realize is that he isn't there anymore to call, to talk to when I need advice or to just call up and say hello. I miss my friend dearly. I don't think we ever get past it, but what we do is learn to move on and cherish what we were allowed to have in this life with our husbands and loved ones. I never had the opportunity to grieve the way I thought I should have, however there are times that when I reflect on my life with him.. sweet tears come to my eyes and I am so thankful he was in my life for a season. Beautiful hub. well done. Lisa


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Hello Victoria. I was so happy to see you this morning. I am so sorry about your kitty. I do not belittle the grief of loosing a pet. I have 5 right now and they are family members. I understand. Besides that you have had your existing grief and I would assume that we are more sensitive to death and grief now. They say existing wounds that are not healed yet are easy to open, My husband's dog is 15 years old is showing signs, I am trying to prepare myself and my daughter for it. We love this old man after all.

Thank you for finding hope in my words, reading, and commenting.


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Nice to meet you Angela. Thank you for reading and commenting. Your comment made me happy. Its an awesome compliment to me. :D


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Lisa, I am happy to meet you. Your story was a welcome read. I am so happy that you got to be close to your ex husband after you were married. Regardless of your title to him or lack there of, it is obvious that you were a huge part of each other's lives. I don't have more of a right to grieve because I had a title. This happens a lot. People start evaluating who should be grieving at what levels based on a hierarchy of titles (i.e.: she was my real mother, she was just your step mom or you were only his wife for a few years, I have been is mother for always etc.) If you feel the need to grieve, you grieve. It is a private thing and no one has the right to tell you that you can't. If you mean you missed a ceremony, it is very easy to make a ceremony of your own. You can visit a favorite place or do something in his name. The point is that you fill the void so that you do not feel that you did not get to grieve the way you should have.


dessert bunny 4 years ago

Once again so beautifully written. The day my husband passed away I was sitting next to him holding his hand and waching him just slip away through the door of no return. I was numb - stunned - I could not believe that this strong man could just die. I was waiting and then shaking him to see if he would not just start to breath again - but nothing. I could not bear the thought of leaving the hospital without him - going home alone... How could this have happened. I wanted him to come and tell me what happened - why did he leave - what went wrong - did the nurses do something wrong - what what what..... Those were the only thoughts I had. No wonder we land in a cocoon as you suggested. We have to be borne again to become one whole person. Keep up your writings. Well done.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

This just rings the heart.. pulls on everything emotional.. you talk about the importance of change and make it out to be a defense mechanism.. maybe it is a metamorphosis, or maybe it's part of your loved one holding on to your soul.. I dunno but I love the young widow journal.. it's releasing.. theraputic.. and stirring all rolled into one bless you girl


mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

MS, you have a poet's eyes. "Grief has an ombre effect. We are forever tainted...but our gradient color can attract many positive things."

Profound and artfully expressed.


Laurinzo Scott profile image

Laurinzo Scott 4 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

What an incredible 'sharing'. Thank you... it makes one think about there own mortality, and those around us. how precious today is. Some people can allow even their grief of who they used to be way them down, I and many my age do just that. If writing(for you) as I know it is for me, such a way of releasing, thank you for allowing us (readers) to share in that. God bless you , as he has blessed us with your expression.


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Dessert Bunny - Death has this way of never making sense. It was the hardest step for me to just accept that it didn't have to make sense for it to have happened. I did it because I knew that being stuck in that place would jeopardize my ability to be a good mother to my angel girl and my greatest wish is that she grow up without the void that defines her life. So many adults, myself included, carry issues because of something in their past. I want as little of that as possible for her.


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Molly Meadows - what a flattering comment. I appreciate so much that you took the time to read one of my works and gave me this amazing compliment. You will be the source of my kool-aid smile for a while. Thank you.


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Frank - I have developed an addiction to you and your awesome comments. You are like my ice raspberry tea on a scorching summer day. Thank you for always refreshing me. Thanks for the blessing and the constant support.


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Victoria - Thank you for sharing me. That was very awesome of you.


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you for reading and commenting Laurinzo. I think that if we were more in tune with our own mortality we would be able to live richer lives and take less for granted. I am not sure that it would help with grief tho. It is something that has to happen and seems unavoidable with out consequence.

Writing has been my therapy, you are right. Thank you for the blessings. May they be multiplied in your direction. I look forward to seeing you again.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

just know I got your back!!!


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

You know Frank, I actually really believe that which is awesomely weird because it is not like I have ever seen you or actually know you. I just know you are my buddy.


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 4 years ago from Australia

Your description of change is so very beautiful and I think describes the tentative changes in me. I have at times felt periods of extreme joy, coming from someone who has lost her only son this probably sounds cold and heartless, but this joy is something I have never known and the reason for it is him, my son. During these periods I feel him all around me, he is providing the joy and to anyone looking on it may appear that I am 'over it and have moved on' as they say, but what they are witnessing in me is a sharing of peace between my son and I. The grief is still there and always will be but it exists alongside the joy. I believe you have described this in your beautiful words here:

"Change. Those who grieve can feel encased in darkness, extremely alone, and separate from the world around us. It is our cocoon. It can take a lot of time and is not an easy place to be but without a cocoon there would be no butterfly. While the life that we knew is gone and the first flight is scary, our changed life can be beautiful and the scars from our grief can decorate wings."

There is a huge amount of wisdom in your words Moms-Secret. How we continue after loss can depend on many things and on our individual mental and emotional make-up. But there is a path of continuation that merges grief and joy as one and we can be that butterfly!

Beautiful writing - I have utmost respect for you and I thank you for writing these words.


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

It does not sound cold and heartless to me. Only those who have been blessed not to have to deal with these things would think it cold. I am happy that we are able to evolve and see joy. It is a gift that I appreciate as much as I appreciate your friendship and words Fennelseed.

Thank you for the amazing compliments.


Tami Fite profile image

Tami Fite 4 years ago

Beautifully written ... God has given you a gift in your writing... it is a blessing! This journey of grief is one of the most unpredictable rides of my life...I wouldn't wish it upon anyone, however, we are all "terminal" the day of our birth and our days of life are numbered... as I journey through the loss of my mother, my best friend, I am praying for wisdom to impart to my own children for the day they will encounter death and loss of this magnitude. God bless & keep you and your daughter, and family ... Tami


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Grief has this way of teaching you things in a way that nothing else has. It is an experience. Thank you so much for the awesome compliments. I am with you. God bless you too...


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia

"Life is defined not by achievements but by the memories left behind." This is deep on so many levels. Only one that is going through the same thing could understand such raw emotion. You are right about everything, love your perspective. I know it has to be hard on you writing this, but in all honesty, it shows how beautiful your heart is by trying to help others in such sorrow and grief. To accomplish great heights as you have, it shows us that your a "hero" in your own right. Very encouraging and inspirational. I am sure he is very proud right now. Bless you and your daughter. Voted up and all the way across but funny.


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida Author

Wow Lyric, what amazing compliments you have showered on me today. I am so grateful and taken aback by them. Thank you so much. I feel honored to have you as a reader and look forward to seeing more of you.

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