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Newly Widowed - The Third Month
Well Month Three of widowhood came and went quickly. No more counting days, or weeks, it's months now. I'm writing this during month four, which is entirely different, and trying to reflect back on March. My memory fades from one week to the next and December seems a lifetime ago.
It seemed as if things were slowing down and coming together a bit. I found Hubpages a wonderful, creative outlet, as writing is my form of self expression. I secured a part time job, locally, so I am close to home. We live in a small community of exceptional people of whom I am grateful to have around me and my children. Work brought me an entirely new set of friends and caring people who I had never had the chance to meet before. Another escape. No reminders there, no one who wants to reflect and share their own memories of my husband. A respite for me.
I felt my strength and confidence growing. The often asked question of 'how am I going to get through this' changed to 'I can get through this'. I've moved away from the if only's accepting that I can not change what has happened and not that I have to move 'on' (I abhor that term), but move forward. There is no going back, I've done enough standing still, there is only forward. Another day is going to come whether I want it to or not.
I also came to the realization that my husband's friends were just that, his friends. And yes, they were there in the beginning, but have since disappeared. I'm okay with that as well. They have there own grieving process to go through, yet I don't have enough within me to reach out to them. And maybe they feel the same and can't reach out to us. I have no ill feelings towards them, I wish them well, I know they miss their friend and hope that their days are not as lonely as mine.
My search continued for help for my children and my frustration and disappointment grew. Compels and inspires me to say that something needs to be done about this. Maybe someday I'll find myself lobbying for children. Who knows.
I've pondered much about life after death lately. Wondered if his soul is still here or if he is in that place of peace and serenity with his father and his siblings. I've hoped for both and hoped for neither. That's part of the craziness of widowhood. I want him to be at peace, yet I would be angry that he isn't here making sure we're all right. Angry that he might still be here and not at peace. Sounds crazy? I feel that way sometimes and I know others in my shoes would know exactly what I mean.
I still talk to him, though not as often. Sometimes I curse him, but I always end up telling him I will always love him and missing him takes my breath away. Some of the aches have faded, seeing his truck outside in the driveway doesn't hurt as much, though there are days when I'll drive up our long dirt road, the car full of kids, see his truck and want to announce, "Hey, Dad's home!" No. No he's not, and never will he be again.
Life around us moves on and there is no stopping it. Little League sign ups came and went, I opted out this year and felt guilty about doing so. My husband was so involved in all of the things our children participated in and I can't bear to do it without him and can't bear the thought that our baby would tell me how he wished Dad was there like last year. Selfish on my part, yes. So, I put our little one in Cub Scouts, something he's never done before. Something my husband never participated in, yet something positive for him. A new venture, one without reminders of what isn't anymore.
There still are the lists by the phone, a day planner now. The lists are shorter and they are different. Another sign of life moving forward. They don't include my husband, but those things I must get done for the children or myself and some loose ends to follow up on.
March brought some positive things, like Spring unfolding new life. I tried to keep ahead of that black hole of depression and look at positives. I've even laughed and enjoyed myself and tried to chase away the guilt of doing so.
April brought rain and more black clouds over the skies and my life, but that's a hub for next month.
From one widow to another...
- Eat, Eat, Eat! Even if it is a bite here a nibble there. You'll have to force yourself to eat. I try and now don't go days without food.
- Vitamins. This has really helped me feel better physically and mentally. I have a stress formula that I take and try to remember to take them daily. When I don't, I can truly feel a difference.
- Find an outlet for the stress, for depression. It creeps up on you. Whether it's exercise, reading, cooking. Whatever your relief is, find it, make time for it. For me it's writing, in the wee hours of the morning before the sun and the kids are up.
- Talk, share, communicate with other widows. No one knows what you are going through except for those going through it as well. An enormous weight is lifted when someone else says I know how you feel. I'm inspired when I can reach out to others. If I can touch one persons life in a positive way, my life is richer for it.
- Keep an eye on your children, if you have children. Children express grief differently than adults. They may seem to act out, defy, begin to have trouble in school. March brought this to our house with a vengeance. One child who is normally very independent, became clingy and now has seperation anxiety. Another who is normally a sweet, easy going child, has become angry and defiant. It is my hope that those of you that have children have more success in finding them help than I have.
- Lists. Keep the lists going. Though it may change as mine has, still keep them going and document what has been done. Though my mind is not as muddled as it was in January or February, I still find myself forgetting details.