I did Thoughtful Thursday posts on Facebook every Thursday. They started to become more sporadic as I worked on my book. And stopped altogether once Peter died. But I’m thinking, on this Thursday, to bring it back on this blog. The wonders won’t be as political as they were – I have no fight in me now – nor will they be as humorous – my humor is minimal at best. They will be thoughts and wonders as I navigate through this new maze of Widowhood I never wanted to be in. And here I go…
1). I wonder…was I too harsh yesterday with friends? We were talking like friends do, about everything and anything, and I’m not sure what spurred me on to say the following, but I did. I pointed to each of them and said, “Be glad you still have your husbands”. I know. Not called for. Kind of preachy. But at the time, I remember feeling like I had to remind them…as if me sitting with them, a recently widowed person, and having crying jags, was not enough of a reminder. I hope they took it okay and understood, sometimes, thoughts and emotions overtake me at the oddest times. I wonder if they did.
2). I wonder…will I be strong enough for all of this? I was the baby of the family. I was sheltered by bigs brothers and sisters from the hardships big families, all families really, go through. Everyone knew it. In some form or another, they knew I was coddled and protected. Then I went and lived on my own for six years, but never straying far from the comforts of home, of my family, of my mother. When Peter and I entered our relationship, his in-control personality took over the ‘taking care of me’. And now, Peter is dead, my relationship with my siblings has changed, and my mother? Well, she’s not always the mother I remembered. So, it’s me. Learning to take care of me. I think I’m smart, capable and intelligent enough. Okay, I don’t, but I am trying to get there. It’s just so hard because this being on my own again thing, facing everything alone, making my own decisions, facing everything head-on without coddling, is all scary. I mean, we do avoid the scary, right? Only I can’t avoid it. It’s right in front of me. It reminds me of the 4-H rhyme I used to chant – ‘can’t go under it; can’t go over it; can’t go around it; ‘mind as well go through it’. No choice but to go through it, and I wonder, in the end, will the self-reliance continue to be really frightening, or new and exciting. Can’t really say since I’m still kind of scared to move.
3). I wonder…why Life has thrown so much at me? In the first six months of the year, I had a breast cancer scare, a concussion, thyroid removed because of another cancer scare and the topper of them all, my husband dies. I was telling friends, if this wasn’t happening in the for real, I might be laughing about it. It’s all so absurd. I guess it shows my strength and resilience. Still standing after all this might demonstrate how strong my life’s spine really is, and yet, I have to wonder. Why? Can’t Life just be a small-doser, spreading things out over years? I know. I’m complaining too much. There are people in a lot worse situations. I have the support and the finances to make it through all of this. I get it. I’m better off than so many. Yet, I still wonder why.
4). I wonder…will I remember all the lessons I’ve learned for the ‘next person’? Like, I will no longer say, ‘sorry for your loss’. Instead, I will say, ‘sorry for your pain’. Because the person is not lost. He/She are dead. Like, I will not compare my father’s death, nor my aunt’s, friend’s, and fill-in-the-blank to your spouse’s death. Grief for a spouse may be as deep as your’s, depending on the situation and relationship, but the road, the journey, is much more painful to travel on. There are too many things to step on along the way and you’re doing it alone. Like, I will keep showing up. I won’t leave after a few weeks thinking you’re over it because the shock has worn off on me. I’ll be there for however long your grief takes. And like, I won’t ask what to do for you, or if I do, it’ll be very specific. I know you won’t have the ability, nor the desire to ask. If I’m close to you, I’ll show up at your doorstep to hug or bring you dinner. I don’t have to stay. I just want you to know I’m here for you. I will ask “do you have time to go for a walk”, or “what can I do to help”, or “I’m showing up tomorrow to do your lawn/weed” or whatever. I will be there for you, the next person, because I didn’t know how to be there for the last person. I wonder if I will remember.
5). And finally, I wonder…how will I ever become single again? Someone invited me to a wedding in June of next year, verbally of course. She added that my daughter could be my plus one. Wow. A reality that hit my gut! I will always have to think about a plus one, or lack thereof, now. When I go for a walk, watch a movie, eat dinner, go to sleep, store up stories to tell about my day, talk about my kids, take a vacation, cry about my woes, discuss current events, and all the other things which were all a natural flow in life, in my life, I will have to refrain or adjust because there is no plus one to share anything like this anymore. AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES LOSING A SPOUSE DIFFERENT. Sorry. I didn’t mean to shout. It amazes me how many people still don’t get it. Anyway, I have to live like I’m single again after being part of a pair. I’ll be that lonely lost sock in your laundry. (Again, random and wondering thought, but kind of a good metaphor, right? I know. Not so much.) I wonder though, how I do that? Become single after being a pair for so long?
Well, those were my wonders on my Thoughtful Thursday. Off to work I go, because there is no option B. I’m just putting one foot in front of the other, waiting until the day comes and I can do it more effortlessly.