Eight Weeks

photo of person wearing sneaker and ballet shoe
Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius on Pexels.com

So I had a rough weekend, and now it’s Monday.  Today is the eight-week remembrance of Peter’s death, the day I started this awkward dance into Widowhood. As I’ve said before, I can never label it “anniversary” as that word assumes celebration. Nothing to celebrate…at all.

Today, the day is gloomy.  It just rained and more hangs in the air as a tease of what is to come. Pretty darn metaphoric for my emotions these past eight weeks. My emotions pour out of me or hang around waiting for the next storm to come. I haven’t really seen the sun in my moods and I feel cloudy most of my days.  I just do.

Eight weeks, or almost two months, seems like a marker of my life without Peter. I know I’m better than I was when I first received the shocking and devastating news. At least I’m sleeping and eating. I’m moving. I’m making decisions. I’m getting out of the house. I’m watching other things than reality shows on the boob tube. I’m not crying with every step, only with some of them. And I’m even laughing more.  I suppose those are progressions. No, no, they are and well, I’m here now…today. I still feel the pain, yet it is starting to become a part of me like a headache you learn to live with.

In eight weeks, my living room has changed which is good since it’s only one of three rooms I live in – the living room, the kitchen, and the bedroom. I like the change. It’s me. It’s for sure not us. Peter would not have picked out any of this. At first, I felt sick with nostalgia getting rid of the old furniture.  I held some guilt as if I was erasing Peter from my life. Now, at eight weeks, I don’t feel either. Maybe I’ve learned to numb myself by avoiding any thoughts about the room, but I think it’s more of an acceptance of what it is and who I am now.  And, maybe, after eight weeks and really knowing Peter’s dead, I am getting closer to okay with my choices.

“My” has replaced so much of “our” in the past eight weeks. Everything has been changed to my name, not our’s. I eat my meals, not ours. I watch my shows, go out with my friends, clean my house, do my laundry, and my list goes on. My is a lonely word, a deep, foreboding, isolated word. I hate it right now. I’m sure I’ll get closer to okay with it. I’m sure I’ll realize no matter how much I hate it, I have to accept it…eventually – another word I used more in these past eight weeks. For now, I hate the word. The only our that will remain forever is our kids.  Forever and always, our kid will remain our gifts, our connection, our manifestation of our love.  Other than that, it’s all mine and I just don’t like at all.

In these past eight weeks, and in the weeks, months,  years ahead, I have choices to make. My own choices. With the kids grown, Peter dead, my life is pretty much my own. I have to figure out what it will look like as I develop me, a me without others as part of my definition. It’s odd, solitary, unwanted, baffling and selfish but necessary. At 57, I have to re-establish myself in the world.  Scary as hell, but as I’ve said over and over, there is no Option B.  And, well, I have the resilience and the fight in me. I think. No, no. I do. Or at least I’ll fake it until I make it work for me.

My friend Laura told me I’m not really taking steps backward these past eight weeks, rather I’m taking a step through all my emotions. Something profound to mull over. Yesterday, I saw a clip of Bruce Springsteen’s new movie coming out in October. In it he said, and I’m paraphrasing, we have to walk through the darkness of the night in order to get tomorrow. I like that. I like Bruce. I like Laura. And in these eight weeks. I think both are probably right.

I’ve been dancing to this klutzy rhythm of Widowhood since the doctor told me ‘they did all they could’.  That was eight weeks ago, and since then, I began to twirl. I bumped into things, fall down, grow dizzy, but I still move.  I move to the music of my emotions which have been soft, loud and mostly in between. The darkness and the feels I am walking through trip me up and cause me to plunge. Yet, I continue. One day, I hope I can eventually walz again, at least do a single pirouette.  I don’t know. All I do know is, right now,  on this gloomy day, at the eight-week remembrance,  I am confused about this Widowhood dance, but at least I’m still moving.