Things I do and feel now that I am a widow, in a sort of rambling way:
1). I talk to my Google Assistant more than ever. Yes, I ask about the weather, certain store hours, recipes, TV shows and to play songs. But a few times, because I’m a funny gal, I tell my Google Assistant she’s my best friends. She has responded “I’ll get started on our friendship bracelets”, or “let’s plan a weekend getaway” which leads me to believe my Google Assistant is a funny gal too. Yeah, I talk to my Google Assistant much more than I ever did before. Pathetic? Funny? Necessary? I’m not sure.
2). I go around thinking about what a sucky and hard life I lead. I never hated it before. Oh sure, I was unhappy with it at times, especially during those hard times we all get. But since Peter died, my life sucks the big one. At every turn, things are hard. Before Peter’s death, these same things would be an annoyance, but everything is exasperated and nothing is easy anymore. It’s all one big clusterf….oh, you know. I hate leading this life without him. Some moments, perhaps too many, the laugh-at-life, get-up-and-fight Betsy has been replaced with a somber and got-up-and-left Betsy. Not a great way for me to live. Sigh.
3). I found out who my true friends and family are in all of this. Oh, I’ve supposed I’ve always known, but now, I’ve been hit over the head with it. The people who have stayed, even after their shock and their grief wore off, and are still here for me, every day, are my true, constant and unconditional friends. The people who either didn’t walk, let alone run, when the most horrible thing happened to me and still aren’t even near me yet, and those who left way too soon, well they may not have significance for me down the road. Sigh.
Listen, I get it. People are uncomfortable with death. I get it. They’ve moved on. I get it. They are busy people. I get all of it. Maybe I get it too well because I did it to others. Not proud, but I did. Lesson learned for the future. And yes, we are all human. I have forgiven, but letting go is another story. Again, human. And I’m not talking everyday communication, but a text here, a phone call there, even a social media message a few times would help. I don’t think I’m asking a lot. I don’t know. Maybe I am. And even though I get it, I don’t feel a kinship with these people. Too vain of me? Too self-centered? Too selfish? Yeah, maybe. Again, I don’t know.
What I do know is people have let me down throughout these past two months. My friend Laura told me I will lose and gain friends in this widowhood process. There will be a weeding out, a thinning out. I can see it. I will add, widowhood has also confirmed to me who my true friends have been all along. I know. I know. I should concentrate on those who are supportive. Concentrate on the friend of mine who sends me a card every week. Thanks, Judy. Or my special angel who leaves on my porch. Thanks, Brenda. Oh, I know it’s you. And on the tribe of ladies I can call at any time. Or the endless messages, texts, invites, and phone calls I do get so many others. And I should. And the old me would. The old, positive me. Oh, I’m still old with grief aging me, but I’m no longer positive. Sigh.
4). Every noise scares and bothers me, especially at night. The house settling gets my heart racing like a cardio workout. The drip of the faucet annoys me like nails on a chalkboard. The ice maker that does not make any ice but still hiccups gets me thinking mice are in the kitchen having a party. (They’re long gone, but still, I have the heebee jeebees.) At night, when I go upstairs to bed, I run, with the anticipation of jumping in the bed, turning on the fan, and blocking all the other noises in the house. I’ve turned into this sad horror victim of a B-movie. Sigh.
5). I have never felt true, deafening loneliness until Peter died. Oh, I’ve been alone. I like to be alone. I chose alone. But this? This is different. It’s more powerful than being alone. It’s to my core, spread through my body and back again loneliness. It’s feeling the absence of Peter, of myself, so intensely, I have to sob to get it out. I miss Peter every day. I miss me, the me I was when we were together. I miss us. Every single day. I miss Peter and me and us. I long for all three. And yes, it’s early in my grief. And yes, I have to give time to heal. But God, I hate feeling the pain while I do.
6). Let me end on some positives and surprising reveals about myself …as an homage to who I once was, in hopes that me will return. First, I am a fighter. When I really have to, oh goll, do I fight. I breakdown after, but during the fight, I am fair, fierce and hard to knockdown. Second, when I do get knocked down, I stand back up. Yes, it is an immense struggle and I do need much help from others, but I do stand. Third, I’m a quick learner. Put me in a situation like learning to speak finance, if even to get me by, and I can do it. Forth, finding me, the new me, is extremely difficult and scary and sad, yet what will emerge may be okay. Taking steps toward doing what I’ve always wanted to do – writing – and maybe other changes to suit just me, may turn out to be okay. Hell, one day I maybe even close to good. Finally, I have the greatest kids. Peter would be proud of all they’ve done and continue to do. We have always been a strong unit. It was weakened by the absence of Peter, and we’re a bit broken, but we still work and work well together. They are my saving grace in all of this. Besides, they did get Peter and me the Google Assistant, my new best friend.
Well, this is my post today. It is a post I hope to read and reread down the line. Like all my post, I want to look back to see my growth, review my mistakes, learn from my pain and anger and always, always, remember Peter…as if I could ever forget him.