I think there is a certain getting used to in this life as a widow. It’s not a liking or whatever feeling, rather a getting used to. And I think I’m starting to grow accustomed to my life without Peter. I don’t like it. I wish with every part of me it wasn’t like this. I am still sad. I am still lonely. Yet in all of this, all this widowhood and living life with a broken soul, there is a certain acceptance, a certain this is my life now.
I think this began a few days ago. It was a silly little thing. I went grocery shopping and bought two bananas instead of a bunch. I didn’t break down and cry about it. A few moments later I cried and I’m not sure if it was about the bananas. Sometimes I cry and I don’t even know why. Maybe it’s grown to be a habit, this crying of mine. Or it was, in fact, a delayed reaction. Whatever the reason for the crying, putting in two bananas seemed rote. I didn’t even give it a second thought.
I went to a wine festival with two friends yesterday. It was a festival Peter and I had gone to a few years back and I have clear memories of the day with Peter – the weather, the bumping into a co-worker, the tasting of the wines and the purchases of wine bottles. I remember it all. And yesterday, when I went, the memories were jogged, yet I held it together. I’m not sure if I even felt like crying. I talked about it with my friends as if I was repeating a favorite childhood memory. I was very matter-of-fact with my “Peter liked the chicken wings”. Oh, I felt sadness. I think I’ll always feel that. Yet, I didn’t break down and I continued to have an okay time.
This morning, I woke up and greeted the day knowing Peter would not be waiting downstairs for me. He would not be reading the paper as I went into the kitchen to make my tea. He would not be saying a ‘good-moring’. He would not be looking over his reading glasses as I carried my tea to my writing chair. (Yes, I have one.) It didn’t shock me. It gave my belly a flip in loneliness. And it made me unhappy, always makes unhappy to have a morning without Peter. It probably always will. Yet, I made my tea knowing this is how it is now – no Peter. No look of him, no smell of him, no taste of him, no feel of him. None of him. I am getting used to having a no Peter life. It sucks. It hurts. It devastates. It does all sort of not so good things in me. And yet, this is my life.
Acceptance is another stage of grief. I get that. No one ever said the stages don’t hurt. Acceptance is no exception. Maybe acceptance is the scariest of them all because it closes all possibilities and leaves you more vulnerable. For instance, accepting I have to live a no-Peter life means there’s a finality in it all. When I had anger, I didn’t really have to think about moving on, moving on without. Denial meant I hung onto Peter. But this acceptance thing, this getting used to? Well, I closed some doors and now I face living without. I think that’s the most depressing.
And don’t think because tears don’t come, I feel any less. It’s just that when you get beat up enough in life, you stop caring about the punches. And life is continually pounding me with the knowledge of no Peter. I’ve learned the tears from the sadness and the despair doesn’t bring him back. So, I am getting used to feeling this way, knowing Peter won’t return. There is a certain callous or wall that I am creating. I suppose that’s my survival mode right now. I mean, as I’ve said over and over, there is no Option B. There is no other choice but to survive.
This is how I felt lately, how I feel today. As I’ve learned, my feelings can change tomorrow, at the next turn. I know as I continue to feel my feels, I will blow up with tears, and anger and despair again. I will puddle into a heaping ball of messed-up. Grief doesn’t let go of you that easily, that fast. At least I know for me that’s the case. And my history has shown I go through a smooth patch of being okay, only to crash into large barrels of horrible. That’s been my ride. But for these past few days, for today, this is how I feel today.
I blog my feelings at the moment. At this moment, I am getting used to living this not-so-great life of widowhood. I’m exhausted. I’m all over the place. And I’m missing Peter, terribly. But I am living. I’m living a life and getting used to a life with No Peter. Talk to me again tomorrow. That may change. I know I have a waterfall of emotions, changing currents all the time. And I’m getting used to those as well.