Being a widow has its own feelings exclusive to being without a spouse, a partner, a best friend, half of you. There are challenges I have faced I never even turned toward before in my life. There are the complexities I can only tackle, alone. No one person can help me navigate through them. It’s all on me. And sometimes, it’s lonely. And sometimes, I get pissed off at the weight put on my shoulders, a weight I shared once with Peter. And sometimes, I unrealistically expect others to help when really, they can’t. And sometimes, I don’t feel strong or brave, rather just like a person having to go through life. And most times, it all sucks.
One of the biggest webs I have to claw my way out of is all the damn paperwork. In these past ten weeks, I’ve battled insurance companies and financial institutions. My body is beaten up from all the hoops I’ve had to jump through. And when I think I made it toward the end, the big autocratic companies of this world, laugh and say, “Um, you forgot to jump through that one waaaay down there.” And then I start all over again.
I was going to spend time this morning explaining what happened yesterday as an example. Then I thought, that’s boring and well, it is sort of a white privilege problem. Instead, I’ll just say this. it came down to poor customer service and frustration from your endless demands even though I am earmarked as the beneficiary. Sigh.
I bring all this up for a reason. Fighting through all the bureaucratic BS pushes me into a funk. Last night, for instance, after a day spent sparring, I realized my life has been one endless struggle the minute my husband was killed. I struggle to stay okay. I struggle just to move. I struggle to find normalcy. I struggle to continue my path through my feels. I struggle to get to anything on the other side of all of this. I struggle to be strong. I struggle to keep my balance and not to fall into a hole of depression I may never leave. I struggle with patience and sadness and despair that hit me out of nowhere and hang around for a while. I struggle to live easy now that everything is so damn hard. I struggle to live without Peter, without half of myself. And on top of all these struggles, companies are creating additional struggles which are frustrating and depressing.
I am looking for closure in all of this. The financial institutions and the life insurances, even the pension, have propped their doors open with demands and endless loopholes. Their foot is so deeply planted between me and them, I am struggling to close the door on any of this. It’s like I am walking down this hall of grief and all these doors are open. They keep pulling me in and stopping from reaching any destination toward healing. I just want to keep moving on. Instead, I’m being pulled into an abyss of paperwork and questions only I can do, only I can answer. No one else. Some have tried to help, bless them, and were told it has to come from me.
Thank God I have the fight in me. I have the fight in me because the exhaustion of being a suddenly single mother with small children is not in my description. I can’t even imagine her struggles. And giving up is not in my vocabulary because I am in the position and have the means for tenacity. Still, the solitary in all of this is hard and the inability to close it all down forever depresses me. No matter how far I get with the help offered, and I’ve had so much, the final stretch has to be mine, and mine alone.
Maybe all of this, all the frustration and solitary battles with these companies, serve as lessons in my life now. Maybe they’re warning me of what’s to come in life without my partner. Maybe they’re toughening me up for what is yet to come. Well, maybe, but can I get some closures first? The open doors to my despair are damn distracting.