Am I getting used to this? Am I growing accustomed to having Peter absent from my life? I still wake up every morning thinking on how much I miss him in my life, how he won’t be there again today. I go to bed every night applauding myself for making it another day without him. And yet, widowhood is beginning to settle in on me. I am beginning to feel as if I have sat on the ‘I should do this’ stool for long enough. Now, I need to get up and push through the opening door of ‘here I go’.
I am still uncomfortable on my own. I feel as though I was robbed of my life’s purpose. I was meant to have my grow old person with me; I was meant for Peter to be that person. And none of that happened. It was an unexpected turn of events in my life still leaving me pissed me off and confused. I never wanted to take what Life handed me. It was forced on me with a power and a weight so strong, at times I was unable to do anything, but curl on the ground. My heart still feels the heaviness from it all and I am still unbalanced from by it all. Yet, I have it and I need to learn to live with it, otherwise, I am just existing in a constant state of why-me which stunts movements in any direction.
Suicide is a thing among widows and widowers. Together, they are at a higher rate than teen suicide. And I understood why. When a part of you is ripped away, the part that made you live or helped you live, how can you go on? Why would you want to go on? When it happens so suddenly, without warning, you want the pain to go away as quickly as it came. Killing yourself seems like a good end to the agony of just being alive. You read any widow or widower’s story and thoughts of suicide will be part of it, however fleeting. I would be lying if they weren’t in my. Thoughts of joining Peter, of not wanting to wake up to face another day void of anything else but deep agony, danced in my head in the beginning, like some bad rumba. But I never followed through. Because I couldn’t follow through. And now, I am glad I didn’t allow my thoughts be my action.
My children of course were my first prevention. How the hell could I allow myself to be the reason for them being orphans? And how can allow Death to win? I am stubborn and competitive that way. So I chose to move. I had to push myself and drag myself through life, but I did move. And when I moved, thoughts couldn’t settle too long. I forced myself out of bed in the morning, trying to block out the what the fuck am I going to do now, and concentrate on the nudge of the movement. As time went on, with people to hold me up as I moved, and a grief counselor to help me find my steps, I moved along with a purpose, a purpose of not falling down, yet still a purpose.
Other than those who have moved in my same shoes, I don’t think people fully understand the exhaustion in moving without your partner. Not just any partner, but your partner, the partner you were supposed dance through life until age settled in. Sometimes, there’s a disconnect and loneliness in others not understanding. Especially when those you thought would be there, ghosted you. Then there are those times when you feel the deep love for others not knowing and are still there for you anyway. Those are he best of people in your life, the best blessings, the best way to continue on.
I write all of this today because I have made plans. After sitting still during the pandemic for weeks doing nothing but binge watching television, I am starting to clear out what I can from this house of many memories, and schedule someone to take away the rest. Strong attachments may go along with everything else, but it has to go for me to detach. I know now I can let go of them, let go of the clutter of the life I will never again have with Peter. I am going to go to Discovery while this is all happening, not only for safety reasons, but so I don’t have to see those parts of my live leave. I’ve never been good and good-byes.
This past week, I have been patient with some decisions, weighing everything with just me in mind. I let go of what I would have done before, and went with what I should do now, for me. Barkley, my new-to-me dog, has had a part in this changes I’ve been feeling. Yes, he gives me the affection I crave and the companionship I need. We have rescued each other in those ways. He’s also given me a schedule and a purpose to be on a schedule. He has stabilized the chaos through responsibility, and that has proved to have an importance in my movement.
When I was told I will emerge a different person by two widows who knew, I thought I would be this person who would glitter and shine. I would be a person no one would knew and it would be so drastic, people’s breath would catch, mine would catch. I am finding out, it isn’t that dramatic. Sure, I do feel differently, make choices differently, sort through friends with a different perspective, and I am stronger in ways so different from anything I’ve ever felt in my life. But all of this has been in subtle whispers, not loud bangs.
I have come far. I have come from those two weeks after Peter died not wanting to get out of my bed, let alone live, to this person who is making decisions for a future, a future which will never include Peter again. And yes, sometimes it hurts so badly, I long for my bed again. Most times now though, I accept that my life will be filled with sad moments triggered by a memory, something someone says, seeing a couple together, a song, a movie, or even a taste. And I will feel those moments, let them fall upon me in trickles or waterfalls. And then I will move on. I will move on to a future uncertain, scary as hell, anxious, and always without Peter.
I still hate the ‘without Peter part’, yet I know it is part of my future, one I am going to live from now on. One I want to live in, damn it. And as time goes on, I’m not getting used to this life, I am getting excited with anticipation to learn my new moves in it.