Tonight I talked with a lovely young women introduced to me by my cousin LaDonna. We have a lot in common. She's a young mom of two beautiful children. Intelligent, charming, funny- and a new widow. Chatting with her tonight took me back to the week after Dave died (tomorrow it will be a week since her husband died).
I remembered Amy giving me a hard time for sounding just like the flight attendant on her flight to Boise. Everything anyone said I responded to by saying, "thank you." Thankfully Amy pointed out that I was sounding a bit false so I added, "that's so kind of you," in random rotation with "thank you." It was at least two weeks before I really used any other words with people other than very close friends or immediate family.
There was such ugliness inside me. I'd never felt that depth of ugliness before. "Until It Sleeps," was such a relief when I found it. It said what I couldn't say... because that was inside me. I smiled and thanked people and tried to look strong... but inside I was ugly. and mean. and I really didn't like people. and I REALLY was fighting a battle not to snap at people who said really stupid things (like comparing one person's depth of grief over the event to any other person's).
I'm not the first widow among my friends and I'm sure that I won't be the last. It was the other widows that helped me stay sane. They're the ones who told me I wasn't crazy when I had some strange, unexpected reaction to a word, a song, an event. One of the best things to come from the whole mess was renewing a friendship with an old friend from high school. When other people say, "I'd never feel like that if my spouse died," she says, "Oh yeah, that's rough." It's hard to predict what you will or will not do, what you will or will not say, and how you will or will not feel. I sincerely hope very few people will ever truly understand what it feels like to lose your love to death. Thank God there are others though. We should start a club.
It's been about nine months now and I'm pleased to say that I just listened to, "Until It Sleeps," and don't feel any sense of recognition anymore. It doesn't speak to me today. Of course there are still hard days. There are days when I'm a raging bitch because the sense of loss is so strong. Holidays are pretty much guaranteed to send me over the edge. I still don't do alone well- but I CAN do it.
My life is good. It's different, but good. I'll never forget Dave and I'll always grieve for him, but the grief is starting to mellow. It's not that sharp, peeled skin feeling it used to be. Now it's more like a scar that aches when you touch it. I smile when I think of the man I loved and married. I remember him playing with his children and the deep love he showed to them and to me. It feels good to think about and remember him now. In the beginning it just hurt beyond belief. Today I love what we had and love remembering the life we shared.
Here's my song for today- much more applicable to this stage of my life.