Inde-for independent Vidua-Latin for widow

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A year ago, twenty-one hours before my 38th birthday my husband of almost sixteen years died of complications from central nervous system vasculitis. I am now 39, our children, Jay is 14 and Elle is 12 while he is eternally 40.

This last year has been one of loss, grief, acceptance, bewilderment and never ending change. I am grayer, more fine lines surround my eyes and I am none the wiser.

The multitude of people that had turned out for his memorial, the outpouring of love and grief from those that knew him or came to support the ones that were left behind have faded. All but a few remain as life reverts to normal for them but the emptiness for me is almost worse. I kept our house because the recommendation is to not make any decisions within that first year. It’s definitely our house but certainly not our home. His clothes hang in the closet as if he will be back, his snowmobiles in the garage as if we will once again ride them. It’s a shell of what our home once was.

I found myself not knowing what to do. I had to relearn how to pay bills, apparently on time is something that takes time. I have refinanced the house, sold his truck, signed a new lease for my car, seen my son transition from middle school to high school, I am witnessing my daughter transform from little girl into a young woman and yet all I can think of is of how absent I have been and continue to be in everyday life.

Breaking down is not an option, giving up is unthinkable but moving on is unbearable. How does one do this?

The first year was all about keeping it together but just ten months into the grief it all unraveled. The holidays as usual brought stress but this year it was accompanied by angst. The normal obligations were worsened by the fact that Brett wasn’t here to help me deal and to talk me down. I learned that although people tell you “do what feels good, if you don’t want to do something don’t do it” what they really mean is do all of that but only do it if it doesn’t intrude on what they want and what they want you to do. After all they are grieving a loss too.

I distanced myself from everyone found old and new friends but hid. I fell apart in silence and in hiding. On the surface I was fine. I got up everyday went through the motions, went to work, family obligations, school functions but not the same. On the outside I apparently looked fine, good even, but on the inside unrecognizably sad and scared. Unable to make decisions.

I am alone a lot and now I am embarking on the second year without him.

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3 thoughts on “Inde-for independent Vidua-Latin for widow

    mikeile51 said:
    March 27, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Wow! Very moving, you are quite a writer and so adept at expressing the inexpressible, your feelings over the last tragic year. Great!

    Like

    Tina said:
    March 29, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I like the name of your site, I think it is very fitting. You and your children have suffered a profound loss that has created a huge void in your lives. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family during this difficult time! When you experience a life altering event, such as you have, what was previously filled with certainty and reason suddenly becomes questions and possibly doubt. Life altering events, in death or any other form, tend to make you feel lost, confused, unsure of which way to turn, and crippling alone. Or at least that was my experience with it. I personally think that whenever you experience such a moment you ultimately lose a piece of yourself.

    I’m not going to pretend that I know exactly what you are going through, nor that I have the answers on how to get back on track. Every event, every person experiencing them, and every person trying to help you all have one common denominator; they are different. These differences are the reason why it so incredibly difficult to find an answer. My recommendation is to take any advice with a grain of salt. Use what you can, and disregard all the rest. Look at it as a period of discovery. Discovery of the new you because face it you will not be exactly the same again. Do whatever you need to do in order to move forward and make the best life you can, but do it at your own pace. Ease yourself into trying new things that you didn’t do before or make changes in your life that you think will make it better. Start training for a marathon (of any size), take an art or cooking class, or start to volunteer somewhere. But most importantly don’t do what is expected of you, do what is right for you and your children. Even if someone weighs in that they disagree with what you are doing they will eventually understand. Open that new window to let some fresh air in and let time be the mold to shape all the rest to follow: sense of normalcy, certainty, belonging, and becoming whole once again.

    Liked by 1 person

    Only Office Space said:
    April 2, 2015 at 11:42 pm

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    Like

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