This is not the usual funny post. I don’t feel funny. Today was not a good day, and I had a mini meltdown in the car. I’m not telling you this because I want pity. It’s just that sometimes I think people think I’ve been too glib, too happy and brave for someone in my situation. Not so. I’ve been whistling in the dark.
I’ve been a widow for nine months now and counting.
When Larry first died, I got a few books on widowhood to help guide me through this transition. They weren’t all that helpful. I’ve found that I am not like anyone else, and nobody else is, either. I’ve talked to several other people who are dealing with the aftermath of losing a spouse, and none of us have that many shared experiences. The most common denominator is loneliness.
When you lose someone from your life who shared every day with you, pretty much, for 35 years, your life changes in ways you cannot imagine.
I’ve written about some of those.
But one thing I read in one of the books does ring true: it doesn’t necessarily get easier. At first, I was numb. We had such a good, sheltered, happy life here on the farm that it was simple to keep going on like before, more or less, with just one less person around. But little by little, the magnitude of my loss became clear. Suddenly all decisions were mine, alone. I had no one to share my ups and downs with anymore, no one to bounce ideas off of, no one to be there in the morning and at night, and no warm husband to snuggle up to all night. Every day became a struggle, and being home was absolutely the worst.
I had some unique experiences, too.
People disappeared from my life. Some of them were family. Other people suddenly appeared. You find out who your real friends are. You find out things about yourself, the things you can handle and the things you can’t.
I don’t recommend it for sissies. No wonder so many people die soon after their spouse dies. It takes a tremendous toll on you. Sometimes I think it would be so much easier just to cash it in. But I’m a survivor, so that is not an option.
I’m dreading winter. Summer this year was brutal, but the winter will be more so. And when January rolls around, I will have come full circle with all of this. Today the grief is as fresh, and real, as it ever was. And as the feeling comes back, I find it more unbearable.
This is truly a dark night of the soul. So when does daylight come? I’ll let you know. Right now, it ain’t cheer.