Sorry this is a bit of a ramble.
I had a night out last week. It was nothing special…nothing fancy.
Life as a widow…it’s different. I don’t know quite how to describe it. I’m coming to terms with it but that doesn’t for a moment mean that I don’t get teary eyed or that I don’t catch myself from time to time thinking, “I’ll ask Kramer about that when he gets home” only to remember, he’s not coming home. It’s a long process. It feels like he’s been gone for forever, but it’s really now been 4 months.
This sign came up in my Facebook feed and more than anything I’ve seen, this speaks to me.
I think this it true for so many of us…not only widows…parents who have a child with a disability….a missed promotion…an unplanned pregnancy…a cancer diagnosis….failure of a huge test that means moving on, and the list goes on and on.
I was talking to one of my kids the other day… and said that I’m not especially lonely in terms that most people think of lonely…I’m just lonely for Kramer. The kids are here often. I have childcare kids and parents in and out of the house all the time. I’m not lonely.
BUT….Kramer, did something for me that no one else could do….I would say, “I want this like my Mom had it her house”…and he’d know what that was. I would say, “Well you know what he’s like.”…and Kramer knew. I’d say, “Oh, I wish this kid of ours would do (whatever)” and he’d know exactly why I thought that. I’m lonely for Kramer and the things that only he knew…I guess, I miss our bonded history and deep knowledge of each other that no one else can know.
Well last week I went out with another local widow for supper. She’s close to my age. She lost her husband within the last couple years. She knows what it’s like. She’s recently experienced many of the same feelings I have. It was nice to talk to someone unguarded who “got it”.
We talked about LOTS of stuff….
I mentioned how hard it is to go to a wedding…she understood.
I laughed and mentioned that in all my complaining about all little household things that I thought Kramer wasn’t doing, he was actually doing things. I realized that when I had to figure out how to change the furnace filter. She laughed and totally understood.
When I asked if she’s very good at cooking for herself she admitted she wasn’t and I understood.
We talked about how hard it is to “interrupt” a married person’s life. If I call someone married and ask about going out for supper, I feel like I’m invading on their personal time. In truth, I’m sure, they likely don’t feel that way, but I feel that way.
Seriously…try as they might, there are a lot of things that are hard to explain…and hard to understand unless you’re a widow. Another widow knows how it feels to go to a wedding and feel like you’re a reminder that marriages can come to an abrupt halt….that sickness and health, sometime really does mean sickness…that the until death do you part can happen before either of you ever dreamed….
Another widow understands how hard it is to ask for help…to figure out how to fix a problem your spouse would have previously fixed (for me, I currently have a wasp problem)…to want to be very independent, but sometimes hiccups happen and you just can’t keep the independence you crave.
People have been so good to me…unbelievably good to me, but super out with another widow that I could be upfront and honest to was about the best thing for me. We chatted and talked that we need to get out a little more and do a few more things….supper, a movie…something-anything.
It was awesome to get a validation of sorts that thoughts I had were “normal”. That’s something I really only could get from another widow. So when I said, it was nice…I really mean it.
I’ve told my kids that I really, really love them and want to spend time with them, but I need to get out a little with adults. I’m SO terrible at it. Kramer was always the social one…me, not so much. Honestly, I used him as my security blanket in social situations. So, getting out with adults is something I’m working on. I’m not expecting amazing results….but little by little…one supper, or one walk with a friend, I’m doing it. I have to push myself from time to time but I think it’s good and to date, I’ve had good results.
I’m trying to live a little of what the sign said. I’m trying to let go of the picture of what I thought life would be like & learning to find joy in the story I’m living.