September 6, 2017

two different lives

It might seem like widows, me in particular, are a little (ok, maybe a lot) bipolar.

In one week on Facebook I made a blubbering post (I’m pretty sure you could hear me sobbing my eyes out through the computer), and then a few days later a shining post about how God is working in my life. Annnd then there’s days like today where I drop the children off at school and cry at a teacher.

Stellar.

Here’s the thing about being a widow and these mood swings - I had an incredible 15 years with my husband. Thirteen of those years I got to be his wife. I can’t think of a greater thing happening to me unless it’s being a mother. I have two amazing children that I get to watch grow up into awesome little people. Buuut. My husband is gone. And my little blessings of children, well it’s really, really hard to raise them on my own. So sometimes I feel so blessed for those years with my husband and sometimes my heart feels gutted of all substance. Sometimes I look at my children and I can’t believe I’m so lucky to call them mine. And sometimes I hear myself and wonder who that lunatic yelling at my kids is.

I’m not really bipolar. I’m not really as crazy as I might sound when I’m sobbing about the laundry piling up and having to cook another supper and having to put our shattered life back together all by myself. It’s hard. And most people can close their eyes and imagine what they would do in my situation, but most people aren’t in this situation and don’t know what it’s like.

I have two separate, totally different lives. One is gone and I want it back, and one is the replacement life that I never asked for and don’t want. It’s a funny thing to have two lives. It take a lot of mental balancing. I often will close my eyes and go back and and live the old life, just for a few minutes. But then when my eyes open, the other half of the bed is still cold and empty.

I know that there is a camp of people out there who think, it’s been 16 months. Get on with your life. I have a special kind of smile for you folks. Spoiler alert: it’s not reeealllly a smile. No amount of crying will ever bring him back. But tears are healing. I can write 500 posts on how much I miss him and it won’t change anything. But my heart feels good to speak his name.

As time goes on, each day draws me further into this new life, there are moments when I see the world of possibilities before me. But, each day also carries me from a life I loved deeply. So some moments I will be filled with hope of our future, and some moments cling to the past life of love. I loved so much about that life. I loved being married. I was made to be a wife a mom. I loved living in South America. I loved the work we did. I loved watching Todd and the children, oh, what a special bond he had with his babies.

But the future - maybe I can love that too. The day after I ordered my GRE prep book I was offered a job - a job with career potential. I looked at grad school and I looked at my other option, and I set the prep book down and haven’t opened it again. I will someday. But right now, I’m of a different and unexpected, yet fitting and fulfilling path. I don’t know what, or who, might be in our future. This morning Millie crawled into bed with me and discussed all the things she’s hoping for in a new daddy. She hopes he hurries up and finds us. She wants him to be kind and playful.

As I sat and listened to her describing the perfect daddy (who sounded suspiciously like Todd), I just smiled and agreed and someone who likes roughhousing is a necessity. I don’t know if there is a man out there who will find us or not. There’s a good chance that there’s not, honestly. Most guys my age are already married. Or don’t want to be a daddy. Or, I don’t know, they don’t have a good sense of direction to find us. But whether or not there is a guy out there for us, we need to learn how to do this new life. I need to find happiness where I’m at. Sometimes I think I’ve found it. It’s getting easier to fall asleep alone, and cook meals for just the three of us, and now that the kids are in school, there are days when I am home alone. And I need that.

If widows, me in particular, seem like they’re a little all over the place, it’s because we are. But I hear that nothing lasts forever. I hear that time bring healing and with healing comes happiness. So just bear with me. I’m a work in progress.

4 comments:

TN Quiltbug said...

I think you are doing wonderful! No criticism at all! Just prayers for God to lead in a clear way in your life, and in the lives of your children. Prayers for healing. Prayers for heaven.

Christie said...

Wow. Thank you so much for this! You spoke words I haven't been able to speak. I can relate so much to this. Thank you! ❤️

Jason Ring said...

I am widowed and understand a lot of what you wrote, but from the male side of things and I too have children to care for by myself. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....o.k. it was definitely not the best of times, but I've seen that quote twice today and thought I'd throw that out there because it seemed fitting....

For me, I've suffered from some pretty severe decision making "bipolarsism". The kind where you make a brilliant decision and literally 15 minutes later it is now a bad decision! At this point I've chosen to stop making decisions....which was a decision in and of itself and a bad one. I figured that out 15 minutes later......

Thanks for sharing your journey. I looked around your page a little bit and though the narrative is different than the one my wife and I had, the end is the same; loss. Reading your story, I cried for you and your husband as well as for my families journey. It's a tough road, but God's family is big and we can all see each other through it, with His Grace.

Again, thank you for sharing. :-)

paper writing said...

It's never easy getting over losing a loved one so you just take your time and ignore what anyone else has to say about you. I think you are doing great. And if talking and writing about him helps then go for it.

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