Monday, October 22, 2012
Now that I'm past the 5 year mark, I find that less people can relate to what I have to say. In the beginning throes of grief, so many of the fundamental elements are the same for us all. And as we move further away from that dreaded day, our lives expand, becoming more complicated and, therefore, more our own and less for everyone else.
But I still write. Mainly because I can't help it. I've given up on the idea that people read it and use it as sort of a diary. Because this blog has been a map of my life and I need it more than anyone else.
Last week I ended a 3 and a half year relationship. It wasn't without drama, but it was for the simple fact that it wasn't working. No one did anything wrong and neither party was a bad person. It just happened.
I'm wondering if that's the hardest kind of break-up - the kind where you can't say that someone else was horrible. The kind that you have to admit the basics aren't there. What I am starting to understand about that kind of parting is that it makes it harder to explain to other people when both sides of the relationship are basically good in their own way. Just maybe not good together.
So here I am...over 5 years since my husband died. And for over half that time I've been in this relationship in which I've invested not only my heart but my precious time and visions for the future. The other party asked at one point, "What the hell is wrong with you?"
And I had no answer.
I spent the beginning of my widowhood afraid of being alone. Insecure with myself, my baggage, and what I thought I didn't have to offer I needed someone to tell me that, yes, I was worth something. That I was dynamic and down-to-earth at the same time. To give me worth when, for some reason, I felt like I had none.
It's strange to say that becoming a widow probably made me feel as abandoned as someone else might feel going through a divorce. But it's true.
So now what? Here I am, single for the first time since 2009. The kids have lost the only father figure they really remember because they were so young when my husband died. There have been tears and hearts broken that I hope will mend. There are things around the house that I don't know how to fix that I was once dependent on my husband for, then a boyfriend, and now...who?
I guess that would be me.
If there's one thing I know about myself at this point is that I can be alone. Yes, I was in a relationship for a while, but I was alone before that. If I don't know how to fix it, I know who to call. I know where the plunger is. I know how to start a lawn mower.
These are all vast improvements from my early widow years.
All I can think is that with every heartbreak - whether it's from death or the loss of a relationship - there is something to be learned.
It could be what we want.
It could be what we miss.
Then again, it might just be what we find out about ourselves through the barrel rolls of life.
Widow Chick (aka, Catherine Tidd) is the owner of www.theWiddahood.com and the author of the upcoming memoir Confessions of a Mediocre Widow (Jan. 2014). She is also a writer for The Denver Post's Mile High Mamas and a contributor to several books on grief and renewal.