Finished Hiding

There’s something about being widowed the first year that consists of a lot of hiding, and just removing yourself cognitively from situations. I can’t explain it entirely, you just have to live it. Your first priority is taking care of yourself, which is innate because your body goes into survival mode. The pain of losing a love is just so great and your body and mind adjust to protect. Hence the denial, anger, depression, etc. Eventually you learn to adapt and accept, but as many self-help, widow message boards, or books there are to guide a person through grief there’s nothing that can really navigate what is this whole grieving process. There are times when people’s grief is relatable and there’s comfort knowing that you’re not suffering alone, but the whole journey is all about understanding yourself.

I’ve been dealing with a surge of self-confidence recently, I almost want to consider it flexing my independence to be honest. I’m not sure if it’s related to the weather and the finality of lacrosse season, but I want to be out there and experiencing as much as possible. I’m thirsty for adventure. I’ve been learning how to play pool at night to occupy my time rather than heading out drinking, which I did at this time last year. I can confidently say I’m making far better use of my time at this point than I was a year ago. But the pain of losing him isn’t as fresh, but the void is still wretched. I don’t think that ever gets better. The longing to share with him what’s been going on in my life continues to grow, but the reality is crystal. His death has shaped my current life, and I do think it’s for the better. I managed to come out of this horrible experience as a better person. And the love we had for each other was the catalyst for change and wanting to improve. There was some casualties during the process, but I don’t really look back at it. Push forward and learn to adapt. That’s what life is right? I don’t wish for greener grass, I just want to play in what I have right now.

I’m happy with the state of my life and I’m ready to stop being protective. The battle scars won’t go away, but they won’t define me either. It was George and Julia for so long, but now I’m proud to be Julia.

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About J.

Fitness professional, fitness & nutrition writer, widowed at 28. Writing about getting through grief through self-care, physical activity, and the ​constant feeling of being uncomfortable.
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5 Responses to Finished Hiding

  1. mewhoami says:

    This was a very inspiring read. Glad to hear that you are enjoying life.

  2. dcheramie says:

    excellent, it gives me hope ; very happy for you

  3. lehaddock says:

    It’s rare to find such a simple and yet, accurate description for being a widow. I find your comment “the whole journey is all about understanding yourself” to be the truest statement- becoming a me again, instead of a we.

  4. chrispy191 says:

    I am currently in my first year and am hoping to get to a point like this…

    • J. says:

      It’s not a easy ride. I feel like with grief there’s no wrong way to react, however there’s more productive ways to heal. I chose fitness as my tool, but anyway to express that feels right, hang on to it and ride it until you begin to feel whole again.

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