Since about May, I’ve become a little bit more active in the widow community again. I took a significant hiatus off, almost about three months into widowhood to around the 3.5 year mark.
The widow boards are really depressing, and they make me feel bad about my grief, or why I don’t miss him more.
I also feel judged for pushing forward with my life rather than wiping my tears away with his old dusty sweaters.
When I was newly widowed, using the W card to get out of sticky situations worked. Why did I forget something? Widow brain. Why did I lose my temper? My husband died 4 months ago. But now, I can’t use that excuse. Nor do I ever whip out the widow card. The only time I do is when I’m offered alcohol, and I don’t want to drink. “You know my husband died of liver cancer, right?” No more questions.
Though my loss is a significant turning point in my life, and George’s family’s lives, to my friends, neighbors, boyfriend, coworkers, colleagues, it’s really not that important. And I choose not to emphasize it. Though sometimes something will remind me of George and I will openly say, “Oh, my husband used to…” In my own time, just like I did when I was newly widowed, I grieve in my own time when I’m alone.
Why doesn’t my loss affect others? Why did people stop talking about my husband?
Life pushes forward, whether I want it to or not. And I’m either on this ride, or I’m left behind. My previous life isn’t diminished because I am finding happiness away from him. It’s quite the opposite, I’m fulfilling my life because of the love I have for George. I’m still very much in love with him, and I always will be. When I think about him, or when I look at pictures, it brings me happiness. But here’s the thing, when I look at the pictures of us together, I don’t really see it as me anymore. And it does look like a stranger is with my husband. But that’s growth. That’s development, and the girl who was with George is not me. It was me, but I am different, and his loss has changed me. And I can’t expect others to remain frozen too.
My loss is my W scarred on my heart. The scars are mine to own, and others don’t have the wounds I had to endure. He is one thought away at all time for me. No one has turned their back, but instead, they have allowed me to grow at my own pace and time.