A widows fog. A phrase I never knew existed until I was thrown in to the world of widowhood. I didn’t have to read about it, I experienced it. From the moment he died I had the immediate understanding of what it was. It’s a hard thing to describe to someone who hasn’t walked this path in life, but for those of you who are on this similar path, I think you know exactly what I am speaking of. Most of the time it is a simple haze I am walking around in. My peripheral vision is blurred and I can simply focus on what is in front of me. I can take care of the one thing I am focused on at a time and then move forward to the next. This leads to forgetfulness. Not the usual forgetfulness you think of as you age or when you have too much on your plate. It’s a repetitive, annoying, drive yourself crazy forgetfulness. If it’s in your head, it’s there for just a moment and then it’s gone…sometimes for good. I recently remembered that I forgot the birthdays of two family members months ago. I know when their birthdays are; I am sure I thought I need to send them a gift, but then it was gone. It didn’t resurface until almost 5 months later. This is small in the world of fog. I never…and I mean never know where my keys or my phone are. I can’t get out of my house. Without my trusted babysitter, I am not sure I would have made it to work all year. She would check me off with all my belongings. Some days I would return home two or three times to pick up things I forgot. I can’t remember the countless times I arrived at work without my computer. And paying bills is a constant struggle for me. I tend to either completely forget to pay a bill or like what I’ve been doing lately, paying the same bill two or three times. These are just a couple of examples of how crazy I have felt in the past year or so.
It’s more than all that though. The fog is overwhelming. It is distracting. When it is thick and all-consuming (and at times it is just that) – I can find myself stuck. Stuck in one place. Not thinking of anything. Not doing anything. Just stuck. Hours go by before I start to rise out of the fog. It’s almost like a black out and yet I am still conscious. Daily, the fog lies low all around. It interferes with all that I do. It’s almost like zoning out, but it is happening simultaneously with my daily life. The fog takes over my thoughts, intereferes with my conversations, and makes focus on life difficult.
They claim it won’t last forever. I think it is there to help ease the pain. I think in the beginning the fog is there to blanket the wounds of loss. To keep some of the pain at bay. For if you felt it all at once, I am sure it would end you. I don’t think we as humans can handle that much pain at once. As time has gone by, I think the fog is just lingering as I adjust to my new life. I wish I understood it. I wish I could make it go away.
Maybe it is keeping me grounded or focused on what NEEDS to get done. All the little things don’t really matter anymore anyways. Maybe it is there as a reminder that I am not truly okay yet. Maybe it’s just the lingering reminder that I am alone. I don’t know what it is. I just know that it is. It leaves me wanting to be alone; to disappear into my mind and find my own way. It leads me to revert back to the early days after Pat’s death where I need to consciously remind myself to get up, take care of the boys, do something. I am still here for a reason. I have no idea what that is just yet, but I have to keep reminding myself that I am here and I need to keep living. I hate that it takes a constant reminder to do this, but it does. It still does.
Perhaps one day, the fog will lift and I will come out on the other side happy, healthy and confident. I will fully engage in life again;no longer dipping my toes in the pool of life, but rather jumping in with a cannonball; Making a splash that will rain down upon me bringing me the comfort and security of my new life ahead. Maybe…