“In sickness and in health, til death due us part”…I lived my vows through and through. I loved my husband, I cared for my husband and I was there until the very end. I was by his side during every test, every appointment, every treatment, every moment. There is no doubt that I loved him. And yet as I have become a widow and have started to try and live forward in my life, I feel as though my love for him is being questioned, or doubted. Me finding a life for myself does not take away anything from the love I had and still have for my husband. Finding happiness and a new path is honoring him. He would have given anything to still be here living and loving. Why would I simply curl up and mourn him forever and not live a life that I am lucky to have? He would be screaming at me if I did.
We did a lot of talking to each other throughout his sickness and especially after the 6 month to live moment. We talked about everything you can imagine. We talked about the past, the present, our regrets, our hopes, our fears and we talked about what was heading our way as he was dying. He told me everything he wanted for me. He wanted me to take risks and do what I love. He told me to get out of a job I hated and figure out what I truly believe in and spend my time doing that. He told me to find happiness and live freely. He wanted me to find love again, he wanted me to find my passion, and he wanted me to do this for him. And so that is what I am trying to do.
It’s not easy though. It’s really pretty damn hard. It’s almost too much pressure for me at times. I don’t want to disappoint him. I don’t want to not fully take advantage of the gift of life I still have. I want to see and do everything for him…in his memory. But I am still unsure of what I am doing. It’s been almost two years…in one sense that seems like a long time and in another it doesn’t. I have accepted that my life that I had before is over. I have acknowledged that I am no longer the same person who wants the same things out of life. I have let people go and I have let people in. It hasn’t been an easy two years in any way that you look at it. I am still scared of losing…people I care about, things I love. I am still scared of screwing up and taking risks and not finding my path. And parenting….I can’t even begin to tell you how hard this is. Doing this solo is practically breaking me. And I do break…but I get up. Each time I get up and dust myself off and figure it out.
That’s what we widows do….we figure it out. People need to understand that our past life with our late spouses, and our new lives we are creating for ourselves are two separate entities. We carry the pain and the love and the loss and everything that went with our former life forward with us into our new life, but we can never go back. It is not an option for us. We can not live as though it is or else we are destined to live a sad, lonely life. And I am not going to do that.
My struggle on this day is that I am doing the best I can and yet I don’t feel like I am doing anything. I am going through the days trying to make the right choices for me and the boys and trying to figure things out, but at the end of the day, I feel as though I am right back to where I started. I am stuck at that starting line trying to figure out which foot to put in front of the other in order to get going. I see many paths laid out in front of me and I am full aware that it is up to me to make the choice, and start heading down the road of life again. For some reason, I keep making a u-turn just as I am getting started.
So that’s where I’m with the on going battle in my head. I am still making a couple more practice laps around the track of fear before I really strap on my running shoes and start living. But I will do it. And that is something that I keep reminding myself. There is no timeline for this grief process or the healing process or for that matter, the whole process of life. I just need to keep getting up and remember that I loved my husband and I gave him everything and all of me…and it is time for me to do the same for me. That is what he would have wanted.