As a widow I have been given the gift of realizing my own personal strength. I had no other choice but to be strong for my kids. That is what we widows do. We do whatever it takes to protect our children and that involves finding strength we never knew we had. So in these past few years I have had to learn how to handle everything it takes to run a household…finances, home repair, yard work, education decisions, daily activities, transportation, the list goes on and on. I have had difficulty making some of these decisions because I never had to do them alone. I don’t fully trust my decisions without having my partner there to back me up; to support me and have my back no matter what. But whether they were the right or wrong decisions, I have learned to do it all myself. It’s just another “benefit” of being a widow.
But we do what we have to do. We put our head down and face whatever the day brings us. In the beginning it is literally minute by minute. But as time goes by it becomes a day-to-day battle, just trying to make it through without any major catastrophes. Each day I go to bed knowing I did the best I could do today and that is all I can ask for at this time.
With this new-found strength came weakness as well. And this is where the need comes into play. Unfortunately I am not the superwoman I try to appear to be. I can not do it all on my own. And God do I hate that. I hate feeling weak and I hate having to depend on other people. To need someone again means I have to put myself out there and trust someone again which means I have to open myself up to the possibility of being let down or hurt. These are things that as a widow I try desperately to avoid.
I need help from people and I depend on people, though I hate to do it. There are people who drive my kids to school, and watch my dog and kids so I can get a breath from time to time. There are people who help me with yard work and home repair when I just can’t do it all myself. These people do it for no other reason than the fact that they care. They don’t expect anything from me. They just want to help. I can’t express my appreciation for these people enough. They save me everyday.
I need these people.
But at the same time I want to continue to crawl into my own little world and focus on getting through each day. I don’t want to depend on anyone, but myself. Sometimes I need to be left alone. I need my space. I need my independence. I need to feel like I’ve got this and I am doing okay. It is such a mix of emotions and needs. I hate feeling like I want to be alone and I feel bad for isolating myself from my friends. But it is comfortable in my own little world and it is where I can handle things on my own. It’s the only place I feel like I’ve got this single parenting thing. A place where people who don’t understand or who don’t get it, can’t place their judgment, opinions or pity upon me. I definitely DON’T need any of those things.
I am sure these feelings of mine are normal in the world of widows. I am sure those of you who are walking this path understand what I am talking about. I am also sure we will all figure this out and find our place in the world again. We have survived the unimaginable, we have grown in strength and wisdom and we will find happiness again. This is my hope and my need.