Author Topic: Passed three years  (Read 702 times)

Jess

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Passed three years
« on: August 01, 2017, 12:39:08 PM »
I just passed three years last week. I have been thinking a lot about me before being widowed, me just after being widowed, and me now. It is like three different people cut from a similar cloth but so very different.

Before being widowed, I was very naive and had no idea. I believed in sure things. I was a planner. I got upset over meaningless nothings and although I would try not to hold grudges, I still would. I didn't have a lot of focus on my career because I felt my main purpose was supporting my husband and his important work. I felt loved, secure, and happy in our marriage... and then he was gone.

Just after being widowed, I thankfully am very fuzzy on the details, but I do remember some things. I wished for death to come find me the way it found Joe. I'd fantasize about jets crashing into my house, a rogue meteor deciding my living room was a proper landing area. I didn't eat and lived on protein shakes. It took me about four months to stop sleeping on the couch and start sleeping in my bed. I made a return to work after three weeks, but I couldn't really do my job in any capacity for a few more months. I would try to watch a 30 minute tv show and it would take me three tries to do it. Time stretched on so long and far it felt like it took a week to live a single day. The idea of continuing to excruciatingly tick off time just waiting for the world to be done with me felt far worse than death.

Through the support of friends, including many here, eventually time returned to its normal pace. I decided that this new life I never wanted had to mean something, and I kept coming back to something Joe would say when posed with a choice: "I just want you to be happy". So, as impossible as it was, that is what I set out to do. Simply find some way to be happy.

I began to think about my career in a way I hadn't before and have gotten promoted. By all accounts, I'm doing really great at my new role, which I have now been in for a year. There's some exciting possibilities on the horizon on that front and I am scared as hell, but also feeling ready.

I had to move households because I couldn't afford the home we had together. The new place is smaller, but chopped about 30 minutes off of my commute so it is a good thing. I am slowly making my way through Joe's stuff and selling or donating it as I decide is fitting. I am getting close to having a third bedroom in my home instead of boxes stacked floor to ceiling. Although that work is hard, it makes me feel lighter each time I make an actual decision.

A few days after being widowed, I told people I would never look for anyone to be in my life again. The pain was just too much. Turns out, despite me not looking, I did find someone, and we have a wonderful life together where we do our best to remember that every moment is important. Joe and I never were successful having kids, but I now am bonus mom to a wonderful 19 year old that I love as much as if I raised her.

So, when I think about whether or not I have been successful in being happy, I have to say yes. The sad days don't go away altogether. A few times a week when I drive to work I let my mind drift and usually emit a single sob before pulling it together and walking into the office to throw myself into continuing to build my career. Other days I give it permission to wash over me more and live in the hazy sadness of just missing a wonderful guy, but those days are getting fewer and farther in between.

I remember being so terrified of forgetting him, especially since shock did a number on me in the beginning and I had trouble conjuring up simple details about him. Things started coming back and sometimes still will come back, more often than not making me smile.

If you made it this far in my ramblings, thank you for taking the time and humoring me as I type out a lot of the things that have been on my mind.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. - Unknown

Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Joe: 1979- 7/2014

Wheelerswife

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 12:59:03 PM »
Hugs, Jess.

I have enjoyed a small window into your story. I think it is important to tell that story, too. I think it is important to hear the stories of our members as each moves through life after widowhood. I know it gives me hope that I, too, can find more purpose and reinvent myself -again.

Best wishes to you and J and H.

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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Julester3

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 01:11:42 PM »
Hugs Jess! Thank you so much for sharing! It's valuable to see what 3 years out could look like.

JeanGenie

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 09:14:02 PM »
Jess, Thanks for sharing! There is so much of what you described that I can related to. I especially love your analogy of it being like three different people...I can so relate to that. I just haven't totally figured out the third person yet....but I'm starting and I'm hopeful and scared at the same time. Your story gives me hope though!
 
I miss how happy I was with you.

MR

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 03:40:23 PM »
Thanks for sharing. I haven't gone thru my wife stuff and was thinking why it is taking me so long. I am 11 months since that day. After reading yours I realized I don't have to rush.

Hugs
Manoj

Jess

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 06:10:31 PM »
I just haven't totally figured out the third person yet....but I'm starting and I'm hopeful and scared at the same time. Your story gives me hope though!

I haven't totally figured out the third person for myself either! Always a work in progress, and it is scary pretty much every day. Yet every day I survive it and learn a little bit more about who she is and who I want her to be.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. - Unknown

Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Joe: 1979- 7/2014

Jess

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 06:17:12 PM »
Thanks for sharing. I haven't gone thru my wife stuff and was thinking why it is taking me so long. I am 11 months since that day. After reading yours I realized I don't have to rush.

Hugs
Manoj

You absolutely, positively do not have to rush it. Waiting until it feels right is really important, and I think that timeframe can vary greatly from person to person. Even though all of us are here because we lost our partners, we are grieving our individual relationships so it does truly mean huge things like that will be at your own pace.

For me, the tipping point was realizing I didn't have enough space for a combined household of stuff and that in reality, my LH had his own bedroom and we needed that space. I was so used to just not going into that room it almost became not real to me... something I could ignore to deal with another day. Then, suddenly one day it just felt like TIME. I have made decisions on a lot, but still struggle with some things, but sometimes I find what I cannot face a decision on one day is something I am ready to decide about a few days or weeks later.

Something I have also done that has made it easier it set aside a specific amount of room for the really cherished items. I keep them in a cabinet and also plan to have a plastic bin of things I want to keep but don't want in the cabinet.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. - Unknown

Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Joe: 1979- 7/2014

Jennica

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2017, 10:06:12 PM »
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I will be at a year at the end of this month. I know I have made progress but always wonder about the future. It's nice to read those that share their progression and also their struggles. So happy for you😊.

BrokenHeart2

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 12:51:11 AM »
Yes Jess I too feel like I am developing into the 3rd person and still trying to figure it all out.  It's like a work in progress that is interesting and weird at the same time.  At times I feel like a bit of the old me is coming through (I kind of missed that old me for a few years) and at the same time discovering I'm changing but in a good way, which I do like very much.
Such a lovely thought provoking topic! Thanks!
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.

Mizpah

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2017, 11:43:25 AM »
I have been thinking a lot about me before being widowed, me just after being widowed, and me now. It is like three different people cut from a similar cloth but so very different.

I can relate to so much you said.  It's so true, and a lot to synthesize.  At more than six years, I'm only now starting to get what feels like a true perspective or insight into these three people I've been, starting to synthesize or integrate it all into the me I am now, figuring out how to proceed, what I value, what I want, less in a life way but on an individual level.  This widowhood $h!t throws you for a loop, and the dust settles slowly over years, all jumbled, all the pieces there, but everything in different places and pointing in new and different directions.
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Adley

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 03:06:48 PM »
Thanks Jess, I needed that. I hit the three year mark at the end of march. I agree, totally different person now. I can feel my old self under the surface, but I don't really want to be that person anymore. I miss the humor, now even when I laugh at something genuinely funny the sadness isn't 100 % gone, and I much prefer comedy to tragedy. Something that sometimes haunts me is a conversation between my brother and I when we were teenagers discussing our paths just a couple years away. I maintained that a life worth living should be as good as a great book- you should be able to write your story and the audience wouldn't be able to put it down. My chapter 1 was 31 years of good reading, but the ending was terrible. Chapter two was much shorter, but it was just plain bad writing. Sometimes it feels like my rudder's broke and the wind is blowing the wrong way and I can't change the tragic course of this dreadful novel I'm living. Our characters have become very dynamic, but we still at least have partial control over the pen and paper.
    At over three years myself, I guess this is some kind of chapter 3. It's started out pretty weak, but the new plot seems to be gaining momentum. The old plot is totally gone so it's a very confusing book so far. Sorry if I got off topic, I just want to say that while we've all been through the worst sorts of tragedy, I don't want any of our stories to end that way. One thing that I think/hope is helping me is to focus on small things I can control. I'm sure many of us once lived under the same illusion as most people- that we control more than we actually do. Well, that one's gone now. It doesn't mean we have to be hopeless, maybe that we can just manage our focus a little better. sorry for the italics, I'm no Tech guy.
Here's to my pretty young wife     sleepin amongst the stars           now they say what's hers is mine but I know what's ours is ours

BrokenHeart2

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2017, 04:55:31 PM »
Thanks Adley, you touched on something for me.  As I said in my previous post I feel a bit of the old me is coming through and I do miss that.  Your statement " I can feel my old self under the surface, but I don't really want to be that person anymore."  Yes, there are some things that I miss but I too don't or maybe more like can't be that old me.  It's a work in progress I guess so I'll just have to see where it takes me. 
I'm also getting an itch to travel.  Maureen and Adley has inspired me on that one.  I'm thinking of packing a bag and just going where my car takes me.  Any bagos coming up in the northern US or west Canada? :)

You see wids, it's amazing when you start a post or contribute your thoughts/feelings, you just never know how its going to affect someone.  It's not always going to be the sunshine stuff but the hard heartwrenching stuff too (that we all know only too well) is an important contribution!
Hugs
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.

Suki1

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Re: Passed three years
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2017, 08:13:36 PM »
Thank you, Jess, for your post. I'm at 3-1/2 years and so much of what you wrote I can relate to. And the rest gives me something to think about, including dealing with going through stuff/belongings.