Author Topic: That Moment  (Read 4722 times)


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That Moment
« on: April 18, 2015, 10:15:05 PM »
That moment. The one in which I realized, I'm a widow. Widow.

One would think that realization would have sunk in after I lay down with his still, but warm, lifeless body after the ravages of CPR.

Or at his private viewing, the sight of his name on the placard outside his viewing room sending me reeling. Or peering down at his "Interview With the Vampire" corpse nestled in his casket, his hair slicked back, not gleaming and slightly mussed, as in life.

Not even his funeral, which I was heavily medicated for, and scarcely recall much of, did the fact of being widowed register.

But as we were dismissing from the chapel, and a wobbly-legged me was being ushered out to the limo in the funeral procession, I stepped into the chapel foyer. The double doors were opened, and there stood lining either side was his pallbearers. The cloud of sedation lifted for that moment. They looked at me somberly, gravely, respectfully, and two of them opened the outermost doors of the church, streaming light into my face.

There it was.

Like that moment in a wedding where the bride prepares to glide down the aisle, fully knowing her life is changing with each step towards her groom. Except this was the macabre, horrifying counterpoint. Stricken, I realized once I stepped outside those doors, and into the light, I would do so as a widow.


Though lovers be lost, love shall not, and death shall have no dominion--Dylan Thomas


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 10:23:13 PM »
It is the moment that changes our life forever.
I remember it well. I wish I hadn't.


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 10:38:37 PM »
I honestly don't know when that moment hit me. I remember hearing the word "widow" during the first few days-- my father-in-law kept calling me "my son's widow," and every time I heard it I wanted to scream, "I AM NOT HIS WIDOW, I AM HIS WIFE!!!!!!!" For months I couldn't even say it. Eventually I could say "wid"-- that didn't hurt so much. It's only been in the last couple of months that I can actually come out and say-- with a hitch in my throat-- "I am a widow." I hate it. Every single time.

But I realise something: a widow isn't all that I am. It may be the main thing, the title that currently trumps all the other roles I play in this life, but there's more to me than this grief. I'm hanging onto that. Maybe one of these days "widow" can be further down the list. Maybe...
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 10:51:44 PM »
Going through all of that too I realized I was just numb with pain and did what needed to be done just as I did taking care of DH. It's when the ceremony of life has ended just like you said Baylee the pain hit.  'You would do so as a widow'. Not a thing we can do about it but learn to live with it and grow from this destructive seed.
We can and will do it together.
Tight hugs.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 09:29:12 AM by BrokenHeart2 »
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2015, 11:16:35 PM »
The can't breathe  :-\pain hit for me at about 4 am a couple of nights later when everyone went back to their lives.  I thought I was having a heart attck but realized it was an anxiety attack. Never had one in my 52 yrs. scared the crap out of me.  Took a warm shower and crawled back into bed and was ok after a sleep. Those early days sucked the life out of me. I'm just getting a semblance of living now. Had a good day today.  Whew, did I just say that!
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 11:55:14 PM »
The first time...I came home from the hospital the night he died and I went to get into bed and the reality hit me that this day...which I had dreaded since the day I met him over 18 years had come.  He was dead.  I was alone.  I was a widow.  I crawled into bed on his side and I've slept on "his" side ever since.

The second time, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of a winery in Connecticut after having received the news that the police had found him dead back at home in Kansas.  Several friends had been messaging with me while I waited for that phone call.  One of my dear widow friends sent me a text, "Have you heard anything?"  My response, "He's dead."  Then it hit me...AGAIN.  Widowed AGAIN.

It's never easy.  I prefer to be called my husband's wife, too, not his widow.  I am used to saying that I am a widow, though.  I'm not sure that makes sense, but it does to me.

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

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

Empathy  Developer  Responsibility  Adaptability Connectedness

A Tout Jamais

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Re: That Moment
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 11:12:30 AM »

Wishing you Peace and Serenity as you move forward on this road!

« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 06:51:14 PM by A Tout Jamais »
"Tu n'es plus là où tu étais, mais tu es partout là où je suis."
~~ Victor Hugo

"Je me souviens de toi ... Je me souviens de nous  - Il était une fois -  Je me souviens de tout!"


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 02:40:02 PM »
Huge hugs. For me, that moment came at the hospital. I was sitting in the wheel chair and suddenly I screamed, "I'm a widow! I'm too young to be a widow."

In three months it will be three years since that fateful day and I still can't believe it's true.
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. - Hebrews 4:7-8
Alex 1/31/91-7/19/12


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2015, 02:48:52 PM »
Sending each of you a tight hug. I'm sorry you've each had to experience that moment. For me it really hit home the first time I had to fill out a form with marital status on it. I remember thinking it was impossible for me to really be a widow, even though it was weeks after T died unexpectedly. Such a tiny square box that hit me like a load of bricks. I remember feeling like I might throw up. Checking that box felt like it was forever changing my status - ending my marriage in a way. I still hate checking that awful box.
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2015, 03:40:49 PM »
I also say My husband passed away because that way I can still say the word husband
my worst fear is that he fades away and the world forgets about him with each day 
I still don't think I have ever been able to say the widow word.
It just came  to me that maybe that is how I am described to other people
the image I see when I hear that word is a 90 year old women who got to have a long life with her husband
I did realize I was in this widow world when calling the health insurance company after and when asked are you married
I said yes (habit of course) and she replied after a few clicks on her computer keyboard
Says here your husband passed away so No you are no longer considered Married ....Bam right in the gut
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Re: That Moment
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2015, 04:18:43 PM »
My moment was leaving the cancer center without him, and then traveling 3 hours to our home. Then entering our home without him.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2015, 04:56:18 PM »
Hugs to everyone here. I never had one specific moment that I realized I was a widow, but rather many of them. One was the funeral procession in which I was the first one after the casket. Another was at the wake, where the biggest chair was in the front and center, presumably for me. Then came the many times I had to tell people that my husband died.

Sometimes it still doesn't feel real.
Gone but not Squish.

Miss you forever baby girl, my Pru!


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2015, 05:06:04 PM »
Like MissingSquish and Jen, there wasn't a single, definable moment, in which the realization truly sank in that I was a widow. Rather, there have been a number of small, nearly indiscernible moments of clarity, in which my reality hit me square in the face. Some of those moments have come at expected times, such as those few small moments, after my Kenneth took his final breath, and that first night I faced sleeping alone, without him. Other times, it sort of sneaks up on me. I will be going along just fine, and then, BAM! One moment, I will be in the grocery store, trying to decide whether to pick up steak or chicken for dinner, thinking I should call him and get his opinion, when it occurs to me, I am widowed. There is no one at home to call, no one to cook for, no one to enjoy a meal with....
"The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude." - Thornton Wilder

Thank you, my dearest Kenneth, for loving me and for giving me the best 13 years of my life.


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2015, 06:25:21 PM »
I had many little times where it reminded me I was now alone.  But I still struggle with saying it.  The first moment was last call when dispatched announced this as the last call and retired my loves number.  I knew I was truly alone as a partner and wife.


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Re: That Moment
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2015, 08:17:32 AM »
His first "funeral" to me was like a random church service. His body was still in Saudi. And for 6 weeks after he died life was all about the details of getting his body here, his effects, his "death benefit", finding somewhere to move to. So when January 17th rolled around and I didn't have the "cloud" of recent shock, I had to drive behind a motorcycle missing man formation escort for nearly an hour to the cemetery and when I was shown to my seat in front of that table with that flag on it I lost the ability to breathe.  But That Moment for me, was when that young soldier knelt before me with those pristine white gloves and sincere brown eyes and handed me that flag. OMG.  I can hardly breathe right now thinking about it.
I can't look at the stars they make me wonder where you are. 
Stars.... up on heaven's boulevard
And if I know you at all
I know you've gone too far
 So I .... I can't look at the stars --Grace Potter