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Hello-

 

I typcially write something as I approach the anniversary date of my husband's death. I've been writing for Medium, an online publication and decided to give writing my year 16 anniversary article a try there. If you want to read what I've written, here is the link.

 

https://medium.com/@msgekko/one-tough-cookie-9568c9de712c

 

I hope everyone here is approaching the holidays and new year on as solid ground as possible. To all of the other close-to-the-holidays-when-widowed widows and widowers I'm still here to report there are brighter days ahead for you. I was adamant about continuing on with Christmas even though my John died on December 7fh. On the old YWBB I wrote about some of my particular challenges. So much was lost when YWBB was shut down. I didn't save what I wrote then, back in the day, having no idea it could just go poof without enough time or notification to do anything about it. I also didn't know that I needed to save some of those writings to share later. I wish I still had them today and to have those more in the moment moments  as I figured things out for myself than this coming back with memories of what it was like.

 

But this BB is just like the other in that there are folks going through it ongoing and they share their stories. And somehow those stories are universal. 

 

One thing I got out of being widowed was a renewed interest in writing. It has taken me places other than revealing my soul about my loss and I'm writing more and more fiction these days. In the first year of being widowed I wrote a novel (still unpublished and currently being reworked) and I also wrote daily on YWBB. I joined a Writer's Guild to get out of the house and to help with loneliness even though I still, at that time, couldn't focus enough to be able to read a book. Writing allowed me some respite away from the hurt, a way to sooth my broken heart and most importantly a way to find myself, changed but still me. 

 

If you go to Medium there are several articles I've written about  being widowed, loneliness and the signs I continue to get from my late husband. 

 

Lastly, if there are widows and widowers here who need some extra money and who like to write, Medium has a system by which you can make a little bit of money for your 

writing.  I mention it because I know I would have appreciated such a thing when I was more newly widowed. There is a Widowhood publication there but nobody has submitted anything for it...I tried to get in touch with the person who started it but he/she never got back to me. 

 

I try to read a lot inside of Medium and have found some great articles about being widowed. You can search for them in their format- they allow writers to tag their works. I've tried Widowhood, Death, Grief, Grieving etc. There are some excellent offerings about all sorts of aspects of those tags.

 

Peace to everyone. 

 

Judy

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Thank you for posting this.  I just read your medium piece and can relate to it on so many levels, even if I'm only just now approaching six (exhausting) years.  If anyone had tried to tell me that this is what my life would look like 6 years ago, I would have said, "Impossible!"  While much in life now is very good, it remains difficult and disorienting sometimes.  There was something that was, and it was real but it doesn't always feel like it was real anymore.  And then there is now.  I think the shock of the trajectory our lives have taken (my daughter and me) has taken a toll on me that is commensurate with the shock of my husband's death.  In the beginning, I was very tentative and conservative about making decisions but once I started making them, it was like a tsunami of change and I am still floating in those flood waters, waiting for them to recede and allow for something that feels more like terra firma.  I've had enough change for a lifetime.  And I say this as a person who knows full well that, with three living, local grandparents edging up on or over 80 in my daughter's life, there is plenty more change on the horizon.   I'm exhausted - in every imaginable way.  Oh, and I still have a pre-teen to see through what will surely be a couple of *interesting* years....  Thanks for your post and sending wishes for peace right back.  

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Thank you for this, Judy. I realized it had been too long since I had logged in here to connect with my supportive widda friends, and yours was the first post I opened to read. Resonates on so many levels.  

 

I was going to start a thread reaching out to those on their widowed journey for ten years or more with a request for words of wisdom and guidance on that big milestone - so your post sang out to me. I'm feeling the slow-yet-swift-slide to the ten year mark on this widowed journey - ready or not, here it comes. I welcome others to share their longer-term perspectives on what they've learned so far. Stronger together.

 

I just read your beautiful published article on Medium - such a well-phrased and heartful expression. So lovely.  Thank you for the link.

I also clicked on and read in full this one you published in October:  https://theweeklyknob.com/now-that-everything-is-broken-3ba15fee0416

..and that is when the tears flowed. Needed tears, I guess.

Thank you - such perspective and powerful writing in all the heart-words that I've read from you. I hope the lessons you shined a light upon get internalized and shared near and far, from generation to generation.

Quote

We should have all worked harder to be close. And by close I mean in the same town. I mean under the same roof.    Because, if I’m with you I don’t need a cell phone to call you and I don’t need a computer to email you.  … My life then, would have been enriched.  And also, then, maybe your lives would have been enriched too. … the important thing about life is our connection to those we love.” – Quoting Judy  https://theweeklyknob.com/now-that-everything-is-broken-3ba15fee0416

Do give it a read, friends; a few minutes shared with Judy - well spent.

I know these days leading up to the winter holidays can bring so many emotional triggers to so many. I'm so glad our moderators and all admin continue to keep this online space alive and flowing and that the contributions from so many who have walked the path help buoy the journey for those more recently widowed.  I saw how many registered members we've grown to now - sad reality of life as the years move forward - more widowed people. So grateful this remains a safe space for support and guidance to help light the path ahead for so many.

Warm wishes from me in Florida to all of you, my "W" friends, worldwide.

 

 

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Thank you, Judy. That was beautiful and what I needed as I approach my 10-year sadiversary. Much in my life is the same, but there is more change than not. Sometimes I'm stuck, other times flowing with energy. Half my friends never met DH, a fact I sometimes forget because I often feel like he just left. Then I get gobsmacked at all that he has missed. Widowhood never ends.

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Sunshine Fl=

 

Thanks for reading further. It really means the world to me. I don't always write stories like the one you have quoted but I do think that particular piece is one of my better moments. When YWBB was up and running and I was newly widowed, writing was one of the things that kept me going. The community of other widowed folks was another. 

 

So today is 16 years. It is impossible to believe that so much time has passed because I feel like all of that happened yesterday. Except it doesn't hurt the same way. After John died all I wanted was to not hurt so damned much all the time. It was such a process to find healing. Hurting like that is no way to live but when you are experiencing the first really raw days/months/years of grief there is no way to concieve that you can actually feel ok again. I remember waking up and thinking 

 

Not another day of feeling this way. It just sucked so bad! The worst part of it was I din't have him anymore. As in there to talk to, to touch, to make love to, to laugh with, to share my day. That was the worst, that feeling of being without. 

 

I've always tried to paint a realistic but optimistic picture of how grief is, what widowhood is. I've wanted to share that its ok to move ahead with life when you have lost your spouse. It isn't easy. I am a very stubborn person. I never gave up although I went super easy on myself a lot. I think I did a really good job creating a new life for myself. I'm proud of myself for it. 

 

I think I'm going to go to bed now and lay there next to my husband and think of John. I feel the tears building. Right before I got online here I read an article on Medium about Bryan Ferry. John always liked to sing outloud (not all that well but he was enthusastic) and Bryan Ferry was a favorite of his. He would move around like Bryan Ferry, even pretend to hold a Mic, and even though he was bald from the time he was 30 he used to flip some imaginary hair while he was being Bryan. 

 

So many small nuances that I will never, ever forget. Never, ever stop missing. I take this odd comfort in knowing that my husband has someone tucked inside of him too- he was widowed (I met him on YwBB) We had such a crazy beginning and it was so hard making our relationship as easy and seamless as it is now. He came with a hurting 14 year old who really turned life into turmoil for awhile at a time when all I needed was some peace but she kept me on my toes. 

 

And here is a bit of irony. I have two dogs, both Chihuahuas and one has to have a tumor removed this morning (it is middle of the night right now and I'm doing my late night thing) so on the anniversary of John's death I will be facing seeing if her tumor is localized or if it has spread. Her name is Ladybug and she is a funny, quirky little thing. She has been passed around a bit in her life and now lives a forever home with us. We are still getting to know each other. She is very hesitant to let me in and I have given her all kinds of room. She prefers my husband. The other dog prefers me. 

 

I think I need to go to bed! 

 

Be well everyone. 

 

Thanks for listening. 

 

Judy

 

 

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Hi, Judy. 

 

Thank you you for your beautiful posts and your essay. My heart goes out to you today. I also miss the incredible library of wisdom that was lost when YWBB shut down. I used to read for hours in my early weeks and months. I’m now facing my 10th “everything” without my first husband. I just passed the 10th birthday that he missed, the 10th Thanksgiving that we didn’t host....

 

I am also coming up on the 5th anniversary of my second husband’s death. I also met him on YWBB. Our relationship was so full of life and passion for living, especially after having been widowed ourselves. His life and his death have had such an impact on my life, but losing him crushed me even more. I fight to keep living and finding purpose. I’m getting there...at whatever pace happens. 

 

Persist. Remember. Miss them. But...we have this life in front of us and, for me, at least, I have a drive not to be miserable, so I will continue to persist (often with the support of people I have met along the widow road.)

 

I wish you the best...

 

Maureen

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I read your blog, and it was very well written and helpful, too. I really appreciate you and others' ability to put in words thoughts many of us have.  It is so unreal often that life stopped and a new BOOK started, not just a new chapter. My life will forever be before and after. My son got glasses after LH"s death, so every picture of him is before and after.  I, like you, and many, married my high school sweetheart.  It is very challenging to change my identity and slow go. You all who share let me know it is possible, and I know necessary, but still possible and a good thing. THANK you so much.

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