I got to thinking about this topic after reading the post of a widow who has an advice type blog, which I read. She has a tough love, Dr. Phil kind of attitude in regard to widows feeling sorry for themselves. Although I try to get through my days in as positive frame as possible, there are moments that I do allow myself to feel tragically sorry for myself. And what of it? Why is it such a big deal for widows to have periods of being down about their situations?
I remember my second husband getting terribly annoyed with me for griping about the hardships of my life. Then, my therapist kindly pointed out that I was merely describing my day, which I had a right to do. It just so happened that my days were filled with a lot of hardship. Merely relating them to him was not actually griping, which he took it to be. But anyway, say I had been doing so - why is that looked upon so negatively by the general population? Why are widows supposed to be able to constantly rise above their situations and present themselves to the world as stalwart survivors?
Some days it would be nice to put aside the strength and smiles and show my true self to the world. I'd skip the shower, throw on rumpled clothing and present a grim and glum demeanor. That is sometimes how I feel inside even when there is a smile on my face.
I guess I just don't understand why the widowed can't be allowed the indulgence of some occasional self-pity. The world hasn't been lining up at my door offering much compassion or understanding. And it seems to me from the blogs I read here, that those widowed are doing their best to get through their days. Some days may be better than others but all are trying to live bravely on.
What is so bad about self-pity anyway? I haven't come across anyone whom seems mired in it. Why would people be against the widowed providing themselves a little empathy? "Poor me." I am poor right now in spirit and wealth. Why should I pretend otherwise? Yes, I am grateful for what I have but I also have a right to be despondent over what I don't.
I'm raising this topic because I have found on my widowhood journey that the world hasn't provided much sympathy and I have been criticized for "not getting over it sooner" and complaining too much about my life as a widow, etc. It is actually one of the reasons I wanted to start blogging - so I could have more contact with others in my situation.
It is interesting that the woman whose blog started my thoughts about this ended one of her posts by stating that so many of us widows seem to need outside validation for what we are feeling. I agree with her on this that I have felt that way. I have needed and wanted to connect with other widows to know that my feelings haven't been out in left field or that I've been unreasonable/crazy. But she makes the point that none of us should need this validation. Our feelings are what they are and we should not dismiss them or not hold them to be true unless someone else agrees with them.
So on that note, I am going to take her line of reasoning (whether it ends up being contradictory or not) and say to myself that self-pity is okay. It is where I am. I have a right to feel it. And to even wallow in it! When I compare what other women fret and moan about (chipped manicures, not being able to match up curtains exactly to the furniture slipcovers) I think I'm way entitled.
Today I am grateful:
1. For the rainy weather today. I love the rain as much as the sun. I think the rain slows us all down a bit and that is needed in our lives once in awhile.
2. For the cooler temperature.
3. For Brown-Eyed Susan flowers.
4. For the fall mums being planted at places of business and even at the high school. They brighten my day even in the rain.
5. For having enough gas in the tank to get to work and back today (I hope - payday isn't til tomorrow).