Does anyone know of a decent grief book about widowhood for the years after the first? I know there are a fair amount of books about getting through the first year - those initial weeks and months of intense grief, how to manage the first anniversaries, etc. But I haven't come across those that deal with life after the dust has settled and life has moved on but you're still kind of stuck. Or put another way, you're trying to go forward but your wheels seem to be spinning in the mud. The world is going forward but you seem not to be moving along with it.
Take for instance an issue heavy on my mind of late. What do you do about lingering feelings of resentment, jealousy and envy when interacting with people more fortunate? I wish there was a whole chapter devoted to this issue. And what about the reality of having to continue to live in a world with some pretty clueless people when you've changed. You're no longer the petty, selfish person you once were but you're interacting with people who don't see life as you do.
There is a very self-absorbed mom of a son on my boys' baseball team. I've known her for years and she monopolizes the conversations on the stands, every topic is about her and she just drones on and on about stuff that just has no personal meaning for me - nor does she ever inquire how you are. Anyway, we all know people like this in our lives. Usually I try to tune her out, especially when her topic involves having to alter her daughter's cheerleading outfit because she has grown so much within three months. How this topic can last an hour is beyond me but it does.
The other day she was lamenting the fact that she was so exhauted, tired and drained having just returned from her vacation at Disney in Florida. She explained how waiting in line for rides in the hot summer sun is so exhausting. When I encounter situations like this I wish I had the courage to say, "Lady, you don't know what exhaustion really is. I haven't had a vacation in six years. You are so fortunate to have been able to get away and had the time to wait in line for a roller coaster." But of course, I just smile and nod understandably. In my mind my fantasy involves grabbing her by her sholders and shaking her!
I wonder what this women would be blabbing about if she were widowed. She would have been an excellent widowhood spokeman - for getting out the word about how challenging widowhood really is. But anyway, my point is that as widows we often confront these clueless people and sometimes I am clueless myself as to how to react. I wish I could get out my "Widowhood For Dummies Beyond the First Year" to search out an answer.