Thursday, October 21, 2010

Get a Life!

My younger son and I got into a little tiff when I picked him up from Friday's football game. I mentioned that I hadn't stayed for the whole game because it was so cold and not fun sitting alone in the bleachers, especially when it is cold. He launched into me that it is my fault I sit alone and I should be more social at the games and strike up conversations with the people around me. "Make some new friends, mom," he chastised me.

Well, you can't argue with a teenager. I felt disappointed because it was an emotional game night with it being Senior Night and my having to go out onto the field with my oldest as he was honored. And I know that my youngest is also more emotional about his Dad's death and may have been lashing out his own pain and frustration onto me.

But part of this widowhood gig is having to take the good and bad crap from the kids with no sounding board from another parent, or even adult. There is no one to pass off to - "Here husband, you take this one, I got the last snotty teenage mood."

It's no use trying to explain to my son or even other people in general that it is hard enough just for me to attend these school and athletic events on my own for years on end when I miss having my husband see his boys perform with such an ache in my heart it is almost indescribable. Not really conducive emotions in which to start chatting with your bleacher neighbors when you're fighting back tears and trying to keep a grip on your emotions so you can watch you sons play through your watery eyes.

Same thing with those other frequent phrases I often hear - "Get a life" or "Get a job." What do you say? It's not like someone can snap their fingers and just get a job like that. Unfortunately, we live in this world that expects instant results and isn't particularly patient. Well, from experience I know that turning one's life around takes some time. So I guess all one can say when confronted by a surly son or less than sympathetic party is to simply reply, "I'm trying" or "I'm doing the best that I can."


  1. I so get it! I have been widowed for ten and a half months and have two middle school children and it is nothing like anyone can begin to comprehend. There are those who try to understand and are kind and caring and those who think you should be fairly okay by now and have no idea of the impact that this event has created in your lives for the remainder of your living days. It's astonishing. I wish I had some answers for all of us.

  2. Get a life. Easier said than done. But wait a minute. Hooray for surviving with kindness intact. I just read your previous posts about your son's kindness. I turn into a puddle of tears even when thinking about such kindness. To me it is the measure of a man or woman. A 'true north' for my spirit. I pray to God the other things will fall into place around this true north. Hang in there, my friend. Might you look back someday and see you have already gotten a life, and its center is kindness? Let the rest happen as you dare to live larger and reach into the lives of others. As I see it, they will be the better for it.

  3. I hope that by surviving this new way of life (widowhood) that I can be more sympathetic to others that lose a loved one. I guess I never noticed how many people are walking around who are just like me. At times, I feel like I am in a crowded room. No one is paying attention to me, but I am in the middle of that room, screaming at the top of my lungs that I am hurting, and no one can help me heal from that pain. That is what widowhood is for me. How many people have I encountered in my life that are feeling exactly this way, and I never bothered to notice. There isn't much that I could do, but to tell them they are not alone. To tell someone to "get a life" sounds so easy, but it is the hardest thing to try to do. The biggest problem I have is that this isn't fair. I didn't want my husband to die. I didn't want to be alone. This wasn't my choice, but it did happen. I don't want to change my life, I want it to be the same. I don't have a choice, do I? My life has to change, but am I going willingly? NO!! But I will go eventually. My life will change because if it doesn't, I probably won't survive. It will change when I am ready to make those changes, and not one minute sooner.

    Thanks for listening! I am letting this out of me, and setting it free. May God bless all of you on this bumpy road that we are traveling on. If we are on the same stretch of road together, hopefully we can hold hands, or just touch so we both know that we are not alone.

  4. Anonymous - I think all of us in the end can only face life as best we can in moving forward and living and especially being there for our children to the best of our abilities. It helps to connect with others on the path so we know we're not alone even when it seems as though we are.

    Flo - Thank you for sending such kind words. And I stress the word kind - we all need more kindness in our lives be we widowed or not. Maybe the widows and those facing more of their share of hardship somehow in the grand scheme of life have a place in promoting a higher level of compassion and helping advance others to greater understanding.

    pesoldj - I still struggle and resist every day from being forced to live a new life I didn't want and don't think I deserve. I was a good wife, mother and worker. I hate living and being alone. But here is where I am and what I've got. I've slowly begun to accept that I have to move on and make the best of things and even find enjoyment from a life that is certainly filled with new challenges.

    Your imagery of touching out to one another as we pass each other by on this bumpy road is very encouraging.