Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Widow in Transition

I saw these holiday snowflakes hung up at Home Depot and want to learn how to make them. So cute! That will be my fun resolution for January 2012.

Survived the holidays 2011. A better Christmas for us than seasons past. The boys had gifts from me but in the future I'd like to be able to get them more. Our little homemade tree ended up bringing me a whole lot of happiness throughout the month. Although I wished I could have purchased some decorating items, when all is said and done, my homemade decorations stole the show.

We spent Christmas at my girlfriend's as we have since my husband's death and her divorce. She has broadened her guest list to include other divorced women. I cooked some side dishes and cherry quick bread. And enjoyed the opportunity to have more than one alcoholic drink since my sons can drive. Back to work on Monday and this made me reflect on how widowhood is a lot like the day after the holidays. I felt a bit tired and wanted to have some time to relax and reflect. Many people were off on Monday. But I was scheduled to work. Going into work Monday morning felt like widowhood - not being able to have a break and some time off - being forced to be back at it again and again. Anyway, that is sometimes how widowhood feels to me. This relentless going on and on without a chance to get off the merry-go-round and regain my balance.

I heard someone else recently describe widowhood as having the rug pulled out from under you with the rug representing how your life was. You're left standing or down on the ground without the foundation that used to be supporting you having to either get up or regain your footing and then continue waking/living.

My sons are more kind than I. They believe that most people who haven't experienced widowhood simply can't comprehend what it is like to have the rug pulled out from under you. They forgive the people who say stupid or unfeeling things. I, on the other hand, am less forgiving. But I have come to believe that unless you have lived this life, it isn't possible to fully explain to others what widowhood is really like.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to try and explain to the world what widowhood and only parenthood is like. But in my time of blogging, I'm not sure that it has been too successful a goal. I also have started to worry that my focusing on widowhood brings me more sorrow and pain than I'd be feeling if I weren't blogging on this topic. Face it, I'm a widow and my life will have issues in it related to that status. Dwelling endlessly on what I can't change brings me more misery than I want to be feeling right now. So I am looking forward to the new year where I will place less emphasis on me as widowed and more on being a widow in transition - moving on in my life, despite widowhood to devote more time and attention to myself and my own needs.

This has all been coming down since last spring and my oldest son's graduation from college. Did I already brag that he has a 3.7 GPA his first college semester? And in May my youngest will be graduating and gearing up to start his college career. Right now, I need to be focusing on moving and creating my new life because next August I will be a widow empty-nester. Talk about emotions flying around the upcoming months! But I am also very excited because moving will allow me to live in a more affordable community and to go back to school to update my defunct Master's degree. Hopefully, a year of study will be all that I need to launch myself back into the professional sphere of social services and that will be huge in my life - to feel useful and productive in the work force again.

So as I contemplate all of this I am debating the start of a totally new blog, though I will not delete this one. It would begin Jan. 1st. It is hard for me to say goodbye to things because one gets used to them, but I am now seeing the benefits of beginning new projects, of moving to new locations, or starting over with a clean slate and all that. But whether I post under a new blog or keep this one because it is simpler, in 2012 I resolve to be more positive and to identify less as a widow and more as a woman finally able to move into a new, exciting and hopeful future.


  1. You have come such a long way since I first started reading your blog. It has been very difficult and look at you--still standing!!! I wonder what it is going to be like for you to be living alone in your home? You may find out, you just love it!!! Free to do whatever you want, whenever you want is sort of liberating. Good luck to you in 2012--let's hope it is a wonderful new year filled with new blessings.

  2. Good luck with the new blog! As you know, I completely "get" why you want to move on to a new blog, as I'm in much the same position.

    You have very wise sons. Funnily enough, I had a similar conversation with my son this Christmas, where I said that what I really wanted to do was go back to my old life but that the only two choices open to me were to keep on living as much as possible like that, but as a kind of shadow life, or give up that life completely and do something different - still haven't decided which to do!

  3. Why not name the new blog Post Widowhood? Or Post Widowhood from the Ground Up? (Hmmm. Maybe I should start a blog with that name. Any tips?) I see your new direction as freeing and exhilarating as well as scary. Do keep us posted. I don't want to loose touch with you. Your blog has been important to me! Hugs

  4. I am glad that you are keeping this blog and not deleting it. I just found it today. My husband died of lung cancer on October 16, 2011. It's all very new and difficult for me.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  5. Anonymous - My heart goes out to you and I hope you find some comfort and support via blogs written by the widowed. They helped me immensely.

  6. Flo - Such kind words, you have always been so supportive. Thanks for taking the time to let me know that my words have had some meaning for you. Makes it all seem worthwhile when sometimes we just feel like giving up.

  7. Judy - I have been thinking of you lots these past weeks. You too, have always been so sweet,encouraging and kind. Thank you.

    Puddock - Always feel a connection to you, maybe because we are close in age? Thanks for responding and I hope to hear more of your journey as it progresses and what path you end up taking.