Sunday, August 6, 2017

Almost Nine Months a Widow.....

After a week short of being nine months a widow, there is still nothing anyone can say that would make me feel better.

Oh,  believe me, there are good days in between the total meltdowns but they are few and far between.  The smile on my face hides the raw pain from the outside world. Wine doesn't kill the pain, starting to smoke again after thirteen years doesn't take away the stress (so knock that one on the head!), neither valium nor antidepressants ease the ache, and burying myself in my work is only a temporary relief until I open the front door in the evening.  I have come to realize that even with a supportive family and very good friends it would be very easy for me to become a recluse. There have been weekends when I have stayed behind closed doors from Friday evening until Monday morning when it's time to face the world again.

I am told, as I am so quick to tell others when they have lost a loved one, to treasure the memories but I find it hard, very hard to get past those last few days in the hospital when it became obvious that my husband wasn't going to survive. That horrendous memory is locked in my head and it seems as though someone has thrown away the key.

Today, I am in total meltdown.  I am not sure whether it is a result of having been unusually busy work-wise over the last two weeks and today finding that I could actually relax or the fact that I am so very tired, that the thought of cleaning, washing and cooking is totally overwhelming. For someone so organized, it's hard to get my head around what's happening.

I know one goes through several stages after a loss.  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance although the first four really not necessarily in that order. That was confirmed to me yesterday by a dear friend who just happens to be a priest but funnily enough, we weren't discussing me. 

This year my husband and I would have been married for thirty two years.  That together with the two previous years of knowing one another, is sometimes just too hard to think about. Maybe when the raw pain has eased and I come to accept the loss, devastation and anger are a thing of the past, the smile I smile now will be genuine, the raucous laughter real and the fun filled, witty person who people believe has actually already recovered, will really be back.  

A mask is a terrible thing.



  1. A keeper of memories. The longer a person is in our life the more things we share and the more enmeshed we are. When Marc died we had known each other for almost 20 years. We had the inside jokes and the one liners nobody at the party ever understood. He was also my debate partner and memory cache.

    And you and I are of an age we are not going out to find a replacement and there are not enough years left to have that sort of relationship even if Johnny Depp walked in the front door this evening. It is more than losing a soul mate. It is losing a well of souls because of all the shared friends. Nobody follows the same path in this process. The stages don't come in order. And the recycle. What helped me is knowing I still had those memories we shared. You need to get to a place you can remember them. You had him in your life for all those blessed years.

  2. I'm unhappy that social media filters so much now, as it's easy to lose track of everyone if we don't keep liking their stuff. I miss so much - and you. I think you're a beautiful soul as well as courageous to share your heart open and bleeding, though I'm sad you're going through this pain right now. A mask is a terrible thing. So thank you for taking yours off and sharing a bit of you today. xoxo

  3. I have no words Barbara ❤️❤️❤️

  4. You don't get over losing someone so dear in your life. You'll get to a better place mentally. I am sorry you started smoking. It is so hard to quit. Take care.

  5. Dear Barbara,
    Thanks you for sharing,my friend.
    I know the mask you talk about well. As you know, it's been 18 months since I lost my husband of 32 years and the grief still hits in such enormous waves. Few people realize how absolutely life changing the death of a beloved spouse can be unless they have also walked on this path. Life goes on and we must etch out our new lives with masks to the outside world, listen to well meaning people dishing out well meant advice and all the while nothing helps ease the pain of this loss. It is excruciating indeed!
    Please know that you are never alone (although it is a very lonely time indeed) and that Richard is with you always. I wish you peace and comfort along your journey,my friend. Take good care of yourself. Grief is an exhausting endeavor beyond anything I have ever experienced. It feels so alien to be in a place that there is no experience in how to navigate and I know I get especially down when I am tired or around negative energy. I think being reclusive is simply a survival instinct that allows us to recharge and cope with our grief. We each will grieve differently and there is no time table. Practice self compassion for yourself.Grief is the price we pay for a great love in this life. Sending much love!

  6. Everyone processes grief in their own way. For someone who has lost a long-time love it could take years. Treat yourself gently during this time.


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