The Wandering Widow

Observations, Tips and Reckless Truth Telling on the Road Through Grief


August 2016

A Lonely Hell

It’s been 44 days since my world stopped turning.  In that time I’ve attacked grief like I do most things in life.  I made a plan.  I enlisted experts. I set some timelines. And just like life sometimes does, those plans all went to hell. I would normally hit the hiking trail to work through it, but my state is on fire.  It’s actually a perfect metaphor for my life right now…miserable, burning, smokey, out of control and no end in site. 

What I’ve learned:

  • We are a grief-phobic society.  After the funeral people are very uncomfortable with your pain. They don’t know what to say, so don’t say anything.  Or say the wrong thing.  They try, but it’s too much for them to watch. Even the good ones who won’t leave you alone eventually get impatient with how long it takes.
  • When your grief counselor says you have to “feel the feelings” in order to get better, they leave out the part where it feels like walking through the firey streets of hell all alone.  
  • It’s lonely.  There are a few beautiful women who joined this awful club before me, and they have been amazing.  They tell me it gets better.  I trust them, but it is hard to believe. 
  • I’m not the same.  I will never be the same.  I need to accept that.
I remind myself that sometimes fire produces amazing beauty.

I Just Called to Say I Love You

It took 23 days for me to breakdown and call his phone just so I could hear his voice again. In the last 23 days I have greedily consumed every text, video, photo, and journal entry I could find in the desperate attempt to feel him close to me. I’ve begged  my bonus daughter, his mini-me, to come over because she reminds me of him.  Because our shared grief and love for him make me feel less alone.

It’s overwhelming how unprepared I was for how painful this would be. It hurts so much I sometimes can’t breathe. And it seems so completely wrong that universe exists without him.

Throughout his battle with cancer we focused on staying positive and proclaimed “Live Now” as our motto.  We crossed items off our bucket list. We spent time making memories with family and friends.  We knew that, despite the horror in front of us, we were blessed with the knowledge that the clock was ticking and had the opportunity to choose how each minute was spent.

Now he is gone.  And each day that I wake up still breathing, I am faced with a battle.  The fight to figure out how to “Live Now” with the raw wound that consumes me.  Until I find my way out, I’ll just call his voicemail to say, “I love you.”

The last phone call with his bonus son. Eight days later he was gone.




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