Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Unapologetic Warrior Widower
Grieve the Warrior,
originally uploaded by habaneros.
Today I have been reflecting on my recent posts. I feel that I am making significant progress in navigating through my grief. For too long I felt that I needed be doing better than I was. I have been going through some significant depression and anxiety with my grief, which has only been compounded with some of my kids' issues. People often mean well, but the message I often come away with is that they need for me do be doing better, and not be looking so sad. Of course there is yet the other response, which is to never mention my grief at all, as it can be awkward for them. And lastly, there is the response that begs me to 'look on the bright side'...you had several really happy years together, you two were able to do so much together, you loved each other so much, he is in a better place, he is no longer in pain, you were able to experience real love, you were exactly what he needed...blah blah blah. Now, these are all sincere sentiments, and when I hear them I smile, or just say thank you. But there is an alternative way for me to respond.
What I really want to say in response to Michael's death is that I really hate what life has given me, I am not wanting to be happy that he has moved on, he would be happier with me, we had only just begun our time together, I don't care that we all must go at some time. I am angry!
After writing about the theme of the film in The Single Man, I felt so empowered by my co-mourners. I felt completely acknowledged and understood. It feels so empowering to not have to have to feel grateful for what I had, and to not have to act like I am doing better than I am. He was my husband, and he died. No! I'm not feeling better yet! No! I'm not going to get through this anytime soon! No! There is no silver lining! Yes! You should worry about me! Yes I have wished for death. This hurts like hell!
It amazes me that people, myself included, do not, or did not, have a clue what it is like to lose your partner/spouse. I constantly look at people who are with their spouses, or reflect on the love and security they have with them, and think they really have no clue. You can try to empathize, you can try equate it with the heartbreaking end of a relationship, but I'm sorry to be the one to break the news to you, you have no idea how much this hurts. You have no idea how lost you will feel. You have no idea how disabling this can be.
I am the Warrior Widower. I am here to fight off any attempts to smooth the edges around the appearance of grief. I am here to expose the raw truth, and to walk you through the dark and lonely path many of us are on.
I am the Warrior Widower. I am putting myself out on the line, right out in front, to show other widows and widowers that what we are going through is the biggest battle we will ever have to plow through. If you are experiencing injury after injury, often without time to heal in between, then you are authentically experiencing your grief.
I am the Warrior Widower, I am empowering myself to say this is real, this is torture, this is not pretty, this is what it takes to fight my way through this. War is not pretty. Grief is not pretty. As widows and widowers we walk among the living as testament to the dead. If you mistake us for single people, you cannot be more wrong. We walk hand in hand with the one we lost. We wear a cloak of darkness and death. We may not be dressed in black, but others see us coming. I recognize it all the time. Someone is approaching me, they are having just another day, they look up to see who is coming along the path, it is the widower. The other person immediately thinks of death. It can be a fleeting thought, or it can be a connecting moment, yet it is always there. In time it will change, and at some point it will be less distinguishable.
I am the Warrior Widower, I will not be afraid to share with you who I am.
I am the Warrior Widower, I will show my courage in facing each day.
I am the Warrior Widower, I will continue to battle my pain and loss.
I am the Warrior Widower, I will strive to greet the light of the new day with optimism.
I am the Warrior Widower. I will cry each day.