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Can you remember…

April 25, 2013 Leave a comment

…where you were 14 weeks ago? I can.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 3 1/2 months since Mark passed away. It’s hard to believe I’m actually functioning.

I saw a commercial on TV when I was watching NCIS, and they sang the song, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” in English and Spanish. Then I was acutely aware that I’m not happy. And I don’t know when I’ll be happy again. I’d like to think that eventually I will find peace and acceptance. And maybe someday I might find happiness, but that day is NOT today. And tomorrow’s not looking so good either!

I miss you Bunny!

Maybe someday I will believe it…

April 23, 2013 Leave a comment

This evening was Bereavement Support Group, and for the very first time since I have been going, something that I shared in a previous week was able to help someone else! I never would have believed that would happen?

believe2I won’t share their story, but it had to do with family troubles after the death of their loved one. I was asked to re-share my experience with the In Law’s after Mark passed away. I was easily able to tell the story again except that now it almost seems comical. When it was happening it was painful and depressing, but in the big scope of the things that I have dealt with and been through since Mark passed away, I have pretty much shrugged it off and moved on.

I enjoy Support Group – that is if anyone can enjoy sharing their grief and pain with others. I wish I did not have a reason to go. And I wish that none of these wonderful men and women had to be there either. Yet, I find them to be kind and supportive, and all are very welcoming. Everyone is at a different stage of grief, but I can relate to something that each person shares.

Tonight the theme was “Are you Bad, Glad, Mad, or Sad.” We were asked which one of these we were feeling today. My emotion was MAD. Today I was MAD at Mark. I was mad because he passed away and he left me alone. I was mad because I have had to deal with so many new things. I’m mad because he broke his promises to me. I’m mad because Wonder Belle and I will be moving into our own place in a month which just reminds me that “I AM A WIDOW!!” I’m mad for so many more reasons that I just can’t share with anyone.

Everyone at Support Group was so happy that I found a new home because they knew that I was going to have to move out of this condo because it is too big and I am hemorrhaging money each month. They all seem to think that it will help me heal and Chaplain Karen (who sometimes fills in for Chaplain Anna) said she was so proud of me for moving forward, being strong and doing what I need to do even though it is difficult.

As we were leaving, one woman said that she thought I was an extremely strong woman, and I needed to package it for the rest of the group. I don’t feel strong. I’ve never felt like I was a strong person. My good friend once told me that I am the strongest person she has ever known. If I can be honest, I often feel incapable to deal with life. I feel weak and afraid. I am out of my comfort zone more than I am not. I feel sad and alone. I feel like I want to crawl into bed and never get out.

Yet people keep telling me how strong I am. Maybe someday I will believe it!

Life goes on…

April 18, 2013 3 comments

… long after the thrill of living is gone. Well, that is what John Cougar said in his 1982 mega hit “Jack and Diane”. I guess I believe that. I wouldn’t say the thrill of living is completely gone for me, but how I see things these days has changed dramatically.

But in spite of everything, life does go on. It’s been going on for the past 13 weeks since Mark passed away. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been over THREE MONTHS. I still have moments of disbelief that Mark is actually gone. While I cry a whole lot less than I did, I am still sad most of the time even though I put on my “Happy Face”. I push through the sadness and I trudge through the pain. I don’t have all that many choices. The thought of crawling into a little ball and wallowing in self-pity is not something I am willing to do, but it sure does seem like an easy thing to do.

I’m not taking the easy road (even though I have days where I want to do just that), and I am trying to put the pieces of my (shattered) life back together. It’s not easy. It’s not fun.  A lot has happened since my last blog post, and if you really look at it from someone’s perspective other than mine, one might actually think that a few of them are GOOD things.

903890_10151422496829862_995694942_oI took a One Stroke Painting class. I painted hydrangea with leaves, clouds, and ladybugs on canvas! I really enjoyed it!! I was completely unsure that I could actually paint something that looked nice, but I did! I was really proud of my painting! I was proud of myself for trying something new and different. I want to take additional classes! They are held in my hometown, which is really not far from where I live!

And speaking of living, I found a new home for me and Belle! It’s a one bedroom condo in Matawan. It’s about 1 1/2 miles from where I live now. The condo is perfect for just me and Belle! My new landlord seems nice, and he is local so if there is a problem, I don’t have to deal with someone in another state. The condo was built in 1983, so it is about 30 years old. The unit was remodeled in the past few years. The kitchen is small, but it has new 42″ cabinets. It has a double sink with a full-sized dishwasher and stove. I’m not much into cooking so I certainly don’t need a gourmet kitchen!! It has a nice sized living room and dining room. The bedroom will fit all my furniture and it has a walk in closet. The bathroom is nicely remodeled with a new shower/tub. The condo has a lot of closet space for its size. It has remote-controlled ceiling fans, an intercom system, and a separate entrance off the kitchen. The most important thing is that I can afford it without having to go into my savings each month!

I gave notice to my current landlord, and surprisingly enough, he has been very understanding and relatively accommodating. I think it helped that I told him back in January that Mark had passed away and that I would have to move prior to the end of my lease because this condo is too large for me and also it is too expensive! I’m moving out on June 1st, so he has ample notice!

It’s rather overwhelming to have to deal with all of this alone. Mark was the planner in our family. He made the lists, delegated the tasks, and I carried out what I needed to do. Now I’m responsible for doing it all, and it is definitely NOT my strong point. I admit I am extremely stressed out with all the things that I need to do. The list grows longer and longer each day. I have trouble prioritizing what I need to do. I have trouble staying on task. I can’t focus for too long or I end up in a flood of tears. I don’t like calling people on the phone. I don’t like having a never-ending list of things to do. I feel inundated with it all, and it frustrates me! As a friend told me, I need to stop looking at the big picture. Instead I need to look at each thing separately so that it becomes doable. My friend’s advice makes a lot of sense, but I think I am going to need help with some of this. It’ s really just too much for me to do alone!

I get angry at Mark for leaving me with a mess and for leaving me alone. I get sad when I think of the dreams we had that will not come to fruition. I find it unbelievable that today marks 13 weeks since he passed away. I can’t believe how much I miss everything about him. At the same time, I am amazed that I have come so far. As much as I despise it, I am stepping out of my comfort zone and I am moving forward.

Mark would be SO proud of me.

Weekends…

April 5, 2013 Leave a comment

fridayIt’s Friday. That used to mean something to me. Now it’s just another day.  It’s the day before the weekend. Sadly weekends aren’t as magical as they used to be. Fridays used to be my favorite day of the week. Even though Mark had dialysis on Fridays and didn’t get home until after 8:00 PM, I knew that the two days that followed would be just me and him…. and whatever we decided to do. We would sleep late. We’d watch TV. We’d go out shopping. We’d run errands. We’d get some food or go out for breakfast. He didn’t have much energy or stamina, but we always enjoyed our time together.

Now Fridays are just another day.

Oh, in all fairness, I won’t be spending this weekend alone. My good friend is coming over on Saturday to help me sort and toss. Not exactly the most fun way to spend a weekend, but it’s always wonderful to see her, and I love that we can talk and laugh and spend time together. And she is bringing her fur kids, so Belle will have some company, and there will be even more unconditional love in my house! I just love dogs! I don’t know what I would do if I did not have Belle for companionship. She gives me the push I need to keep moving forward.

I don’t think sitting home in the house is good for me. I have to get out and do things and join the world again. With Mark being sick for the last four or so years, we sort of became a “World of Two”. While it was terrific to spend time with him, I missed out on a lot of social activities.

Now I’ve got a few busy weekends lined up, and while some stuff forces me out of my comfort zone, I think it will be good for me. What will I be doing? Well, let’s see, I’m taking a “One Stroke” painting course, having lunch with some friends (former co-workers) that I haven’t seen in close to 15 years, attending a “Glass Blowing” class, and spending a day with my friend who I have known since we were seven years old!

I think Mark would be happy that I am making plans and getting out. He always knew he would pass away before me, and he wanted me to live life and move on. He specifically wanted me to date again and find someone who would treat me well and love me. I’ve got time for that. I’m still young. Right now I am spending time with friends and taking life one day at a time. It’s the best I can do right now.

 

 

Categories: Life as a Widow

Quiet Acceptance….

April 4, 2013 Leave a comment

11 weeks. Seems like forever, but at the same time, it seems like yesterday.

I don’t particularly care for living alone. Even though it is foreign to me, I thought I might like it. I don’t. It’s… well, lonely. Maybe it won’t be so bad when I finally find a new home that I can call my own. Right now I feel like I am living in a “Memory Box”. Every thing here reminds me of Mark. I am hoping a fresh start will make the day-to-day life just a bit easier. I don’t know. Maybe I will hate it even more.

This weekend is more sorting/tossing. Thank goodness for my wonderful friend who is helping me do this! If it were up to me, it would take me years to go through it all. When I do it alone, I tend to read and analyze every little thing. I find it hard to part with stuff, and I wind up just staring into space.

I have tolerable days and I have bad days. I seem to be coping slightly better each day and while  I wouldn’t call it an accomplishment, I suppose it is becoming quiet acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that Mark is gone. Acceptance that it WILL get easier with time. Acceptance that I will always love Mark. I even accept Mark’s words of wisdom on many different subjects and levels. I trust that he meant what he said and said what he meant. I believe the things he told me and I know he only wanted the best for me. I know he would approve of how I have handled things since he passed away. And I know he is proud of me.

Welcome to my life as a widow.