Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'll Never Make It That Far

I remember talking to Michele about 4 and a half years ago about a widow she had met. The woman in question had been a widow for 5 years and she was in a MUCH different place than we were (we were at about 6 months). I very distinctly remember saying I couldn't imagine surviving this horrible life for 5 years. I remember thinking in my head that there was no way I'd be in a better place - EVER. I was certain I would feel hellish, wrung out, unbearably sad and subject to fits of rage (at the world in general) for years. Pan forward 4 and a half years, and I have the opportunity to assess my progress.

In part, I was right. I did, and do feel all of those things sometimes still. The good news is that it isn't all day every day. I remember realizing, with relief and also a terrible sadness, that I was beginning to feel better the majority of the time, and only terrible sometimes. It felt great, but it also felt awful. How could I feel better? He's dead. My brain sometimes told me I was a terrible wife. I shouldn't be capable of happy laughter or quiet contentment....I should be roasting forever over the pyre of grief. I should be miserable for eternity - only that misery would truly honor my husband. Only the daily, repeated, physical evidence of my agony would truly show the world what a great husband he was, and how much he was missed.

Fortunately for me, my heart intervened. My heart told me that the only way to truly honor him was to live a life he would have loved for me and Grayson. My heart kept telling me that he meant it when he said he hoped I could find a way to be happy. My head finally started hearing his words "if you're not having a good time, it's your own damned fault." Finally my heart prevailed and my head believed it.

It's funny to be in the place of the 5 year widow now. It's still unthinkable that it has been 5 years, and I do have the terrible days. What ISN'T unthinkable is that I can have a happy life. I can, and I will. If I'm not having a good time, it's my own damned fault.

Happy Tuesday! - Michelle D.


  1. Were you at Wurstfest in this picture? I live in New Braunfels and the background looks like our Wurstfest hall...

  2. You really captured the feeling of heart and mind being on two different frequencies - It will be five years for me in April and I understand exactly what you're feeling.
    Thanks for writing this.

  3. Thanks Carol! :)

    Brooke, yes, it was Wurstfest this past weekend. We go every year (I live in Austin). My husband loved Wurstfest, and it falls around the anniversary. An excellent way to celebrate his life. It was a great time as usual! Thanks for letting the world come to New Braunfels for a week - I'm sure it must be hectic as a resident!

  4. Too funny Michelle- we were probably there at the same time! Glad you have something like Wurstfest to enjoy and remember your husband by. My husband also loved going each year...this one was bittersweet being the first year there without him.

  5. Great post, Michelle. I think that Jim would say the same thing. He would also let me know what a waste of our love and his life it would be for me to be miserable forever because of his death. He would expect more from me. For him. For our kids. But really, for me.

  6. Saturday will be five months since my husband died. Thanks for this post. It gives me, I'm not sure I'm ready to say "hope," but at least an idea that there might be some relief from this hell at some point. I have to take it on faith that it's a possibility - but it's helpful to hear that others have found it.

  7. One of the greatest gifts my husband gave me before he did was to make me promise I would go on to love someone else, because as he said " you are to loving to be alone". For him to say this to me was a lot coming from him, since he was a little jealous, but completely comitted and devoted to me. I am not ready yet, but do not feel guilty about thinking about it. None of us should feel guilty about wanting to be happy- it is what our love ones would want!