Friday, April 15, 2011

i'm a jerk...a widowed jerk

Picture from here....

I am strong. I am brave. I am a survivor. I am usually empathetic and kind. But...... Sometimes I'm an angry whiner. I wallow in my self-pity and the life that I now exist in.

I realize that life is a gift and that we must be grateful for the amount of time we spend with our loved ones and upon this Earth.....But there are times I can't help myself but to gnash my teeth and spew angry thoughts of self-pity.

Such as:

You find "single parenting" exhausting? Try "sole parenting". Being the only one to dry tears, the only one to prepare cupcakes for the bake sale, the only one arranging childcare, the only one there to get up in the night, the only's especially fun when you are sick!

You were heartbroken when your grandfather died? Yes, it IS awful. But it is NOT the same as losing the love of your life when you were supposed to grow old together and BE grandparents together. It's an entirely different grief.

You find making your pay cheques spread across all the bills difficult. Do it with one check while needing to pay for the same amount of things as if you were two - hydro, gas, groceries, laundry detergent, etc. You wish you could find someone to fall in love with and share your life with? How about finding that person, loving them with all your heart, warts-and-all, and then unexpectedly having them drop dead. Now you're lonely, sad....and still in love. But with a dead person.

I know that these thoughts are horribly belligerent and one-sided. I realize that I am being a jack-ass. But sometimes, I don't want to hear their shit. I want to wallow in my own well-earned self-pity and flip the bird at any other person's troubles or griefs.

*Please admit I'm not the only one with these thoughts.....


  1. You are not a "jerk" Jackie, not at all. It is very hard, no, damn near impossible to be understanding to someone else's plight when the death of your spouse has become a new way of life. Divorce/single parenting isn't even remotely the same. In most of those cases you had SOME say as to the outcome, our situation was completely and totally out of our control. Not to mention single parents usually get every other weekend off! You recieve child support with cost of living increases and you can always send the dentist bill to your EX spouse. Grandpa was suppose to died eventually, it is the "natural" progression of life. And yes, your spouse eventually was suppose to die, as we all are, but not until they were gray, wrinkled and you both had a wonderful, long life together.

    I get it, I get your message. Thank you, I am amazed as to how you and the other bloggers are able to put words to the many out of left field feelings associated with our situation. When I try to express these same thoughts is comes out a jumbled, teary mess sprinkled with bitterness and anger, so Thank You again


  2. Yes! I hear you and I'm singing in the choir! xoxoxoxo

  3. Exactly!
    Sometimes - when you feel more alone than you have ever been, when you have to carry on because there is no one else, when your loneliness is like grinding glass into your heart - to hear others pain is too much.

    When someone tells me a person passed away at 78, 82, 91 - I say "what a blessing, a long life".

    My husband died at 56!
    I know others have been in their 30's, 40's . . .
    Now when I see little old men, i feel heartbroken - i will never get to see my husband get old.

    I was out for dinner last week with a couple, he is retiring and has worked hard his whole life, now a trip he is planning with such joy and he is a good man who has earned his way to this point, his spouse spent most of the evening making snide comments about how it is not "her choice" or "her trip" and basically bitching about everything as he gently answered my questions and occasionally looked embarrassed.
    I was so sad for him and I thought "one day lady, you are going to eat those fucking words".
    She is getting to see her husband get old and he wants to include her in his joy and she is so fucking selfish she can't see what is right in front of her and I think "take it back! because when he is gone you will die with those words in your mouth"

    But I didn't say it - instead I praised his choices, reveled in his joy and told him "live your full life, every one of your days-because if I could have my husband back . . .if he said we are going by Camel to the desert - I would respond "it will only take me minutes to pack!"

    I am sure she thought I was a widowed jerk too - but fuck her! She still has a husband at the moment and if she doesn't want to share his life she should let him go.

  4. You are not a jerk. You are just like everyone else in that our own lives and issues are always more important because they are more immediate to us. I am sure your single mom friends feel that they've had enough of your issues sometimes too. As long as we don't live exclusively in the camp of our needs trump everyone else's - there's nothing wrong with an inner eye roll. turning the volume down and just nodding sympathetically at intervals.

  5. Who's that cranky old guy with the bushy eyebrows (ick) on 60 Minutes who gets paid megabucks to whine? Now that's a jerk. Anger happens, this is honest. Thanks for bringing these thoughts out in the open!

  6. I admit it! I totally get it and feel the say way - this has changed me and I no longer can deal with what I consider their "small stuff . I just tune them out or remove myself from being around them - it's easier that way. I don't think we are selfish or widowed jerks, we are just aware of what's more important in life and our experiences have changed us. I just feel when you've walked in our shoes (unfortunately) then talk to me..... The pain we have gone thru is unmeasurable. So true still in love - but with a husband that's passed....well said.

  7. I love this post! It is so honest, brutally honest, and that gets my tears flowing, which I need. I am so much in my head in my grieving the loss of my husband of 40 yrs, and I need to be more in my gut. You are the sole parent to your kids, and I am empty nest and newly retired and trying to find out what to do with my life alone. Your circumstance as sole parent is much more difficult than mine.
    The part of your letter that most touched me was about having grandchildren together. My John died right before the retirement he had planned for, and our oldest son and his wife are having our first grandchild in June. This will be the first big event where John will be missing. And a granddaughter...we have two sons, so a little girl will be so special! And John would have been such a fun Grandpa! The reality just never ends. John died, I'm alone, and I have to keep going on with my life, but the grieving never stops. I think we have to face the harsh reality of our lives, and swear, and bitch, and complain, and cry, before we can move on. But our lives are forever changed and we can never deny this. I don't know what the future holds for me, but I just try to move forward one day at a time and do the best that I can each day without huge expectations,and accept that as the best I can do.
    I too struggle with being alone without a partner and the difficulty of meeting someone else who I would be compatible with. I guess a start would be to get out of the house and involved with the community:)
    I hear you, and I have many of the same thoughts, and we are just human beings, so be kind to yourself, and wherever you find yourself each day, let yourself be there, as it is part of your path to recovery and healing. Blessings!

  8. Yep! right there with ya. I had a lovely lady come and sit with me yesterday as I was taking a little break at work. She asked how I was doing and made small talk. Then she launched in to the death of her mother and all the drama that was attached as well as how awful her father was and...blah...blah...blah.

    Did I really need to hear all this? Why can't people just say "I'm sorry" and move on.

    I'm a jerk too because I couldn't get out of there fast enough. After I visualized pushing her off the bench of course. :-)


  9. OK... I havent lost my husband, however I'd think that everyone else's loss would seem so miniscule. Its not selfish, but remember that what they are going through may seem huge to them as well. So, be careful not to compare your circumstances to others and thats SO difficult not to do when your in the thick of it all.

  10. Add me to the choir and give me an amen! It's not whiny and you are NOT a jackass. This is the reality for many if not all of us. And it sucks. And I AM grateful for my life and all that. It's not an either/or proposition. I'm grateful AND pissed off, most of the time. :)

  11. Yes Jackie! My WHOLE blog is about self-pity, and I offer no apologies. And I'm the one who LIVED! I won't deny myself these feelings, I've earned the right to wallow in them...for now at least.

  12. Maybe I'm not understanding this blog. It is for widows and widowers, life partners and such, right? I guess Jamie's comment is throwing me here, "I haven't lost my husband? and YOU THINK that everyone else's loss would seem so miniscule"?

    Help me out here, why are you posting?

  13. Think about it Jamie.

    You've built a life with this person, grown together, gone through ups and downs. Some of have had families, some haven't. The important thing is that you and your spouse got through all these tough times and good times together. The two of you built a foundation and a home around your relationship and felt safe. Nothing could tear you apart except maybe death, but heck, that's a long way away, right?

    Then the day comes when some outside person says, "I'm so sorry, your husband/wife is dead." You know that foundation? Well, it is GONE! You have to learn how to do everything again and this time, you have to do it alone. Everyone around you says "I'm sorry for your loss," but they get to go home to their spouse. THEY GET TO GO HOME! I'm in an empty room by myself and all my grief.

    Now don't get me wrong, I've lost a lot of people in my life, and I don't belittle the pain and grief I've felt for them nor the grief that anyone who has experienced a loss in their life, BUT widowhood SUCKS the big one.

    I never had to figure out how I fit in the world after my mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, aunt, uncle, brother, or sister. But when my husband died, I was no longer identified as Jeannine and Erik so who the hell am I?

    All I can say is it takes time, and I hate time. Widowhood sucks!

  14. I cannot find the anger that the "widowed jerk" has, but I can identify with most of her sentiments. I have been divorced once, and that ex-husband was not around to help at all so I was in charge 24/7 with an infant even though we had been married for 6 years and planned the pregnancy. Then 3 years later I re-married. After 23 years of marriage and 2 more kids and a whole lot more expenses, again I am in charge 24/7 now of two high school boys who really need a male figure like a father or at least an uncle and none to be found. Pancreatic cancer only gave us 7 weeks notice and of course who knew.

  15. Anger is a great catalyst for moving on. It's not just whining its necessary for us to gain insight and most of all ENERGY. Grief drains us as we drag it around. We must (as most of us who are widowed would agree)as in the words of Robert Frost "One must Go through grief there is no way around it". In our grief and individual cicumstances there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty but the fact that it SUCKS not to be with the one we love is the one thing we can be absolutely certain about. So get mad and get really mad and then have some compassion for yourself. Be gentle with yourself and love yourself fully and completely as if through the eyes of your beloved loved one who is know longer here to reflect that back to you. Know that your are doing a marvelous job of grieving, doing everything possible to build a new life (one that you weren't expecting to have)and continue to honor your deep commitment to grow, live and learn at a much deeper level of love. You are THAT with or without their physical presence.
    IN spirit

  16. Jackie, I get it! Here couples in the supermarket complaining or fighting- it makes me angry.Lucky you to have that person! Loss is bad,loss my mom young and brother, but losing my husband was the worst thing I ever had to go through-people expect that you can replace them unlike the others and go on. Try explaining things to your new date! Well still have feeling for late husband always will, but hope to also have feelings for you! you have to find someone very special to share that with! Joined match to try and find someone-friend says you should just get involved in an activity you like to meet men- yeah right, once all of the things I need to do for my children, myself, my home and all the things my husband/ your husbands does for you! I am with you Jackie! I am angry and another I am grateful and more appreciative of the things I have left! People who do not understand our pain never will until it is their turn. we just have to accept that , but we do not have to like it! thanks for being honest so the rest of us know we are not crazy!

  17. You are definitely not the only one with these thoughts. I know I can be a widowed jerk also with these same exact thoughts.

  18. I think those feelings are common to all of us who have lost our life partner even when it is expected. My husband lived a long life even though the last 25 years were blighted by illness and I lost him at 80. It still sucks.
    We are not wingeing, we are being honest. I know that the grandchildren miss him hugely. I also miss him when they are around as they now play up more and it's only me to sort out the issues of growing boys.
    Glad to know that I'm not getting crazier. Thank you Jackie. I know how you feel about the bills too, the money just won't stretch to covering them. They don't seem to go down at all.

  19. No, no you are most definitely NOT the only one with these thoughts.
    The death of a spouse is also Not The Same as a divorce or loss of your pet dog.
    Being in love with a dead man is hard.

  20. Thanks for this, I just posted a rant on my FB because of the week from hell I have had while sick with strep throat, sick kids and all the other shit that goes along with this horrible journey!!! I really needed this tonight and it makes perfect sense - you are not alone!!

  21. True dat! I have the same setiments. This blog and all the words written here remind me that I am not the only one who is in love with someone who is dead. :*( Thank you for posting the raw truth that so many of us feel but that not all of us can say. I just wish some of the people around me could read this so that they would know the internal grief that still goes on. I loved the term "sole parenting". It's not just about being single, this wasn't about our bad choices in life, it was about love being ripped away. You are NOT the only one... (((hugs)))

  22. I understand completely!!!! I feel like a widowed jerk inside because every single day I want to scream at all the people who complain about all the little stuff. Yet, my husband took his own life, so I sit quietly with my anger and try to be a "good" widow. He made the choice to take his own life and it erased my right to grieve openly.

    The petty stuff people complain about irritates me. I want to be understanding of their situations. I want to listen to their troubles. I want to be compassionate. BUT... I'm afraid one of these days that I'm going to let loose and unload on one of my friends the next time she decides to rant because her husband left his dirty socks in the bedroom floor again. I don't want to hear about it! Seriously - socks???

    I wish dirty socks in the bedroom floor was MY biggest issue in life. I want to shake her and scream "Time is precious and limited. Don't waste it complaining about the little things!" Then I want to pull out a list of the top ten issues in MY life right now and compare them to her dirty sock issue.

    Widowhood sucks!

  23. Oh, i hear ya! I feel the same sometimes when people complain. I know it's not realistic but we desrve to feel sorry for ourselves sometimes. Totally!

    Now my question is, WHY are you baking cupcakes for bakesales? Let the non widows take care of that! You have enough on your plate! ;)
    I never really quite got those bakesales anyway but perhaps that's because I'm Dutch.. :)

  24. So funny to come on here and read this yesterday because I was a widowed jerk yesterday too. But the dummy I ran into yesterday was a bigger jerk. I just don't have the patience anymore for the people who think they know what this is like. I ran into a friends ex husband yesterday and he said that because he has gone through a bad divorce our situations are similar. I know this man, his ex wife and all of their children. Their situation is not like mine. I was happily married to a great guy. This man and his wife fought like cats and dogs, they both had affairs, they may be divorced but their children still see both their parents. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that he ticked me off so much to compare our lives. Then he asked me if I was in the dating scene yet. My husband passed a little over 9 months ago, I have four young children....need I say more? What a #$@&*$@!

  25. Thank you for this post! I am suddenly widowed, 29 years old, 30 weeks pregnant and mother to a 14 month old.

    I don't want to hear how you felt when your grandmother died either! It was sad when mine died too. My husbands death is no comparison.

    I really liked your recognition that single-parenting IS different from sole-parenting. This upset me greatly when 2 weeks after my husband died his cousin whom I hardly know told me she can relate because she too is a SINGLE parent with two small children. The difference...she picked that life. I didn't! Her children leave for weekends to be with their dad...mine will NEVER know theirs!

    Your post made me feel not so alone in this struggle.

  26. From one jack ass to another! I almost wrote about the same thing!!!

  27. I'm so glad other people feel this way. I'm a widow at 28 and have been feeling guilty for how jerky my thoughts have been lately. I don't feel so alone today.

  28. Jackie my heart aches for you. I so know how you feel. Thank you for opening up this discussion. You are definitely NOT a jerk.
    It's only 6 months since my darling husband died and I am so jealous of all those couples I see every day. the worst part for me is knowing there is never an end to this pain.

  29. I'm jealous of the couples, and couples with children, who are spending time together at the park.

  30. I'm having this same exact issue at the moment. My friends all have stuff going on in their lives- big stuff- but I have soooo little patience for it. I used to be kind, caring, and empathetic. Right now I've used up all my reserves just trying to survive and pull my kids out of the water.

    I did start dating a wonderful man, and it's been very complicated- largely because of my own grief issues. I just found out a week ago that he has cancer. Now I'm REALLY not in the mood to hear other people's problems. Every bit of energy I have is directed toward surviving the sudden loss of my husband and helping my kids survive. Throw in the fear of losing another man I love and I'm the biggest bitc! you've ever met.

    I try not to be a jerk, but I just have nothing left to give. My own life, my own selfish little life, is too much for me to handle most days BEFORE you throw in other people's struggles.

  31. I think you are preaching to the choir here! We all feel that way at times.

  32. I lost my husband almost 7 years ago! Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and miss him. Both of our son's got married and now I have grandsons. It is bittersweet without him here! I look at it this way, being a widow we have lived our hell on earth, then we are guaranteed a place in heaven!

  33. Loved your post. I feel the same way. And thank you recognizing the difference between "single" and "sole" parenting. That was a choice, ours is not. I too am a jerk.

  34. I am THE MOTHER OF ALL JERKS according to some people I know...some my family, other ex friends. My husband and I had a very good marriage, sure, some bumps here and there, but for the most part it was him and me against the world!!! He was a wonderful man. And no, I am not putting him on a pedestal as has been suggested....He was definitely my better fact, I have always been outspoken and don't take a lot of crap off people, but I became much worse after Mike died. I never knew what insensitive so called friends I had, or family. I would say something that I didn't even know was wrong, because i have a certain tone or inflection in my voice, and all of a sudden people are reading things into it that are not there. Everyone has problems, you are not the only widow in the world...losing your husband does not give you the right to be mean to people....I just lost my freaking life....and you can't understand I might not always say the pc words???? What do you want from me????Besides losing my husband, my life, my soulmate, I now have to watch every word I say so as not to insult you? I see no purpose to my life. None at all. I have not been feeling all that well lately, and I think, maybe it would be good if I died, as long as I don't suffer and hurt...because i sure don't see what's ahead for me. I can't even imagine myself with someone has been 2 years, so I am not new to this...I usually stay home because its like I can't do anything right anyway...who cares??? I have tried to volunteer, went to grief groups, even a psych, complicated grief....different from regular grief how???? This hurts like hell, I will be glad to see it end.

  35. Dear Anonymous,

    Carrying both the weight of your grief, and the expectations of others (especially as time passes)is exhausting. I felt your words when you said this hurts like hell. I hope you will also feel mine when I say you are not alone. There are people who understand what its like to lose the love of your life, to try to make your way in a world you did not choose, and to find a shred of hope for the future. Even though you don't know us, we stand beside you through the ups and downs of widowed life. Please continue to reach out for help, you'll find many ways to do that on the Soaring Spirits website ( You will find hope in many forms at SSLF and we hope here on this blog. Because everyone of us has believed at some point that we wouldn't survive the loss of our loves, but we have and we do. One step at a time. This is a place to air the difficult comments, to give voice to your frustrations, and to have access to people who are also making it one day at a time. As difficult as it is, please continue to reach out. We are here to help, anytime. You will also find everyday access to a community of widowed people at'd love to see you there.

  36. I hate to see couples together when I lost my husband to cancer 4 months ago. He was only 53. Along with losing him I am in a bankruptcy, forclosure and raising a special ed teen...alone! I am mad too! WHY MY husband...why not someone else's?????

  37. I hear you !!!! and I too have those same feelings. I know that it could be worse, but right now I have difficulty seeing how. We have a right to wallow in self pity every once in a while.

  38. I love this website...we deserve this website. There are so many friends and family that just do not "get it"..I even had someone say to me "when life gives you lemons...make lemonade"!!!!! This is my freaking LIFE!!!! You have absolutely no financial problems, a husband that makes damn good money and tons of DARE YOU!!!!! Widows...hang in there!!