Friday, April 1, 2011


Photo from here...
Sometimes this whole 'widow' thing gets old. Like the chorus of an unhappy song that gets stuck in your head and keeps you awake. Over and over the words repeat singing those same lines again and again. You try to not pay attention. Try to forget the words. Try to listen to a new song. But your little brain has it so deeply embedded it can't be persuaded to "hear" something else.
I get tired of being a widow. I get sick of talking about it. I get annoyed with writing about it. I am over thinking about it. But still it sticks. Stuck in the groove. Firmly planted on repeat.
I'd love a new reality. To have something new to think about. A new conversation that didn't ultimately, and at times embarassingly, come around to the fact that my husband is dead. I want to be over it. I am sick of it. I don't want to think about it, breathe it, speak it or feel it. It's old.


  1. Dear Jackie<

    I think this entry is so honest and emotionally healthy, it is incredible. I am not that far out but I can see how it would be easy to get stuck, to immerse yourself in the grief and the "persona" of widow. It could become the excuse for every failure I have in the future, it could become the reason to allow my weaknesses to grow instead of my strengths. If I let it - my husbands death could be the only thing I or anyone else sees when they speak or look at me. BUT - I won't let that happen. . . it is devastating and I would do anything to change it but I can't. Early on in my husbands illness he wisely said "remember, you are not sick!" he wanted me to live, not to stop living because he was dying. Now he is gone I have to remind myself . . . I am not dead (even if it occassionally feels that emotionally I could be).

    I don't want the rest of my life to be defined by death and saying that aloud doesn't mean I am not grieving, didn't love him enough or wish it wasn't so.

    I know of someone whose spouse died six years ago, they have not got rid of their clothes, or slept in their bed or stopped starting most conversations with something about his death. It has become who they are - the person left behind.

    Grief is exhausting and I think when those feelings come - I am so tired of this - maybe it is our self preservation talking and saying "life is for the living" it is time to choose - are you going to live or are you going to die.

    I want to live.

  2. Me too. I told someone the other day that I wanted a holiday from widowhood 'cause I needed a break from the black cloud following me around. They looked at me like I was crazy. Either I'm not, or we're in it together :)

  3. Widowhood is exhausting. We could all use a break!

  4. I remember feeling that way at 2, 3, 4 years out too. I was SO sick of it!

    Don't know if it's just me, but it eventually passed for me. And I don't know if it's a good thing or a comfort, but the widow part isn't really the thing stuck on repeat for me anymore; it's the single parent part.

    A time will eventually come when you don't really need the break or 'holiday' (like Deb said) from widowhood, because you feel better enough on a regular, daily basis that widowhood isn't the first thing, or the primary thing, that you wrestle with. Eventually it's just normal 'life' stuff again…but I don't know if it's necessarily any easier to deal with. (Maybe I'm just in a rough bit of post-grief, normal-life stuff right now.)

    The annoying part is just how long it takes to get out of the all-widowhood-all-the-time part. It probably took me a good 4.5 to 5 years. Blech.

    Hang in there, Jackie. Three years out is still a tough time….


  5. I'm at 9 months. Already very tired of this. (How can I be a f@#&ing widow anyway?)
    Tired of dwelling on it as it makes me so sad, but I still feel guilty if I don't dwell on it.
    How do you move past that? He only exists in my memory so if i don't dwell on him - he doesn't exist.

    Thanks for your post Jackie.

  6. Ditto here. I am 15 months out and am tired of it. I can't even get away from it in my dreams. Last night I dreamt he left early from something. When I woke up the realization that he really did leave early hit me.

  7. Friday night, the evening we usually went out to dinner, and here I am alone again. Today I drove through the neighborhood and flashed back to all the activities that happened here long ago with our kid, who are now grown. I'm not tired of being a widow; I'm just tired of being so alone.

  8. I'm at 17 months, prior to that six years of illness, the last few years I knew it was a terminal condition. I am starting to have days where it is not on my mind all of the time. Never a day with no memories at all, but parts of days (esp when I am at work, when I'm busy). Still get hit with flashbacks of some really sad, difficult times, though. When I catch myself there, I TRY to think of something else, to keep from being hit by all of that sadness again and again. To Valerie above and the anons, I was where you are, and I tried to take a day here and there where I would decide that I was going to have a "grief free day," like a mini break to regroup. Ruminating about it is normal (so difficult, I know) in grief, it seems to be the brains way of trying to come to terms with what happened. Those constant thoughts are what drove me into therapy, because it was like my brain took over and I couldn't control it, even though I wanted to. It goes away on its own, but takes time. I understand what you mean about hanging on to the thoughts so you don't feel guilty, I think also it is our way of hanging on to our loved one and keeping them close. I've used journaling and had grief counseling, all helpful in a big way, but time has been the biggest healer. I still suffer from the exhaustion, though. It is hard to be alone, and all I just take one day at time and don't really look into the future. I don't want to, and neither does my brain. Hope everyone can find some strength through this very difficult time.

  9. I'm only 6 months out, with nearly 5 years of illness leading up to it, but I have already had these worries. I read the words of widows years out who are trapped in their widowhood and it frightens me. I don't want that to be my future. I owe it to my husband's memory to make the most of this new life, admittedly a life I would prefer not to be living. Anonymous poster #1 said it all for me. I want to live. I just have to figure out how to get there.

  10. I am three years out and f*cking sick of it. It annoys me that this is now the rest of my life. There never seems to be a break from it. I am also tired of single parenting and doing everything alone all the time.
    I also can't stand the Pollyannas who keep trying to tell me that this is some kind of marvelous opportunity to "find out who I really am." There was nothing wrong with me before my husband died and there isn't anything wrong with me now.
    It all sucks bigtime and I want it to stop.

  11. To Dharma: Amen!

  12. me too.
    I'm almost 18 months out and I just dont even like thinking of encompassed so much of my life and all I did was blog about it, and now I dont even want to blog about being a widow anymore. I just don't. It wears me out.

  13. Ditto Dharma...with the exception of the kid, I totally am you. I am 23 months out....still haven't moved the clothes, still cry every day...sometimes I can't believe I will never touch him again. I am with you on the Pollyannas...I also get so sick and tired of it, and tired of people who don't get it telling me he would want me to get on with life, he would....but sometimes i don't want a life without him in it. I can't even picture being with anyone else right now. I go to grief groups, one has helped a little, but it is still something I know I have to do on my own. Maybe time is the key, I don't know but I sure never figured on this happening to me. He took such good care of me in life, and in death, I am not rich, but I can live in my house. Even that makes me cry...And I hate to admit it but I don't want to hear of other widows gushing over their new man. Please spare me. Deep down I am happy for them, but I just don't want to hear every little detail of their getaways, etc....I am afraid of turning into a bitter old witch...if I'm not already.