Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2 down, 48 to go...

Christmases without Greg, that is.

Given my long-lived female relatives, I know I can expect to see the age of 90 if not 100 years old. (Longevity seems to be a heritable trait in my family ... as does early widowhood.)

Which means 48 more Christmases to endure even with the more conservative estimate....

...and I don't want to do another single one, leave alone another 48 or more.

...and that's where my head is. Not pretty, and I know I should pull myself together because ... well ...
I didn't die ....

People who don't know me, or who don't have a basic grasp of psychology will tell me it doesn't help to keep thinking this way.

... but it does...

If there is one thing I have learnt in this mess that is widowhood: grief will always out.

Better to brood and cry and moan every so often, than to button it down, don't think those dark thoughts. ...and have it hit you full force at the most inappropriate times at a later date.

So, I'll spend a bit of time feeling sad and sorry for myself. I'll brood about having to live for so much longer without my man. I'll cry in the shower and I'll swear a lot.

But after that, I'll feel OK again and keep plodding on. I'll keep moving forward and not think about having to keep living long after my love died.

...and I won't beat myself up about not taking it all on the chin ALL the time. I'll allow myself to have a little wallow in grief and self pity every so often without feeling guilty.

So you'll excuse me while I go play some sad songs and have a little cry .... I'll feel better for it tomorrow, I promise.
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  1. Thank you...so glad to hear I'm not alone in allowing myself some pity time. Now and again it just seems easier to let the feelings flow, cry, swear and throw a piece of tupperware around my kitchen just to release it and not let it creep up at the worst possible time. Love my familes and spending time with them but as you say "leaving alone" from another gathering....the chin can only take so many hits. Bless you :)

  2. What a great post. I won't beat myself up either. When asked what I wanted for Christmas, I told family and friends two things: acknowledge my grief and accept my grief. Allow my children and me to cry freely and wallow in self pity, if necessary. Because, after 21 months, we are most days strong, but also deserve time to be weak and fragile.

    Thank you!

  3. Beautifully said! I think of it as a "controlled burn" and I find it to be an incredibly valuable thing. Rather than blow out the sparks or walk away from it when these particularly dark or sorrowful thoughts or milestones hit, I can fan the fire and let it burn hot and bright until it runs out of oxygen all on its own and I can move on to whatever it is I want to do next with a somewhat lighter heart.

    Thank you for sharing this!

    All the best,

  4. early widowhood in my family lines, too - though not Nearly This Early. When thinking of how long I might have to live here - and good lord, another 40 years?! or more - I tell myself, well, you never know. Matt thought he'd live to 115.

    The cheer up power of that thought is a little diminished when I think how happy I was to live in the Before.

  5. Since it seems like so many of the (maybe all?)people I have as friends have not lost a husband they do not get this at all. Seven holidays down for me, and it still can reduce me to a moaning, heaving mess. It doesn't have to be a special day, it just happens when ever. And yes I always feel better after, get it together and move forward, one more damn time.

  6. Thank you. In the last four months, since Karl died, I have cried more than I ever thought possible. I have learned that some people have a hard time with it and others will cry with you. The hardest person for me to talk to is his brother as they are so much a like. I have given myself permission to cry and I do. I was dreading Christmas but it was okay-my wonderful family made it so. I just need to adjust to living along-something I have never done. I tell myself every day that Karl is in a better place and that I will survive-he would want me to.

  7. Well, it is good to hear that I am not the only one trying to keep my chin up and waddle through the holidays, ho ho ho. And now I can be reduced to tears by complete strangers in stores wishing me a happy new year. I am ready and willing to move forward, but these memories of Christmases past are right there every time I turn around. How do you get around them? How do you tell people you love to lighten up and let me grieve? No, I am not ready to sell my house, no I am not ready to date, no I am not ready to stash all the pictures of our life together.I keep reminding them that our 38 years together can't be wiped out so quickly, he was a part of me as much as I was of him. I am in my 50's, and the thought of retirement years without him breaks my heart everyday.

    Enough pity party, I can't live anymore in the Before. So like you all, I'll try to get it together too...keep on truckin in the new year, and hope for better times, they can't get any worse.

  8. It always amazes me when people say they will "probably" live to a ripe old age. If you are on this page, you should know nothing is "probable". It was not "probable" my husband would die young...nothing in life is "probable". Sorry to be a downer...just my feeling. I was amazingly numb for 2 days...my 3rd Christmas without him. I am not having a pity party...I just miss him. I don't want anyone else. Right now I feel like I would prefer to be alone for whatever time I have left. I am happy for those who don't feel this way, for me, I was never happier than when I was with him.

  9. Amanda, you are so right, we do have to take time to grieve.You are right you will feel better in the morming, because if you do not it will find you anyway.

  10. I LOVED this post! Thank you for writing it. Sometimes it feels BETTER to just cry. So, I do. For as long as I need to.
    Sometimes I think I might be getting to the "living day by day" part instead of the moment by moment part.. and then I'll hear a song, see his picture or just have a fleeting thought of him and it starts all over again.
    But, I'm learning that they are just that, moments. Moments that pass. I know its okay when those moments take over. They are a part of who I am now. I miss him so very much, how could I expect anything else?

  11. Well said! I am not a widow but I believe anyone who has lost their soul-mate way too soon should be "allowed" to hash through it any way they need to without judgment. Most people who haven't experienced such loss and who expect you to keep it "bottled" in are just selfish brutes who don't want to be faced with another's reality and to try to feel even just a moment the pain that you must endure every day without escaping.