The Shame. On THEM~

In a disheartening post, a couple of years ago, I read about a widow sister who had received a nasty email from friends. Friends of her husband who became her friends also. She thought they were still friends after his death but their email made clear to her that they want nothing to do with her. She thrived on the drama of widowhood, they said, because of the attention it brought to her.
Early on in my widowhood someone I didn’t know but whom I suspect was somehow connected to Chuck’s ex, accused me, upon learning of my intent to write a book about our love story, upon learning that it was my goal to some day present a program about our hospice time, about our time together, that person felt the need to email me and accuse me of profiting off of my marriage to him. She reminded me, in an accusing manner, that he’d had a first wife and child, you know! And various other things that were equally idiotic and had nothing to do with anything. (maybe she meant that his ex was actually his widow? God, who knows? People are fucked up weird).
A woman I considered a friend, a woman I’d counseled in past years after her mom’s death and through an abusive relationship, messaged me and said you’re not the only one who ever lost anyone, you know. You just need to paste a smile on your face and fake it. This was a mere 2 months after my entire world incinerated, mind you. Also…you mean others have gone through this? Well, who the ever loving fuck EVER would have thought that?!
I let go willingly and happily of a 45-year friendship that was not a friendship at all, apparently, upon realizing that this so-called friend was blind as to who I am as a person, who attacked Chuck with ugly words and accusations, and was much more interested in the impact my widowhood had on her life than she was in how it impacted my life.
None of us are new to such ignorant people and the ugly words that spew forth from their ugly souls. Many, if not most, of us, have heard such drivel and it’s impossible to comprehend the reason why people feel compelled to use words as knives and drive them into our hearts and souls.
The drama of widowhood. Seeking attention. Endlessly talking gasp! about our husbands and the life we lived with them and how much we miss that life, how much we miss them, how difficult it is to find our footing again.
How dare we not be who we were before? Or, if we can’t be that same person, please just fade away into the darkness, thank you very much.
Get on with life, move along, move on, be happy, it’s a choice to be sad, do this, don’t do this, do that, don’t do that…what don’t we hear?
5 years and 9 months into this fucking widowhood, I’ve long let go of the dare I call them assholes who clearly have no clue at all about the impact of widowhood. No clue as to what the greatest loss is for us, never mind the mind-blowing secondary losses that pop up constantly like a bad whack-a-mole game. None of which make me want sympathy, mind you. A little empathy does, however, go a long way. Barring that, being left alone also does the trick. As in, back the fuck off if you’re not strong enough to stand with me.
We, as widows, need a very thick skin to navigate our new world. We need to learn to walk that fine line of keeping our hearts open while establishing healthy emotional boundaries. We learn new skills out of necessity, we push our comfort zones, we parent solo, we talk about our person because we know it is crucial, going through this loss, we weep, we laugh, we dance, we hide under the covers, we do shit we never imagined doing and we do it all with grief as an all too familiar companion while also often struggling financially, losing our homes, finding new jobs, etc.
Really, you know what I say to those who so easily criticize, to those who are quick with their accusations of drama and attention seeking?
How dare YOU? And also….fuck off. With Love, of course.

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Happy 3 year anniversary moments-and what’s next~

Three years!  And counting.  How long, I wonder, will we be on this road as Happily Homeless?  I’m happy to say that we show no signs of slowing down in any way!  Handsome Husband and I are so content, wandering about this country, exploring and having adventures, meeting new friends, checking in with our kids, and their friends.  Life is unexpected, life is unplanned, and we like it that way!

So, what’s next?  Well, Handsome and I were discussing that very thing this morning as we exercise walked, and we decided that each year, on our HH anniversary, we are going to zero in on one thing that we want to focus on for the following year.  There is so much out here, there is so much to be learned.  And there is so much in here (I’m pointing to myself) that has changed, and is changing.   In this last month, especially, we’ve both been doing so much inward shifting.  If we really stop to contemplate how we are and why we are, we  start to realize that not everything that we’ve been taught as young children and adults has a place in our life any longer, and that there is a tremendous feeling of freedom upon letting go of those things.  What things, you might ask?  Good question.  And I can’t really answer in a tangible way-its just something I know.    Believe me, as I’ve changed, Handsome Husband has had a tough time getting any specific answers from me, because its tough to put language to what is going on in me.  Suffice to say, he and I are both shifting and changing.  What used to matter matters no longer.  What wasn’t thought about before is thought about now.

All of this to say, this upcoming year is one where, as we travel, we’re going to focus on the physical.  Going exercise walking?  Do it harder and longer.  We’re going to make a point of, wherever we are, searching out mountains to hike, and rocks to climb, and we’re going to push ourselves.  And I want to dance more, I want to hoop more.   Those YouTube hoop instructional videos?  I’m going to tackle them. I’m going to hoop/dance!  We’re going to slow dance, no matter where we are. Handsome and I are, at least once a week for each of us, going to do full body massages.  I’m going to become more aware of my body-at work, at play.  We’re going to become more fully attuned to ourselves, our bodies, and each other.  This is the year of us becoming more of who we are and who we envision ourselves to be!  There is just something going on, in this our third year, that is making me want to run full-out towards what this new life has to offer, and find the richness that has yet to be experienced, to be open to all the wondrous possibilities.

As an addendum, check out this link to read about us in the Philadelphia Inquirer-what fun to see our story written!  http://www.philly.com/philly/home/20120525_Their_home_is_the_road.html

We’re happy.  We love our life. We’re blessed.  And we are thrilled to have so many more people in our community in these three years.  You are, each and every one of you, a part of our lives, no matter how far we travel.

 Happy Anniversary to us!!!