Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's the Point? (Curing Grief)

I was having trouble deciding what to write about today. My head felt like it was filled with pudding; no thoughts were able to wade from one side to another. On top of that, on the way home from an appointment I had lunch at a pity party with a few tears to keep me company. Loneliness caught up with me, I think, when it crossed my mine I had no one to go home to or to care about how I was spending the day. What’s the point, I thought, about anything I do or don’t do?

Closely following that poor-me thought I decided to write about the topic and maybe I’d find some answers in the process. So when I got home I googled the phrase “what’s the point?” Google brought up 15,000,000 hits and the very first place I clicked on stated this in its introduction: “This site is an attempt to inspire people to get out and enjoy life.” At first I wondered if the creator of that site had been peeking through the keyhole when I was having my pity party. That’s what I need to do----get out and enjoy life! Yup, it sounded reasonable. Then the website owner went on to explain his theory on “what’s the point” and he says it’s all about creating the best possible memories for yourself and your loved ones. Memories, he said, are really all we have in life. But it turns out he was trying to sell travel adventure packages: bike tours in Nova Scotia, white water rafting, and skydiving. If that’s really the point then I wonder if I can get my adventure by just watching his videos. I’m too out of shape to bike that far, white rafting with cold water splashing in my face sounds too much like water boarding, and skydiving would make me poop my pants.

After finding a couple more sites trying to sell stuff like needlepoint and arrow heads I decided I couldn’t google myself a short cut to finding out what’s the point. And while I’m deciding this I heard Steven Colbert talking to Julie Andrews about her children’s books in the background. “You have to let your sparkle out,” she said, and I was intrigued by that phrase enough to abandon my writing which wasn’t going all that well anyway and I discovered there is a whole line of let your sparkle out merchandise connected with her books. Somehow I think there’s a connection between “what’s the point” and letting your sparkle out but I haven’t figured it out yet. Or maybe the guy who believes that our sole purpose in life is to create good memories is right and by living his philosophy we’d automatically be letting our sparkle out.

Then it struck me that maybe instead of consulting Google I should have consulted Robert Fulghum, (author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten). So I pulled his second book off the shelf and on the back cover was a giant clue to the answer that had been dogging me all day. He wrote: “It’s not the meaning of life, it’s the meaning in life.” But what really gave me chills was on the first page of the book:

“I believe….
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death.”

Don has been gone just a few days over three months and if I’m to believe that love is stronger than death then does that mean he’s still with me as long as I still love him, that I’m really not alone? True or not, it’s a comforting thought and I won’t feel guilty if I try to wallow in my good memories of Don like a ravenous suckling child. I still might not fully understand what’s the point or how to cure my grief but the above three sources I consulted today all suggest that finding things to make you laugh and that makes you happy inside is crucial. And haven’t I known that all along. ©

No comments:

Post a Comment