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

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Walk Forward, Don't Run Away

In March of 2008 I wrote a blog entry titled ‘Immortality’ and it started out like this: “We all face our own mortality at one at point or another although some of us are good at pretending it doesn’t exist. Usually I’m able to ignore thoughts of dying or of losing someone I love, but sometimes the concept slaps me in the face and it can’t be ignored. Last week was one of those slap-downs….” Then the blog went on to talk about a heart catheterization Don went through.

I ended the essay with this: “For the next few days I worried about the ‘what ifs’ ahead of us, borrowing trouble from the future and generally forgetting the caregivers’ Cardinal Rule about living in the moment and appreciating what is here right now. The bottom line, I finally had to tell myself, is that after all the testing and all the worrying nothing has changed. Don is still in my life and he still finds life worth living. We don’t have to say good-bye just yet and I don’t have to make my way alone in the world. So I made a conscious choice to go back to the land where ignoring our mortalities makes sense in a crazy kind of logic that demands no explanation from those of us who have been there, done that.”

January 18th, 2012 I got the final slap-down, didn’t I, the mean-spirited punch from Father Fate. Don is gone and I’m trying my best to practice mindfulness but living in the moment is so much harder sometimes than others. In a book of daily meditations I’m currently reading---Wrinkles Don’t Hurt---it has a Jack Kornfield quote that is good advice for anyone dealing with grief: “Don’t run away. It’s that simple.” The meditation goes on to talk about how by letting our emotions come we can release them. If we block our pain, then we block our ability to find joy again. Sometimes I wonder if that’s not what I’ve been doing by keeping so busy ---blocking the pain because I don’t want to walk deeper into the valley of grief.

Dialogue with the Dog

Levi: “Is that all you’re going to do today is sit at the computer? Can’t you see my ball sitting there on the floor?”

Me: “Go get your ball, Levi.”

Levi: “That’s not going to cut it, old woman. Give me your full attention or I’m going to eat the schefflera plant. Again!”

Me: "Leviiiiiiii! Knock off the barking and go get your ball!”

Levi: “Not until you give me your full attention. All that New Age stuff about mindfulness you like to read about---well, you know you can’t do two things at one time if you want to practice it. Play with me! Now!”

Me: “What’s the matter, little boy? Do you miss your ball throwing partner? Do you miss Don?”

Levi: “Now we’re getting some where. Of course I miss Daddy! What a silly question.”

Me: “Want to go for a walk, Levi? Shall we clear our minds and go find out if any of your four-legged friends left you some pee-mail?”

Levi: “You’re just full of silly questions today, aren’t you!” ©

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