Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

Welcome to my World---Woman, widow. senior citizen seeking to live out my days with a sense of whimsy as I search for inner peace and friendships. Jeez, that sounds like a profile on a dating app and I have zero interest in them, having lost my soul mate of 42 years. Life was good until it wasn't when my husband had a massive stroke and I spent the next 12 1/2 years as his caregiver. This blog has documented the pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties and finally, moving past it all. And now I’m ready for a new start, in a new location---a continuum care campus in West Michigan, U.S.A. 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. Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Jean

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This Year I Cry for Me

The first half of April, this year, is marked by many sad occasions for me. I already had Easter as the marker for the day my mom died although it actually happened on the 3rd. Easter, however, never falls on the same calendar date so it’s like there are two dates of sorrow instead of one for her. Next, Don’s ashes will be interred on the 16th which was our anniversary. Both our birthdays plus my parents’ anniversary also fall in this first 16 days of April. So, many once-happy occasions have become dates for tears now that Don’s death is so fresh. I need to get through one more week, one more week of intense grief and I greet each of these dates on the calendar with tears for me. But next April I swear on all that is holy to me I will celebrate the lives lived well instead.

In a couple of days I’m starting a new tradition of marking all these April dates by making an annual pilgrimage to see the Butterflies in Bloom exhibit which is always in town this time of the year---to do something life affirming and symbolic of the cycle of all living things. What could be more life affirming than to sit among 6,000 butterflies hatching and flying free in the conservatory? They say if you sit very quiet the butterflies will land on you and you can feel the whisper of air from their wings when they take off again. I want to do something positive and uplifting like this to honor the lives that are gone instead of me mourning the hollow place their absence---especially Don’s---leaves behind. I might not achieve that goal this year, but in the years to come I will.

Grief is grief and it takes however long it takes, but for me it helps to have an exit plan like this for leaving the grieving path behind. I want to remember Don, Mom and Dad with a joyful heart, not a tear-stained face. They were all good, caring people. My dad, my sweet and wise father who is never far from my thoughts. So much of my world view came from him. My mom who taught me to be strong and independent. My loyal and loving husband who taught me that love is patient and full of laughter. By next April I will be joyful and celebrate that I had them all in my life for as long as I did. But this year, I cry for me. I cry for Don. This year I see the ugliest of all cocoons---grief---but I know it holds the promise that from it will emerge the most beautiful of all butterflies…. spiritual and physical healing. ©
“Our lives reflect the pictures we create in our minds,
therefore we should pay close attention to our mental doodling.”
Mary Manin Morrissey

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