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

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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