Last weekend a very good friend came over for lunch. Her gorgeous husband passed away and I vividly remember being in the city with my husband and we sadly selected a sympathy card to send her. Ironically by the time the ‘thank you card’ arrived from her, my husband had passed away as well.
We had met while our husbands’ had chemotherapy and in the oncologists waiting room.
Since we were both now in the same predicament as widows we decided to have lunch and have continued to lunch regularly since. The friendship works so well, we both have a positive outlook and share the same beliefs on grief, death, life and our future.
It is truly lovely to talk to someone who really understands what it feels like to lose a partner. I can say anything and it doesn’t sound weird – like when I smell my husband’s aftershave, I close my eyes and remember him.
“Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance.”
Together we can discuss the secret widows business that we experience – we “get” each other in ways very few other people understand.
Today I thought I could shed some light on my so-called secret widows business that I experienced this week:
I found it difficult:
- When I needed some bread and would have loved to say ‘can you get a loaf of bread from the bakery’ but there wasn’t anyone but me to get it.
- When the BBQ ran out of gas while cooking dinner and I am the only one who has to refill it. Then I bought the gas bottle and it was so tight that I couldn’t open it.
- When the light bulbs continuously needed changing and the smoke detectors started beeping and the lights flashed on and off simultaneously.
- When my legs were so sore and all I wanted was someone to say, “sit down bub, I will cook dinner”.
- When I cooked a beautiful dinner and 6 o’clock came and I no longer heard the garage door go up and he wasn’t coming home to enjoy it with the kids and me.
- When I have to wash up after dinner every night.
- When every show I watch seems to be made by Disney.
And on a macro level:
- When the invitations for lunch/dinner from couples dramatically reduce and I am not sure why.
- When I had to decide if I should continue to wear my wedding rings or not.
- When I could no longer play good cop/bad cop with the children because I am always the bad cop.
- When every issue, argument or problem the children have has to be handled by ME.
- When every single decision had to be made by ME.
I am sure that many single or divorced individuals struggle with these same issues.
This morning as I walked our dog ‘Happy’ along the beach a lady, also walking, looked me in the eye, smiled and said in a cheery voice “ENJOY THE DAY”. Not enjoy your day but enjoy the day and I smiled to myself and thought ‘absolutely’. I just needed a little jolt to remind me of the abundance that I have in my life.
It is easy to get consumed with the day-to-day drama of life. The truth is that everyone has down days, struggles, obstacles, challenges and less than perfect situations. I find the longer you allow yourself to be victimized, the more difficult it is to pull yourself out of it. For me I take deep breaths, connect with nature, go to the beach, meditate, do yoga, write, watch something funny, and am gentle with myself.
My walk on the beach this morning gave me a clear perspective on all of the above difficulties. All of a sudden they didn’t seem so dramatic and I began to appreciate my blessings. I made the decision that ‘today is going to be a wonderful day – I am awake, healthy and full of joy!’
So, I called the electrician to check the flashing lights and smoke detectors, my children rode to the bakery and bought bread, I asked a neighbor to loosen my gas bottle and cooked a delicious barbecue, I hired the movie ‘Crazy, stupid, love’ and laughed, played Monopoly with my children and enjoyed the day.