Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Good Grief (But can we ix-nay the WIDOW part?)

I know I left you guys a bit high and dry.

Here’s the thing.  Or maybe not the thing but part of the thing.  I’m doing really, really well.   I realized, about this time last year that I was no longer actively grieving.  When I wrote, especially for the book, it churned stuff up inside me and facilitated active grieving that I just didn’t feel was necessary at the time.  So I decided to take a break from writing the book.  I fully intended to keep writing the blog.  But, for some reason, the break ended up extending to the blog, too. 

I feel like even the title of my blog has widow in it, and I just no longer really identify myself as such.  Well, that’s not true.  I definitely still identify as a widow.  I still, five and a half years in, do not leave my house without waterproof mascara and packin’ a cute mini Kleenex pack.  When I hand one over to someone that I’m’ chatting with, and get teased for being a girl scout, I shrug and explain I’m not a girl scout, I’m a widow.  I will never not be a widow.  Widowness got in there and changed my DNA.  I don’t have the luxury of living the carefree life of not considering the “What ifs” because one of the craziest “What ifs” actually happened to me.  But, all that being said, it’s no longer at the forefront of my brain.  I don’t walk into a room and think that it’s the first thing that people should know about me.  I’m not only a widow.  I’m much, much more.

So now what do I do with the blog?  How do I write about musings now?  How do I include what’s going on in my life when most of what I’m processing is about people who are living?  I have to consider feelings being hurt and relationships and crap like that.  It’s complicated.  It was simpler when the object of most of my writing was dead.

But I feel like writing was really good for me.  And, when I started this whole thing, the point of it for me was to help other widows.  To help them by showing them my grief journey, and I feel like it might be helpful to them to know that for me there was real life to be lived and enjoyed again eventually.  Eventually I got to quit actively grieving!

I remember in my first few months as a widow, I would be finally getting out of the house and my mom would tell me, “Have fun.”  And I would tell her, “I don’t have fun.”  I knew that I was a drag to be around and that I was literally incapable at the time of having fun.  But that changed.  Now, I have fun.  I also remember meeting new people and thinking, “I wish they could have met me before.  I was funny.”  But, I’m funny again.  I think people like to be around me.  Life returned to a new normal.  It took a long, long time, but it happened.  I want new widows to know that.

So, if you’re still around and you want to join me as I figure out how to write Good Grief about a young widow (that doesn’t feel that young anymore, holy cow, I just turned 36!) who doesn’t identify so much as a widow anymore, than I’d love to have you!