Would You Change?

For my widda peeps. If you could… would you change the outcome? Looking at your life now, would you change what happened, alter your life as it is to have your late spouse back? Or would you leave your life as it is? I know we all miss our spouse… and for many, it’s the first year, first couple years… but especially for those who are further out… would you change it? Would you give up what you have now to have what you lost?

(These are the questions I’m pondering lately)

This is the question I posed to all my widow friends yesterday in a facebook status, and in a private group. 

The answers ranged from HELL YES!  to NO!

Most ranged somewhere in the middle.

What I found interesting was… the widows/widowers who are in a new relationship, the ones who have found their 2nd Chapter… they all said no, they wouldn’t.   But most of the singles?  Most of the ones who were still fairly connected to their deceased spouse?  They would in a heartbeat.

One gentleman, I don’t know what his situation is.   But he was one of the hell yes! people.   I assume he’s not re-coupled.

For myself?  When I was with my man who was my 2nd Chapter, the answer was no.   Before?  It was a hell yes!   Now?  I’m on the fence.

But what about you dear reader?  Would you change your life as it is NOW to get back what you HAD if you had the choice?

Tucked In MY Heart

Why Am I Grieving So Hard?

I had someone ask that the other day.  Why are you grieving so hard still?

And it occurred to me to stop and think about that.

Am I grieving hard?

Am I putting too much focus on my “widowhood” and my husband’s death?

It’s not the first time it’s come up.   It was one of the pivotal things that ended my relationship with my Chapter 2.  (who, btw, I still freaking love and I don’t know how to grieve THAT relationship).   It was asked of me when I asked someone why… why for the love of God did my husband have to die?

And I was thinking today…. would I change my life if I could?

I watched a movie last night – Predestination.  Good movie.  Interesting twists and plots.  Thought provoking.  Someone had a chance to change the outcome.   Would he?

So if I could go back in time.  To the summer of 2009… would I make my husband go to a doctor and have his heart checked out?   I believe the heart attacks were the beginning of the end. Between the meds he was on for his Ankylosing Spondylitis and his heart issues, I believe that’s what caused the pancreatitis that ultimately killed him.

So would I go back?

Would I change things, knowing it would change the outcome?

Would I alter the course my life is on… knowing I’d never get to know Liz or Dorine or Jennifer or Roxanne or have the opportunity to work at BC Wildfire or get to know my sister better or move to a completely new place or have Mike in my life or skate with the Gold Pain Girls or go to Camp Widow or meet all my widda peeps or go back to school to become an LPN?

Would I change that?

Who I am has CHANGED.

I like who I’m becoming.

I like the person I am, the woman who can fly across Canada on a wing and a prayer.  The woman who supported someone in fighting the Ministry, who helped 3 boys get into a stable loving home.

I like that I am finally getting my adult dogwood and going back to school and becoming a nurse.

I like that I’m going to get to help people.

I like that I’m figuring out who JANE is, not who MarkandJane is.

I don’t want to be MarkandJane.  I want to be Jane.   I don’t want to be MIkeandJane or AlandJane or DaveandJane or JulieandJane or AmandaandJane.

I want to be Jane.

I want my husband back.. the way he was before the heart attacks changed our life.  I want him back even after that.  He wasn’t sick.  He was strong and independant and determined.

But I want the life I have now, too.

I know it’s a futile exercise to think and pretend that he could just *walk back in* to my life… but I wonder… if I had a choice… would I change my life back?

The truth is…. I don’t know.

I miss him so much it hurts.  If I let the box open, the pain of his death overwhelms me.   But the joy of our life together… that’s been more prevalent lately.   Remembering all that was good and amazing.    There was some not good, and not amazing.  But what I miss most… (aside from him) is how COMFORTABLE we were together.  I miss knowing the dance steps.  I miss knowing the routine.  I miss the life we had together.

There was a lot of our life that was restricted.  There was a lot of our life that was limited by his limitations.

But there was a lot amazing. And I miss it.

But the reality is that I’m becoming someone I didn’t know I could be.   I found strength and joy in places I didn’t know they could exist.    I found a life.  I found a person I didn’t know I could be.   And I wouldn’t want to lose that.

There’s a lot of “I wish” still… but there’s a lot of “I’m happy with…” as well.

So would I change things if I could?   I’m kinda still on the fence.  I still wish he were here… but I like my life.

So yeah.

For some reason this was a hard post to write.  I miss him. I wish he’d never died.  But I’m happy with the life I’m building.

It feels a bit like a betrayal.

Peace

I Miss My Friend

I miss being able to talk to him.

I miss being able to share anything with him.

I miss being able to have any hairbrained idea and he had enthusiasm for it.   For as long as mine lasted.

I miss having a champion.

I miss having someone who got all my stupid jokes.

I miss having someone who I’ve heard all his jokes a million times, but they were still funny.

I miss the easy companionship that came with 14 years of getting to know each other.

I miss his memory of people and places.

I miss the way he would look at me.

I miss his ability to be remarkably goofy and laugh at himself.

I miss how he would put everyone before himself… until he ran out of “spoons.”

I miss how he would listen to me as if I were the most important person in the world.

I miss how much he loved his boys.

I miss how he would do anything for his family.

I miss playing cards with him.

I miss the easy familiarity.

I miss him.

January 2010 039

Screaming

I’ve been screaming lately.

In my car.

With the music cranked.

Gutteral, visceral screaming.

My throat kinda hurts… blarg.

I’m not sure if I’m screaming over my husbands death or the recent ending of what I thought would be my 2nd chapter.

I’m grieving over both.

The difference?  If I *really* wanted to, I could go upstairs, and yell at my ex for hurting me, for leaving me with a broken heart…  I can’t yell at my husband because he’s not here.

So I scream.

In my car.

Alone.

Because I haven’t been able to cry the way I need to.

I haven’t been able to let it out.

He thinks I’m *over* him.  That I’m easily moving on.   I’m not.   I’m just extraordinarily skilled at disassociation and putting feelings into a tiny little box.

Only problem is that the box for my love for him and my grief over our relationship ending keeps getting clawed open by the sound of his voice, the look in his eyes, the sadness and love emanating from him when I see him.

I’d forgotten what it was like to have a relationship end.

I miss him.  Both of them.

Imma go out to my car and scream again.

Being a widow sucks.   Being a widow and going through a seperation sucks.

Screaming sounds good right now.

Tear Composition

Some  People  Letting Go

5 Years

The best advice I’ve been given to date about being a widow and being in a relationship AS a widow, came from another widow who’s now 14.5 years out.

Wait at least 4 – 5 years before getting into another relationship.

That seems like a long time to me.  I’m gonna be 42 by then. 42 and a half, even.

But…. It kinda makes sense.

Year 1… I was numb.  Couldn’t think.  Couldn’t feel.

Year 2… I was not numb.   Couldn’t stop hurting, let it override everything.

Year 3… I am in.  And I’m becoming more clear as to who I am and what I want and where I want to go.

Her advice kinda works for me.  My plans for the next 2 1/2 years has changed, somewhat.   I’ll be busy with school, getting my kids through high school, buying a house (I will own a freaking house before I’m 45, dammit!), and generally just learning who I am and what I want.

The other part of her advice?

Find a FWB.   Just keep the emotions out of it.

I’m pretty sure I’d be ok with that – but I’ve used FWB as a way of escaping the pain and loss and emotions before and now… I want… no I NEED to feel them. I NEED to go through them.  I can’t let go of any of it without FEELING it.

And until now – the feeling part has been missing.

My relationship with my 2nd Chapter came to a complete close yesterday.   As in, we’re both done done.  No going back.   And I won’t go back.  He doesn’t want to be my 2nd chapter – he wants to be Chapte 1 of OUR story… which is fair… except he’s got a chapter 1 already… he just doesn’t see it.

I hurt.  All the emotions of being a widow, of losing my husband, of being alone… all came back.   Only multiplied because now I hurt because I’ve lost my relationship, too.

I want to NOT hurt for a while.  Pretty please?   Just for a while, feel joy and freedom.

It’ll come.  I caught glimpses of it when my son and his lady and my grandbaby were visiting in August.  The joy of the new generation.  The freedom of a life unmarked by pain and suffering and sadness.   A blank slate upon which a new story will be written…

And I get to do that for myself now.  I get to write the story of the rest of my life, make plans for my children and me and focus on OUR happiness.

For the past year, the focus has been on someone else’s happiness… but now… it’s my turn.

Now… I get to change paths.  I am still a widow, and I don’t know that that will every stop being central to my life, but my future looks different.   My future looks bright and open and full of possibiliities.  For the first time in 3 years.

Peace PhoenixRising Dance in the Rain

Camp Widow Tampa

Hey… could you help a girl out?

My plans for the next 2 1/2 years involve being in school… a LOT.

Timing for Camp Widow San Diego & Camp Widow Toronto SUCK for 2015 & 2016.

But… if I had the money… I could go to Camp Widow TAMPA in 2015.   It’s…. like… 2 months away.

Could you help a girl out?    Spare a couple $20 bucks?   Little more mebbe?

Camp Widow has been so pivotal in my journey, and I know I won’t be able to attend for the next two years… so this is one option to go until I’m out of school.

If you can?   Click HERE

IF I don’t raise enough to get me there – the money will go straight to Soaring Spirits for someone else to attend.   So if you can help… it may be me… or it may be some other widow you’re helping out.

Either way… the money goes to getting someone to Camp Widow.

Well Loved 2014

Hope Matters

Apparently today is #givingtuesday.

I don’t know exactly what that means, beyond we give to something that is important to us.

What I do know… is that Hope Matters, and without Soaring Spirits… I wouldn’t have had the hope I do for my future.

Soaring Spirits is changing the face of the widow.

Soaring Spirits Andrew Soaring Spirits Luke Soaring Spirits ME

Soaring Spirits and Camp Widow gave me hope.