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I was doing fine. I was taking charge of my own life. I was refinancing. I was doing fine until I got to the point where next to my name, in BIG letters, I read "UNMARRIED." Was it just me or did the…

I was doing fine. I was taking charge of my own life. I was refinancing. I was doing fine until I got to the point where next to my name, in BIG letters, I read "UNMARRIED." Was it just me or did they purposefully make the font 10 times bigger?! I don't think of myself as unmarried. I will always be married to Chris. Those vows might as well have said, "Into eternity," instead of "until death do us part." Now I'm sitting here, sobbing, missing him. I'm upset that I didn't get the full amount of life insurance, amd thay I still have to pay a mortgage and work. I wish he were here to sign these papers like he had been for our past 6 homes. I miss him so much. Tbis is the deepest and greatest pain I have ever endured. Most of the time, I am ok. I can find happiness, but here I am sitting in this wave of grief, embracing it, seeing what it has to teach me.
I have his pictures, our pictures, throughout the house. I have been making it, doing it all on my own. We had just moved to a new state months before he passed away. I have been living alone, and working on finding my old and new true self, which being alone forced me to do quickly. My brother recently had a crisis of not having anywhere to live, so he moved here a few days ago out of the blue. This is also forcing me to deal with family in a new way. He told me that if he were to marry a widow, he would not be ok with their previous spouse's pictures on the wall. I told him, "Well, that's probably why I would never ens up with someone like you." He also told yelled at me when he found out that I was trying to date again, "I'm not even ober Chris's death yet! How dare you date already!" I told him that I would never be over his death, but that I was trying, that I am faced with this every single day. It has made me change in what may seem like a day to you, but to me these changes have been gradual, amd are still beimg worked out. I am doing what is right for me right now." I feel like I am happy more than I am sad. I feel like I'm making yhe choice. I often ask myself, "What do YOU want to do next? Do you want that or do not want that? I know myself better than I did before, and I listen to what is that I truly want. The rest is just noise.
So many mixed emotions tonight, but I'm a widow, so I'm allowed to have all of them at the same time! :) Peace to you and yours.

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Comment by Steve on May 23, 2017 at 8:07am
Hi, im sorry to hear that your brother isnt more caring, empathetic, supportive. I take it maybe, he has never been thru something like this? Thats what i find, anyway. People who have lost someone close, get it, others dont.
The people who dont get it, i keep at arms length.
I am over 8 yrs out in this widowers journey, and i completely understand about you seeing this "unmarried" label, and how that sent you into a melt down. I sure had a ton of those, for sure, and still do from time to time. I was alone after Mike passed, no children or local family in my daily life, other than weekly calls.
I hermitized for the first 18 months to 2 yrs, only going outside my home when i had to. Then it was short, necessary trips, and back home. It was so brutal for me, to even walk our dog, by myself. Not that i hadnt ever done it by myself 1000s of times in my life, but it was something mike and i did together every night, after dinner. We walked our neighborhood, in the evening, discussing our day, week, upcoming plans with Avery, our Yellow Lab.
I remember the first time i attempted to go grocery shopping, something else mike and i did often together. I had to sit in the car in front of the store and talk myself into it. Once i got it, got my cart, hit the aisles, i was doung ok, until i realized i had grabbed a box of Mikes favorite cereal, and through it in the cart, and i saw it there, realized Mike was gone, i would never buy anything for mike again, never eat a meal with him again, never cook together again, and i just absolutely lost it while standing in the aisle. I had to leave the cart where it was and b-lined for my car, home and to bed. I couldnt pick up Mikes suits at the cleaners for a year. For years, mike always filled up my car with gas, every sunday. It was one of the many sweet things he did for me, because he knew how much i loathed pumping gas. The first 10 times i pumped my own gas was really hard for me. The list goes on! Later in the years, i had worked thru so many of those challenges, faced them with patience and perseverness, i kept thinking, "whew"! I think i have faced all those tough 1st time things, without Mike, had faced all holidays and anniversaries, and survived, and was feeling less scared about what i would have to face each day, but still, to this day, i will have something pop into my life, out of the blue, and im in the throws of pain and grief again. Its alot less frequent now, and im able to face it now without colapsing into bed for days in a puddle, but they still pop up. I remember in my 5th or 6th year, i was pretty strong, pretty happy, gojng along just fine. Months and months inbetween melt downs, Chris my new partner and i had been living together for a year or so, and we decided to go to Las vegas for a few days. We got tired of the $45 price tags per person, for buffets, and decided to find a little whole in the wall diner, off strip to go have dinner in. Chris looked one up while i was in the shower, and then drove us there. As we pulled into the parking lot, a wave of familiarity, pain, hit my heart, and i quickly realized, Mike and i had eaten at this place, years before. I talked to myself, told myself to hold it together, but my memory kept replaying scenes from that visit years ago. As we walked in, i realized the place hadnt changed a bit, same decor, same everything, same receptionist, same staff for most part. We were seated in the exact same booth, and then had exact same waitress! These type of scenarios are so tough, but, i am able to keep going, do my best to create new memories, hold myself together. But this creates days of memories popping into my head of my former life. Im learning to try to enjoy those, be so grateful for those memories, its still raw at times, but im getting better at it. Its so strange to be in a new life, different charactors, different family, different dog, and then be flooded with your former life, and not feel a bit of disconnection, in this begining, trying to connect the dots.
Comment by ashleynicole8378 on April 18, 2017 at 12:03pm

So sorry you are having a hard time with this. I still considered myself married too, but it's only been 3 months for me. I still wear my wedding ring and honestly don't know if I'll ever stop. I get comfort in looking at both my engagement and wedding ring on my finger and remembering what we had. The day that I signed my son into childcare at our church and it only listed my name as his parent not both of us was really hard, because I don't like to think of my son not having a dad. I totally feel ya on being upset about still having to work, pay mortgage etc. Dealing with something as immensely hard with this should come with a free pass on being a responsible adult for like a year at least. My brother is dealing with problems as well. He and I were really close growing up. So I feel obligated to help him, but have so much on my plate already. I actually thought about asking him to live with me since he's sleeping on my mom's couch right now, but that would put him far away from his daughter. Your brother seems pretty insensitive. 

Comment by only1sue on April 14, 2017 at 2:12pm

Yes, it is hard to reinvent yourself, no, you do not want to do it. You are early on in this journey as yet and your brother does not and will never understand what you are going through.  You, like all of us, will go through many stages of grief and somehow come out the other side different, stronger, more able to cope alone. Then you can choose whether you want a new partner or not and it is your choice. I am four and a half years out and still have some of the feeling you have but like you are tracking on that "true me" I want to be. It isn't easy but you will get there in the end.

Comment by widow85 on April 13, 2017 at 7:04am

So maybe you need to take out an ad "Wanted:  Pictureless widow to take my brother off my hands."

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