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On the 7th of February was 7 months of being a widow.  Truth be told, I hate this new path.  I'm so angry. At who? Myself, my husband, my new life, my family, my Job, the cat?  I can't even tell you for sure. Maybe just me.... maybe all of the above.  I just know I hate this new path and i'm so angry. It prevents me from taking those steps to heal.  I'm shut in. Shut down.  Locked away behind my big picture window. Staring.  

Strong.  Strong is what I get described as.  "You are so strong Erin.  You are so amazing Erin.  I can't even imagine the strength it takes to go through what you're going through Erin. You are the strongest woman. Toby always admired your strength. Toby would want you to be strong for him right now. "  A polite smile is what I throw on my face because I don't want to be rude to anyone.  It's not their fault.  They have no idea how twisted and negative I have become.They are just trying to encourage me. 7 months ago, I probably uttered the same words to someone who was grieving.  I didn't know any better.  So, now I smile at them all.   The rational side of my brain recognizes this kindness from everybody, but the emotional side hates the word "strong". 

In my brain i'm responding, "ahh bugger off.  Strength would be moving forward. You have no clue.  I'm not strong. I sit in my house and whither away. Sleep all the time. I stare at the wall. I stare at the ceiling.  I stare out the window at his car that gathers snow. I stare at his photo. I stare at his urn. I stare at our backyard. I flip through 900+ channels. I drink wine to numb the pain.  That's not strength.  Strength would be moving forward. Strength would be sleeping in our own bed, but I can't. I sleep on the couch because I cant bear to disturb where we last slept together.  So shut up and go away. You have no idea what strength is because it's not me. The strength you think you see is an illusion, mirage, a pretty girl putting on a pretty smile to make you feel better." 

Even writing those words I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed because I know people just want to help me, but that is how I feel when people try to talk to me. So, I shut myself in. Shutdown. Locked away. Staring.  Such a long journey. Such a painful path.  Such a lonely world I seem to have created for myself. 

No, i'm not strong and I hate this new path.  Yes. I get up. I go to work.  I come home.  Even after 7 months I can't do much more.  I truly hate this new path.

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Comment by Doug02122014 on March 1, 2014 at 8:52am

I wish I could say/do something to heal all of us who feel as you do.  I'm still a rookie at this (my wife of 19-yrs. passed on 2/12/2014), and like "Riseup22" stated about taking on the homemaking responsibiities I couldn't agree more.  I don't know how other people do it & make it look easy.  IndiaKai & others: Here's a screwup I did the other day to a very good long time friend (thank God it was this guy; because it cracked him up).  He asked the same question everyone asks "How you doing"  apparently I had enough of that & before I could stop myself, I blurted out "which answer do you want?  The same one I gave to the rest of the office or do you want the truth.". I felt like an idiot, but then noticed him laughing his butt off.  Got lucky & didn't loose one of the few true friends I have left.

If some words of encouragement would help anyone go to my page and look at my pictures.  I uploaded a photo of the poem? In my wife's funeral/visitation card.  It's not much, but if it helps 1-person on Widowed Village then it was worth the time to upload.  Doug

Comment by my roses on February 24, 2014 at 7:20am

My roses

Dear Rise up  and others - yes the same old DON'T GET  IT LOT are around.  We are not STRONG, we just haven't snapped in half yet.  If all your rellies and churchgoers are asking about us via others.  why don't you contact us directly.  2 Days ago I went to visit a lady who is in a deep depression and I knew when I saw her that she needed to be hugged. Another friend was with me and she had taken flowers, I took two lovely French magazines (in English) but about travel, interior decor, french food etc. which I knew she would like.She said to my other friend this was the first bunch of flowers she had in 10 yrs!!!  I then went and hugged her and rubbed her back.. there is real evidence that touch can heal - and she started to weep.  We listened to her sorrow and then we all went down to the cafe for some tea.  I do not see a great deal of difference between  grief and the medical term depression.  Stop piling on the drugs  but give love and  holding.  Her marriage broke down and her husband left and since then she has been adrift.  As we left , her cheery  carer came to see her having been to her house and looked after her dogs.  The lady seemed as overwhelmed as us widows.  We seem to have a society which is geared towards family groups but once you are not a family... G -d help you.  A society failing to see the needs of  widows, the elderly, and the bereft. Yet I talked to a man whose church had a couple with about 3 kids - who were really hard up.  All living in a one bed flat.(Condo? maybe what you call it in USA. )The whole church got into action. About 2 weeks later a 4 bed house was found, furniture was put in, new fridges and other equipment was donated. It was new!! This church was reaching out to people.  Very few seem to reach out to those bereft and in grieF.  

But another woman collapsed in a mental depression and was taken to hospital and family and friends came and sat with her, hugging and holding her for hours at a time, over about 2 weeks.  She was so ill she could not recognise her mother.  After all this she has completely recovered - healing is possible.

Comment by my roses on February 24, 2014 at 6:46am

My roses

Oh what a tidal wave of Yes... from us all.  How many times have i just stared at his photo, stared at his car covered with dust. I go from his car to mine, do the tyres need more air?  Oh heck, the battery seems to have gone in his car.  Can't get the bonnet to open... its stuck, I am so tired. My gardener friend comes by and I ask for help. We need a battery charger. Does Wes have one?  III  think... um ... yes I think he does.

Rummage in the shed, my gardener friend heads for some drawers... yanks out this ancient battery charger .How did he find it so quickly?   Well he said he diagnosed that all the electrical tools were in this cabinet.  WHY DIDN'T I THINK ABOUT IT THAT WAY?  Because I am a woman with different skills, used to fighting for us, but not bolstering old batteries. I should have thought of checking the car much earlier. And so it goes... the airconditioner broke down last week - 3 different electricians came.  Also the toilets decided to gardener friend said they needed new washers?  HELP I AM DROWNING BUT NOT IN WATER.. The battery charger stayed on all night.. I slept in.. all this is draining me.  I  sit on edge of bed before sleep and look at my  photo of Wes, telling him what is happening.  Telling him I love him, but  am losing weight, always tired, haven't heard from his kids for months.  Darling I need your help.  The trees along the drive had to be poisoned and cut down... roots out of control.  Now the shade has gone...Darling nothing is simple, its not that I am totally stupid.  It is just that no one can be expected to do everything, know how to mend everything, when they have very little time to even sit down.  You are looking at me with such consideration - I am sorry I have to tell you this.  But  I am too tired to learn new things at the moment, and  I need sleep and care. 

Comment by JpBaker on February 21, 2014 at 6:30am
How can I be strong, if others are the only reason I move through life right now.
Comment by RiseAgain on February 20, 2014 at 7:44pm

Wow. India, Koki, Fushiapassion,   I am reading these posts, and its as though you all are speaking everything Im going through.. I can add a thing here..   I just want it all to stop! Im tired!!

Comment by fushiapassion on February 19, 2014 at 11:20am
I can relate to all. This "new" reality sucks.It is 11 months, I'm out of numb to anger. I Hate this being alone.As far as my husband family after the funeral they called, came by no's as if.Our son and I don't exist to them. In church I gave a close women group who has my back but every one else is like your still grieving he's with God rejoice crap. I feel like Rise up ,want to stand up in church and scream help me too. They say how are you just want to give you time...time to what? Same day different emotions and more tears. My love of my life is gone and I wish he was was in flor even through hard times but we had each other to kiss and hold . Now it's just grey. It just sucks badly
Comment by IndiaKai on February 17, 2014 at 1:01pm

I thank you all for your comments.  When I wrote this it was a bad day for me.  It came on all of a sudden. I wasn't even going to publish it.  I usually just write them out and save the drafts.   It had been snowing again and I felt alone and shut in.  I didn't even know what to do with myself. So I wrote out what I was feeling at that moment.  This site has a lot of good information and a group of people with many different stages of grief that understand.  It's not a fun path.  Not one I look forward to traveling.  I'm already getting questions on what I plan for the 1 year mark.  Are you F'N kidding me?  it's barely over 7 months.  Does something magically happen at one year? I'm all of sudden better?  The light comes back on? I'm cured?  I highly doubt it, but I guess that is what people are waiting for. Ugh....

Comment by missmyhunny on February 17, 2014 at 3:04am

RiseUp, I totally empathise with all you are going through. This new reality sux, there are no other words for it. You are still so very new to your grief, and its such a big rollercoaster of emotion. Other people really can't comprehend it unless they too are going through it. Death is such an uncomfortable subject for people in our death denying society, they just really don't get it, and it seems to scare them to face the reality of it.

I'm sorry you are not getting the support you need for your children, and that just feels so unfair. If you're comfortable enough and feel close enough to call your family members, maybe you could call them and let them know exactly how you feel, especially for your children, because sometimes we have to spell it out for people because if we don't say anything they probably think you are handling everything alright by yourself. People normally just assume things is what i have found personally, and unless i have told them exactly how i feel they don't see it. It is all such a huge readjustment in trying to maintain some semblance of a life, and no easy task when we are so swamped with so many raw emotions. And i find this site a port in the storm of grief, and a lot of love and support here for us all where we can find a safe haven to express what we are going through. So i thank God for that, and we are not alone.

Comment by RiseAgain on February 17, 2014 at 12:02am

Wow.. Thanks too Missinhunny.. Because, I just cant put into words whats been going on with me, but I just want to go off on some folks, and then I stop my self because I am not sure if my thinking is rationale or  what.. here it is 335am, went to sleep 2 hours ago, and I am back up! I go back and forth with resentment, to understanding toward the people at church who were so supportive the day and couple days following Sandis Passing, in December, 9 weeks now, and now act like I'm suppose to be all together. 

I wake up with so much anger at times. Yes, I then go to trying to convince myself that people are just trying to be helpful. 

If I have any "Strength" its the Self Restraint  that I have which keeps me from Calling my wife's Siblings who live locally, and asking them where the hell is the support for their nieces, and nephews, not one of them has called since Sandis death to see if my girls are ok! I can give a crap if they call me, but my daughters are going through the trial of their lives.  I got one text in all this time, and that is from the one sibling who is out of town...saying..."Im praying for you all". 
all my relatives live in Atlanta area, and I cant expect them to be here. But her brothers are right here locally!

I want to stand up in the middle of church and scream... HElp!! PLease!!!  

Yes, Im not strong! I havent a clue how to multi task running a home like a woman! I havent a clue how to keep the order of consistent meals and planning that seems to just come natural to a woman, I love to cook and all. I havent a clue how to shop in a way that save money and bargain hunts. But I am having to learn all this and keep the bills paid, taxes for her, and insurances and mortgage, and estate crap, and creditors calling every day about her personal stuff, and not a f----ng call from her family!!

I go to church and its all about growing and moving into the new building and such, but not a fucking call from people after a couple weeks! and in the first couple weeks I was floating on some kind of denial and crisis motivated grace. Now when reality is hitting daily, When my kids are trying to make sense out of all this. When I need them the most.  nothing. I go to church and almost feel like I am suppose to act as if I am ok!! But I know there are some well meaning folks who really get it too!

They come up and ask "How you doing" and I know they are sincerly concerned. 
People ask...If you need anythig let us know...and then I havent a clue how to answer that!!

India, I am sorry, I am not giving you any real support in this response.. I wish I had some answers right about now, all I know is I am just gonna try and take this one day at a time, and believe the people on this site who say..."We will get through this" and this is normal, and ok!   As I was writing this, I had to fight off every temptation to shoot out a group text to her family and tell them off.. But i will not!! I know i will just need to go back and make it right later...     ok enough of this.. I hope you keep  reaching out India. I am. this site has been a real life saver for me....Just for today

Comment by missmyhunny on February 16, 2014 at 11:19pm

India, I can totally relate to what you say. I think people mean well but just have no clue. I once said i'm sick of having to be strong after such life shattering events through all my losses, i don't want to be strong, i want to lean on someone to help make it just a little bit better. To me strength is just being here for another day, and upright and breathing, and everyday i get up to face another day is moving forward slightly, to me.

I wouldn't place too much emphasis on other people's words, especially when they have no idea of what you are going through, they can only imagine, and people say some pretty dumb stuff at times, even though i'm sure they don't mean to be hurtful.

Loss leaves us with a sense of despair and hopelessness, and no sense of direction. There is no easy fix that's for sure. On top of the death of our loved one, we are supposed to know what to do now, and keep up a certain appearance to the rest of the world, so we look as if we're coping, when inside we feel like we just died too, and that part of our life did die, and we feel suspended in time. What are we supposed to do now?

Death of our love is a lonely journey for sure. We had a life, a life of hopes and dreams together, now that is gone it's hard to pick up the pieces and reinvent ourselves to a life that is totally different from all we ever knew.

And there is no shame in telling it like it is, because that is the cold hard fact of grieving. You are still in the early time of your grief, so don't be too down on yourself, it's ok. you are trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible, and that takes time and a lot of inner work.

I think we all hate this path, and would change it in a heartbeat if only we could. All i can tell you is it won't feel like this forever, it does get different in time, as nothing does stay the same forever.

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