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In twelve, short winter days it will be a full year since Don passed away. The year went by quickly and I am grateful I am past the panicked stage of grief and the crazy I-have-to-do-everything-all-at-once feelings that chased me around for so many months. And tonight as I think about what it means to face this first anniversary I am reminded of a passage I read in a book a long time ago, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden: “Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper.”

 

There are other quotes from the book I saved in a notebook and they are speaking to me as well: “We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.” Grief and its aftermath is that kind of a force that makes us find a new direction in our lives, an uncharted course that eventually picks its way back down the hill with the volume of our tears added to its flow.

 

Do you save quotes and lines from songs, books and movies to savor later? I’m getting so bad that I’m constantly wishing for a red light when I’m driving so I can write down the title of a song to google later. Since Don died I almost feel like he’s speaking to me through lines spoken or sung by other people. Like tonight I was watching Mel Gibson’s movie Signs and I fell back in love with these lines: “…what you have to ask yourself is what kind of a person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible there are no coincidences?” Lines like that can keep my mind occupied for days. Until Don died I never believed in signs from the other side, but a few things have happened that I can’t help but question if it’s sign or a coincidence. The spookiest coincidence/sign that happened this year was on a day I was driving home from spreading Don’s ashes at the beach and I was wondering if I had done the right thing, picking where to leave him. As I was mulling over that thought I turned a corner and a saw a huge rainbow just as Tim McGraw came on the radio singing the song, Please Remember Me. I had to pull over, in awe.

 

I’m hiring a house cleaning service next week. Whoopie doo. I’ve traded in my husband for enough money to pay someone to save me from the fate of living knee-deep in dust bunnies and “doggie nose art” on the lower windows panes. I justify it as giving myself 720 more days to live the "high life" of a widowed, senior citizen. How? In the last few years it’s been taking me three days a month to clean what I used to be able to do in three hours. Three days a month times the twenty years I plan on living…that frees up over two years to spend quality time with my self instead of Mr. Clean. That’s enough time to take several around-the-world cruises. Damn it, I’d rather have Don back than to go Bora Bora, Sydney, Hong Kong, Dubai, Athens and Rome. And I really like doggie nose art. I’d put food coloring on Levi’s nose to improve his work if I thought he wouldn’t lick it off. But life goes on and there are Bucket Lists to rewrite and watery ink to flush from paper. A widow can fight the changes that come with the title but you can’t stop them from coming. Eventually your life stills continue its flow down the hill of time. ©

 

“I'm not sure this will make sense to you

but I felt as though I'd turned around to look in a different direction

so that I no longer faced backward toward the past

but forward toward the future.

And now the question confronting me was this:

What would the future be?”

Memoirs of a Geisha

My book documenting my first year of widowhood can be previewed and ordered here.

My other blog is here:  http://misadventuresofwidowhood.blogspot.com/

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Comment by Raine's Nana on March 1, 2013 at 11:53am

Wow, this really hits home.  After 11 months since my husband died I think I have finally come up with a 2 year plan.  Now to try and bring it to fruision.

It is hard to be alone and harder still to make such important decisions without our loved one to bounce things off of.

Comment by Blue Snow on January 7, 2013 at 12:09pm

Thank you all for the comments. I guess it's unanimous, music does speak to us in very special ways since becoming widows.

Comment by Angie aka Woody's Girl on January 7, 2013 at 5:44am
Completely get this post!! My journey has been like a string of one song after another as though he were sending me messages of everlasting love. Really not so surprising as we met at a music store, he taught me to play guitar, and music was a big part of everything we did. And I HAVE pulled over to write down a song to Google!! Xoxoxo
Comment by swede dreams (mags) on January 6, 2013 at 11:41am

This is a nice post. I don't yet write things down but I do see signs that I didn't really see or understand before starting on this journey. 

Comment by Morgana (Janet) on January 6, 2013 at 11:39am

Hi Blue Snow and thank you for this.  I save quotes from movies, tv shows, blogs, poems, books and songs that seem to have a message.  I have done this ever since I was a child growing up and those are in a book that has gone everywhere with me.  I now write them down or do a copy and paste into a word document.   It has helped to go back and read them and then reflect on them. 

Hugs.

Comment by Blue Snow on January 6, 2013 at 11:17am

Thank you both! I'm speechless that this blog hit the nail on the head for both of you as I so admire and respect all the posts, advice and other contributions you both make to this website. I've been writing up a storm this past week, trying to come to terms with the looming 1st anniversary and the mixture of emotions it brings with it.

And Dianne, I'm so glad you mentioned the hand-held recorder! I put it on my shopping list. This morning the dog stole my little notebook off the edge of the table that I'd brought in the house from the car. It was full of yesterday's things to google. He destroyed it but thanks to your comment, I quit being mad at him because I choose to believe, now, he was just giving me a sign that your recorder idea is brilliant and I need to copy it. Thanks!

Comment by hendrixx2 on January 6, 2013 at 10:44am

Hi Snow,

Thanks...it is truly amazing what a difference a year can make; things once never considered become the everyday norm for us now. I'm so with you on the writing everything down now...as I have taken to wearing only shirts with two pockets so I can always have room for the Post-It pad, and yes, now even the stop lights are not long enough to get every song I want to remember....I think we all need that time you mention, however we manage to get it...I think it can make the difference in this journey and heck, it will pass anyway.

Signs were never given much consideration by me, my pre-loss brain could not even be open to the possibility, but now, since losing the ability to know everything I recognize anything is possible.

Thank you for such a meaningful post, and please know I appreciate the new and interesting ways you lead my thoughts as the journey continues....Pax    

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on January 6, 2013 at 10:09am

It makes my day whenever I see a blog post from you, Blue Snow. You always speak directly to my heart and I thank you. Your sign was amazing; what a wonderful gift. And thank you for those quotes - which will be added to my ever-increasing piles (which I seem to have everywhere ... pieces of paper I've scribbled on, notes on my laptop, Pinterest posts, notes in my gratitude journal).  Guess I really should organize it all. One day.  But it seems I always find the quote I need when I need it.  Oh - and I keep one of those little handheld recorders in my car so I can leave myself notes of songs or quotes or things I want to research later.

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