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Why Widows Get Mad: A Do-It-Yourself Rant

We got screwed out of our happy ending. We were raised to fall in love, get married, raise kids, and grow old together. So much for that. We don't want to mow the grass, change the lightbulbs, fix shit, barbeque, do all the cooking, driving, worrying and planning. We don't want to sleep alone at night.

Widows get mad because we have a historical reputation of being kind of loser-ish. In some cultures, we might as well just throw ourselves into a good, hot fire.

We want someone to take care of us, buy us presents and flowers, take us to dinner, give us backrubs, tell us we're beautiful, tell us what great mothers we are, leave notes around the house for us, remind us that everything will be OK, brush off our fears.

We find it hard to raise our children alone. We find it hard to watch our children without their father and other children with their fathers, and we feel guilty that we can't be father and mother both. We get mad because we don't want to take the kids camping or build a bonfire or make something cool out of wood or butcher a fish. We are mad at ourselves because we are not men, especially when we have sons.

We are mad because sometimes mad is easier than sad, easier than acknowledging that little piece of us that will always be in mourning for everything that will never, ever, ever be. We get mad because no one can understand us, because no one wants to be us, because even though you all know how lousy our situation is you still expect us to get over it. We are mad because we know we have to get over it too but we doubt we ever will fully get over it, so get over it.

We get mad because we were so damn unlucky, our kids got cheated, and our dead husbands were even unluckier. We get mad because our future is less secure and more uncertain. Widows get mad because we want the future we had imagined for ourselves when we finally found the one.

Widows get mad because we never feel like we get enough help with our kids, our decisions, our finances, our daily to-do list. Widows get mad at people who complain too much about their perfectly good spouses. Widows get mad when you say that your husband never does anything anyway as if it's almost the same as not having a husband at all.

Widows get mad because they can't be angry if they want to be happy. Widows want to be happy. They can be. But sometimes they feel angry.

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Ok. Your turn. Why do you get mad, widow? Take 5 minutes and put it on paper. Then shove the paper down someone's throat.

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Comment by Elle on July 22, 2011 at 8:17am
Oh, Jill! I sure am glad we are not in the "good, hot fire" culture!! Wow! Although, there are those days when it seems that would be the better alternative---let's just be done with it! (Been there, done that!) Gosh, your words are so real on so many levels. What really spoke to me was "because our future is less secure and more uncertain," and  that we are "in mourning for every everything that will never, ever, ever be," and that my sweetheart is not here "to brush off my fears". Oh, and how I "don't want to sleep alone at night". (And, and, and, and....) In other words---you NAILED it. Sometimes I feel like a sacrificial lamb. For so many years, I put myself aside to take care of my husband. He was my complete and utter focus, even to the detriment of myself. Now, I still have to struggle with this grief, lonliness, uncertainty about the future, and as Richelle (twinsmum) said, having to do EVERYTHING yourself now is such a burden! My friend told me just recently that she feels I should move, because this house where David & I spent so much time together, seems to be "sucking the life out of me". Her exact words. One more instance of someone on the "outside" of this "club" just does not get it. Yes, it is difficult to maintain a home, especially alone, but what she doesn't see is how this home (and David's presence here) brings me comfort, safety, and connection to what was. How, when I lie in bed at night, I sometimes think of the sweetness and tenderness and passion that happened in that room when he was alive. How he used to grab my hand in that kitchen while I was cooking and take me all over the place for an impromptu dance all over this house! Many dinners were burned over that one, but also many belly-laughs at our "silliness"!! (I loved it!) And there are so many more memories this house holds for me, beautiful memories. So, no! This house is not "draining the life out of me," but David's absence is! That is where my anger comes in at times, just the fact that he is GONE, and gone forever! And life will never be the same again for me. Sounds so selfish when there are so many other hurting people out there. I try to keep a lid on it for that very reason, and try to channel the moments of anger into something positive. But the anger moments DO come!! (Thank you for this wonderful post, Jill!!)
Comment by twinsmum on July 22, 2011 at 3:42am
I get mad because its so damn hard doing everything. I agree we shouldn't have to mow, clean the pool, do all the shit jobs.  Apologise if this sound sexist but am sure the majority of men wouldn't swap it for doing dishes, laundry ironing etc.  Don't know we're probably customised somehow to male/female jobs in the home although I know now a days it is changing.  I understand we do do these things but why do we have to do ALL of them.  it's not fair especially if the kids are younger and can't do a lot.  AND PARENTING....OMG...where is my hubby when i just need to walk out of here for 10 minutes.  Where is my hubby to say I am doing ok.  Where is my hubby to say I love you.  Where is my husband for a cuddle.  When all else fails where is my husband!!!

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