Thank you to my husband’s cousin Barry for contributing to how we grow on our own as widows and widowers. Take your time through this 3-minute read. And, then please comment to Barry how it might ring true, or not, for you?
How Do We Grow On Our Own as Widows & Widowers?
So, all is done the Funeral Services are completed and your sitting alone, thinking, “what’s next, what will I do now and is there any more?” Needless to say, others don’t realize, those who haven’t been through it, that we can be angry, sad and “confounded” all at the same time as we have become two people. The one person, those that see us as a friend or neighbor and the one that remains inside lonely and wondering,” what’s next”.
In my case, Early Onset Alzheimer’s, now recognized as critical, robbed my wife and I of every dream and goal we had and worked so hard to achieve. We had never thought once about one of us becoming a caregiver or caretaker. Neither one on of us thought of having to “Take Charge” of everything, to make it all come together, and as we all know, with Alzheimer’s, the final chapter is already written. That leads me to How We Grow on our own as Widows and Widowers.
Accepting the present and looking into the future as best we can, causes “emotional/ stressful” thinking. Where do I go, what do I do, or what should I do? We all know the emotional stress from day-to-day becomes, at times, overwhelming. Yet, in many cases, we have spent years working together, understanding each other, and trusting in each other. I like to put it this way regarding our loved ones. My wife and I were together just shy of fifty-four years, and we knew which buttons to push and those to be left alone.
So, how do we grow on our own as widows and widowers?
While thinking back, a sound marriage can be, perhaps, equated to a pair of Belgian Horses that have worked as a team since they were colts. They graze side-by-side, trained to pull side-by-side and understand how each is feeling. When one horse isn’t up to the task, the other works a little harder when pulling the load. We, as Widows or Widowers, come to realize this very quickly.
We have spent years, in many cases, working together, understanding each other, and trusting in each other. I like to put it this way, regarding our loved ones. My wife and I were together just shy of fifty-four years, and we knew which buttons to push and those to be left alone. Whilst thinking back, a sound marriage can be, perhaps, equated to a pair of Belgian Horses that have worked as a team since they were colts. They graze side-by-side, trained to pull side-by-side and understand how each is feeling. When one isn’t up to the task, the other works a little harder when pulling the load. We as Widows or Widowers come to realize this very quickly. So, what do we do about “Growing on Your Own”?
Early on, even though I was responsible for “taking care of business”, I found myself wondering about decisions and moving on when the end comes. So, yes, up front, I made a few spontaneous poor decisions that added some short-term complexities, who doesn’t?
Any practical step can help us throughout this season of widowhood.
After a few months, being a detailed person, I made a list with two columns, one column titled “Responsibilities” the other entitled “What I’d like to do and should I?” I filled them in at random as they came to mind, sat on them for a short time then went back to review and revise the list by priority adding anything I may have missed. I found myself “healing” a bit as I had a plan. It was up to me to “work” the plan. I finally found that things seemed to come together as I thought more independently and I listened closely when asking advice by very, repeat very, close friends. Why do I say this? Because only we understand our loss, and no one brings it up nor can talk openly about it except we who have lost the loved one.
Today, I find myself slowly, in the growing process, Frankly, others told it’s natural. Do I still mourn the grief of my loss? Very much so! Do I long for another? Me, no, because after so many years, working together and the trust that was built, I don’t know if I could ever do it again and as a sincere widowed friend told me, “ that’s okay, many of us feel the same.”
Admittingly, we are slowly growing into somebody “New”, somebody that is slowly becoming independent and like me somebody who is slowly adjusting.
It’s been almost five years since my wife past, but I know she is smiling in Heaven and proud that I have come so far. I know she walks with me in silence in my heart every day and silently holds my hand. Yes, we grow a little every day.
Barry E. Weber
Thank you Barry! The image of the horses totally rings true for me.
Do you have a take-away you can tell us? What does How Do We Grow On Our Own as Widows & Widowers, mean for you?
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