The Dark Follows

I’ve spent the last several months mentally and physically avoiding the past and all things associated with the life I had prior to April 13th, 2014.  I’ve barely checked my blog or posted anything because I would rather pretend like it never happened.  I’ve even considered quitting my job because the people I have to see at work remind me of my old life too much.  Nothing is different for them but everything has changed for me.  Sitting in department meetings becomes painful when conversations about couples’ Halloween costumes or holiday plans with the in-laws arise, and I’m reminded that I have nothing to contribute to the discussion because I am no longer a part of that demographic…the married or coupled population I’ve grown to dislike over the past 18 months.

I’ve become obsessed with the idea of running away and assuming a brand new identity that isn’t at all associated with the verb “widowed.”  I’ve become resentful of forms requiring me to check boxes identifying my marital status.  Why does my relationship status matter to the dermatologist?  And why does the receptionist always look at the form and sadly remark “Oh, you seem too young to be a widow” as if that thought hasn’t already barreled through my brain a thousand times.

What I’ve come to realize is that there is no running away and the grief I go to bed with and wake up with will follow me to every zip code or continent on the planet.  I learned last year in group counseling that the changing of seasons are usually the most difficult times of the year.  I moved to a new house in the spring and took a leave of absence during the summer hoping to clear my head and gain a more positive perspective on life.  Now the leaves are falling and life around me is dead and drying up again. I’ve felt a crushing loneliness that I hadn’t anticipated and it seems as though nothing has become easier like I was told.

Grief oscillates.  It may leave for a brief moment but it always returns.  This is one thing I CAN count on.  Everything else is unpredictable and unstable. But sadness and loss will always be trustworthy companions even when everyone else has disappeared.

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10 thoughts on “The Dark Follows

  1. Hi
    You are the first blogger i’ve come across who closely resembles how I feel right now. I lost my mum, not a spouse but I still share in the wish to run away, start anew. In my case I want to be free from my family comparing me to my mother, as I now am raising my little sister as a result.
    I just wanted you to know I get what you mean about random people making comments. Whenever I have to explain to an employer or child minder that no, I’m her sister our mother died, they instantly brand us as poor orphan annies or go out of their way to question me about how we live, or what our days are like as if we are anomalies. It’s annoying. They love to say how sad they are for us, like its going to help.
    I’m not going to say i’m sad for you, I’m not going to say i’m sorry for your loss. I’m going to say to you what I wish someone had told me:
    Please keep doing whatever helps you deal with this and screw anyone who tells you different.

    Amy in the UK

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I always hate having to explain what happened to strangers but I think seeing the pity in familiar faces is almost worse. We don’t want anyone to treat us differently but we feel different than we did before, and the people who knew us prior to the loss can see it in our faces. I have three very good friends who have lost mothers in the past year and we try to support each other because the grief hurts the same even though the relationships are different. It is good that you and your sister have each other and can share memories of your mom. I think talking about the person who has left us behind keeps them alive in our minds and our hearts. My friends who haven’t lost someone close such as a parent or spouse get uncomfortable when I say my husband’s name. Communicating with people like you who understand has helped tremendously and even on days when I’m really down I remember there are others who are on the same path. Take care of yourself and your sister…Renee

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  2. I too dislike the title “widow”. It brings the pain to the forefront and makes me have to face it all over again. Follow widow blogger, please know you do not ever get over it, but you learn to walk again and cope. Like someone who lost a leg. It takes much time to learn that you can walk, it will just be forever different. We never walk the same, but we walk. I am so sorry for your loss. It will be a year in a couple weeks for me. My heart is still broken. As you journey this painful place, please know someone is praying for you.

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    1. It is a label I never thought about until I became one myself. There are certainly days I feel stronger than others as I am sure you are familiar with too. I think the impending holiday season is hard for us because we may not necessarily feel like celebrating but there is an external pressure to be happy. I am very sorry for your loss as well and I’ll keep you in my thoughts as well…thank you

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      1. Thanks for responding. I never know if I am overstepping. Yes, the holidays are a hard time. It is OK not to feel like celebrating! I suppose there is a pressure, on we put on ourselves, because we think we have to be what we were once. And two society sems to think that is what we do on holidays. Feels can deceive us, but truth… never does. The truth is… we’ve lost half our heart. Truth is we are lonely. Happiness nis overrated, but ther can be joy. Joy is not based on happiness, but rather it is knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel. And we will walk out into it in time, our own time, not others.
        I will never push my beliefs on anyone, but I will share them, so other widows can know there is hope. God is my strength. He can handle my frustration, anger, depression, loneliness, fear, tantrums and anytjing else this process throws.my way. You WILL be in my prayers.

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  3. Thank you for liking my blog cause it led me to yours! I think you can run away but not in the physical sense. Though after 20 months after my husband died I moved from NJ to AL for a new job and I don’t regret it for a second. No one knows about my past and they only see me for who I am now. It is refreshing.

    You can mentally haul ass though. When my husband died I wished more than anything else to be someone that wasn’t me. When the grief pounded on, I left. I ran to my hobbies and activities i adopted to lessen the impact. We can’t change what has happened to us, but we can change how it affects us.

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    1. I’m glad to hear someone else has followed through with the “run away” fantasy and has done well. I think changing my life around somewhat did help because it symbolically started a new chapter to my life, which doesn’t mean the previous chapters don’t matter, but we don’t necessarily want to relive them every day either! Thank you for your comment!!

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      1. Of course the previous chapter matters. It molds the person you are now. Jason’s love propels you forward to continue this life. Which ever way it goes or who ever it leads you to. However the past lingers and it haunts, and you trace back to it for answers not for excuses. Our husbands want us to persevere. Keep chipping away because there’s a sun behind all those clouds.

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