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.