Last September, I was feeling very overwhelmed by my grief and my sadness. No longer busy with school and family visiting, my emotions and my thoughts had the chance to creep in. It was not pretty, friends! Not pretty at all! With a nudge from my mom, I reached out to the Deacon at the church Sam and I used to attend. The timing was perfect because there was a grief group that was starting that following week. I was very eager to go so that I could hopefully get some answers and some guidance. After I went to the first meeting, I didn't know if it was "for me". Most of the people who were there had lost a spouse and were mostly female, but there was a significant age difference. This made me unsure whether or not this would be the group for me.
By the end of the second meeting, I knew that these were "my people". I also realized that I was not going to get all the answers. The key was I had to discover the answers for myself with the help and guidance of my new friends. I feel safe with them, knowing that I don't have to pretend to be happy and smiling all the time. I don't like to cry in front of anyone, ever. Last week, I had a meltdown about my computer and started crying in front of my dad. It was awful and embarrassing and I would have buried my head in the sand if sand had been there. I do not like to cry in front of anyone. Ever. Period. Except for my new people. My Monday nites were filled with cookies and tears. That was my new norm. Unfortunately, the formal meetings ended in December. The thought of not seeing my group anymore was really heartbreaking because I had found comfort in these meetings.
Apparently, I was not the only one who was feeling upset about not having the meetings. So, we took it upon ourselves to continue meeting. We go to restaurants, each other's houses. We have pot lucks and go to the country club. It is truly a lot of fun! Owen has even met one of the ladies from my group. We will call her Mrs. J. From the minute Owen and Mrs. J met, it was too cute. It is so sweet to see how they chat with each other and interact. I just love it. Mrs. J has been an amazing friend to have.
We were at Mrs. J's house and I asked her if she had gotten rid of or moved any of her husband's belongings. She explained that her daughter had helped with going through some stuff and she had also given some items to a friend of hers. I was too afraid to tell her that I had not so much as moved Sam's toothbrush, but then I remembered who I was talking to. It was really hard to get the words out, but I somehow managed. She asked me what items exactly and I told her that basically, everything was still in its spot where Sam left it. Mrs. J listened and then helped me come up with a plan on how I can finally move some of those items and put some of them away.
Well, last nite, my dad took Owie for the nite. I had a glass of wine, called my mom for some courage, chatted with my bestie, Lisa, for some more courage, and texted my other bestie, Megan, to get the last boost of courage that sealed the cleaning deal. Then, I decided it was time to tackle my craft room/Sam's old office. There were 2 shelves filled with old text books, binders with our old tax returns, etc. Sam was also a HUGE NY GIANTS fan, so there is quite a bit of GIANTS stuff in there as well. However, that stuff is staying put! I started organizing and making piles. At first, I was going to put his textbooks in the basement. But then, I started to think more about it and the fact that Sam HATED clutter. So, I made the decision to recycle his textbooks. It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be.
So now, my craft room is clean. And I will actually be able to work on some crafts instead of having to bring everything down to the dining room table. My next task will be tackling the closet. I can only assume that will be a little bit more difficult. I bought a bunch of those plastic storage bags that you can vacuum all the air out of. For now, I will put them in there - I am not quite ready to actually get rid of clothing at the moment. Small steps, though, my friends. Small steps.
One change that I did make Memorial Day weekend was getting my engagement ring and wedding ring adjusted to fit my right hand. Several people inquired if that is what widows do. Who knows? But is it what I did! I have learned that there are no rules to being a widow. I get to make up my own rules that are unique to me and my situation, attempting to make the decisions that are best for Owen and myself. Several people have asked me about dating. If you had asked me a year ago or even 3 months ago, I probably would have said never. But I realize now that I am young(er) and it might be nice to have someone to go out to dinner with or grab a movie with. Although, funny story, I "attempted to flirt" the other day and a cardinal appeared. So, needless to say, Sam sent me a message loud and clear. Maybe next year I will give flirting another whirl.
Thank you for taking the time to read my gibberish. It is a way for my to express myself without having to physically say it. This is often my voice when I feel as though I have lost mine. Hugs to all, my friends!
"Widow is a harsh and hurtful word. It comes from the Sanskrit and it means empty. I have been empty too long." ~ Lynn Caine
"Being a widow is learning about strength you didn't know you had and fears you didn't know existed." ~ Unknown
I chose the song "Let It Be" for this particular post. Paul McCartney's mom passed away when he was really young. Her name was Mary and the song is about anytime he is stressed out, he feels as though his mother comes to tell him that everything will be ok. There have been so many times when I have felt as though the rug has been pulled out from under me. But somehow, Sam is able to get the message to me that everything will be ok!