Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Widowhood is full of SURPRISES!

Widowhood is an emotional roller coaster!  

Today we continue to recall the many surprises, so please add your comments like we did yesterday.
Did you feel Shock? Like waking up every morning (if you slept) was like a slap in the face? That empty half of the bed…
Pain? I couldn’t believe how much it hurt, almost physical. And then it didn’t go away after a week or two… Since I had a strong faith I thought I’d be over it in two months at the most…silly me...
What about Grief Attacks? —you know, you’re minding your own business when all of a sudden you hear a certain song, or smell some men’s aftershave and suddenly you're in a puddle of tears...? I've heard of widows just plopping down on the floor at Home Depot to have a good cry, or pulling their car over to the side of the road... And don’t ever try to pick out a greeting card in the Hallmark store, I'm just saying. Don’t ever go to movies about dogs---spoiler alert---the dog always dies and you'll need a full box of tissues. And don’t watch the Budweiser commercials on Superbowl Sunday! Grief Attacks just hit us out of the blue. 
Widow Brain/ Grief Fog—finding it so hard to concentrate or remember what to do next? I’d get lost going around the block. How about you? Any stories?
And did you have any "Am I Going Crazy?" emotions---like a bit of relief that it's finally over, and then guilt because you feel relieved? … Let me assure you you're NOT going crazy. This is all pretty normal, and it will not last forever.
Do you remember the hymn Amazing Grace?

One of the verses says,”Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come…” and you know what? We went over all these surprises and changes because I wanted you to see that you’ve already covered some distance on this obstacle course. A long way!

Give yourself a hug, and take a deep breath…

This biggest surprise for me though, was after the first year. After I expected to feel all better and normal again. That road sign is coming up on Thursday. Tomorrow we'll squeeze in some tips for getting through the holidays. ferree


  1. Feree, do you mean this Thursday is the second year since your husband passed away? Your second husband?

  2. Thank you so much for posting these guideposts on this roller coaster ride. I can relate to most everything the article talks about. The first year, I felt I had to tell "my story to everyone". I had many crying jags in many different places. At the grocery store when I saw a man, who was about the same age as my husband when he died, who had on a cap that was like one my husband used to wear. The poor man just stood there looking at
    me wanting to know what was wrong----so I had to tell the "story". Am going on my second year so I don't feel compelled to keep telling it. But the tears still flow at certain times.

  3. Dear Jeannette, no, I'm sorry about the confusion. The posts I've been doing last week and this week are from my presentation called "Road Signs Along the Way." But I'm taking a break from it tomorrow to post some tips about dealing with the quickly coming holidays. On Thursday we'll get back to the "road sign" that surprised me most---the second year of widowhood. I'm remarried to Tom now, and I've warned him not to die. So (insert smile) no, not the second year of my second husband. Sorry to alarm you, but I do appreciate your concern.

  4. Hi again Ferree
    I was so tired last week, rested my head for a second on a pillow on the sofa. The sensation of Paul being on the other sofa snapped me awake. Not because I thought he was there, but because I knew with certainty that is was not. The sensation of seeing our photos and me being here,and him not still seems impossible.
    The pain. Described as having my siamese twin surgically removed without anaesthetic. As if my beating heart taken out of me. And now can't seem to breathe properly. Can't breathe deeply enough.
    Grief attacks, one came after a visitor had used the loo and sprayed air freshener. The smell permeated the house and I just was shocked at my distress. Chucked out the whole can. Its the idea of eating certain foods, going places, watching programmes. I stop intro music even starting but when visiting or having visitors is hard. Their look when I say I don't want to do this/that.
    Concentrating for more than an hour or so is exhausting. Can't remember the end of a sentence many times. If I don't write down important things they won't happen. I have had the first ever speeding ticket, 36 in a 30 zone, didn't see when it went from 40 to 30. Have to go to a driver awareness course! Concentrating on that 11 months on from Paul passing away, this time last year we were told he's not making a full recovery, now he's terminally I'll and there's no treatment.
    So am I going crazy? My neighbour's husband died 9 years ago. When I was at 8 months she told me some chistianese sayings, time to get on with the rest of your life type stuff, she included in the same conversation that only last year had she started to be happy again-8 years on. My expressions of anger, disappointment, sadness, grief are received as if I'm not in my right mind. "She used to be so polite". Feel lost, disembodied from the person I once was, I'm not her anymore. Feel like a fraud for wearing my wedding ring, calling myself Mrs. In Eastern European countries they wear their wedding ring on the right hand, moving it to the left only if widowed. Mine remains on then, on my left hand.
    Thanks Ferree

  5. It's been over three years and I still (un-ashamedly) wear my wedding ring (on my left hand). The numbness has subsided, the jolt is over, the would-of's could-of's and should-of's are no longer weighing me down. But the missing of his absence is ongoing, I do try to think of what he is experiencing at this moment and rejoice for him. I had a dear friend tell me recently saying " I know Joe would want you to be happy" The most emotional thing for me is going to church (alone) sitting there without his arm around me or holding my hand or hearing him say a big hearty Amen.
    As you mentioned earlier Ferree "through many dangers , toils and snares we have already come"
    and................. "His Grace has brought us safe this far and
    His Grace will take us home"

    When we haven't the presence of mind to put one foot in front of the other - His grace will carry us and he has his angels at every destination part of our journey when we falter or fall.
    God Bless - a Pilgrim on the same road.

    1. OH YES! I also have a very hard time going to church without my husband. He loved church and was there every time there was a service. Now, it is so hard to be surrounded by families and couples while I sit there alone (altho recently another widow lady has been sitting with me when she comes.)

  6. Then in one of the last conversations that I had with my dad he said "It's been a year! Get over it already!"

  7. I still have Grief Attacks, but during that First Year they were a regular occurance. Schew! Just the other day I saw a car that looked just like Matt's and I could have sworn he was driving it, even though I know better. Then a song came on the radio that made me think of him and both made me cry.

  8. I am still having Widow/Brain Fog, but I recently found out that part of that is due to a medical condition on my part. But I can have a thought and it's gone the next.

  9. It's called a posterior ponticus. It causes me to have headaches, be dizzy, light headed, feel faint and affects my memory.

  10. OMG! I've had so many "I'm going crazy moments!" that it's not even funny. But I'll share the first few right after I lost Matt. When we came back to the house that night I heard his laughter. I heard him going up and down the stairs. Over the next few days I saw him in the closet on the bed. Talk about thinking that you're loosing it.

  11. How could I ever forget it, 'Amazing Grace' was my Mom's favorite Hymn. We all sang it as a family as we scattered her ashes. They played it at Matt's Memorial Service. Every time I hear that Hymn I cry. Every single time.


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