Widowhood Is Not Funny

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Have You Lost Your Zest for Life?

Do you feel as if you've lost your zest for life? It's not really lost, just misplaced temporarily. Sometimes, it peeks out at you at odd moments, and then disappears again, before you can get your fingers around it. If you were normally an ebullient person before this loss, it's especially hard to function some days. It feels like you didn't just lose your husband, but yourself as well. You hardly recognize that woman in the mirror; she's so sad all the time and never seems to smile or laugh anymore.

So, what should we do about regaining our zest for life? Some women feel guilty for giving in to those joyful moments. For Heaven's sake, don't feel guilty about finding a moment now and then that has a little joy in it! God knows we need them every once in a while. Anything that lightens a moment, an hour, or 'oh bliss' a whole day, is a blessing not to be ignored.

Living day in and day out in a constant state of grief is debilitating, stressful and frankly dangerous to your health. See if you can find something at least once a day to feel joyful about. Finding that first happy moment may be hard and may feel strange when you've been wrapped up in day after day of sadness, but it's worth the effort.

The first time I let myself have a calm, happy moment, I could almost sense my husband, Mel smiling at me the way he used to, and a little of the sadness dropped away.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's the Little Things

Just when you think you've made it another day, or another week, or another month without falling apart, you come upon some little thing that trips you up. Maybe it's a piece of jewelry your husband wore, or his favorite cologne, or a picture of the two of you from once upon a time.

That's when it hits you anew, all that you've lost. Your husband, lover, best friend, father of your children, grandfather to a new generation. You've lost all those dreams you had together, all those plans for your old age.

For me, it's a bottle of my husband's favorite cologne that he always wore when he dressed up. For some reason, I can't bear to part with it and it sits on my dressing table. Once in a while, I open it up and take a sniff, close my eyes and picture him smiling at me. He knew how much I loved that scent on him. But the silliest small thing I've hung onto is his pillow. For several weeks, it still smelled of him and I just couldn't get rid of it. For weeks, I held onto that pillow and cried. It's been over two years now, but I still can't get rid of it.

So we all must move forward or perish; for our own sakes, for our own peace of mind, we have to move on. I know it's very hard to let go some days. We have to keep in mind what we know they'd want us to do and I know they'd want for us to learn how to be happy again. Maybe someday we will, for now perhaps we should just settle for being content. Maybe one day, those little things won't hold such pain. Maybe one day, they will just be a reminder of happier times and we'll smile again.