- Jill Schacter
- My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
After the house is repainted: THEN WHAT?
It's been a while since I've written anything. I don't want to write about the fact that I am finally starting to feel my loss, to miss Ken, to get it, to touch the edges of the big iceberg that's floated into the middle of our lives. I'm supposed to be the one who is handling everything SO WELL, who LOOKS GREAT, who IS REALLY MANAGING EVERYTHING WITH GRACE. And when exactly am I supposed to write, to think, to have a moment when the kids are out of school and I am the constant cook, entertainer, reader, planner, driver, supervisor, shopper, gardener, straigten-upper? And oh yeah I'd better make time to exercise. After all, I'm a middle-aged single woman...don't want to let my grief propel me into a long slide into bagdom.
See why I don't write anymore? Who wants to hear a bunch of complaining? Not me. Does anyone really want to think about dying when you're 52, being widowed at 44, being rendered fatherless at 6 and 10 years of age? The illusion of safety that an intact family provides is marvelous, a wonder, a treasure. I have no desire to strip that from anyone. Revel in it.
What we did this summer was: take two lovely trips while spreading Ken's ashes along the way. So, when people ask how are trips were...which story do they want to hear? Is it the beautiful beaches, the cool dark Canadian water, the fun touristy shopping OR the crushing reality of watching the remains of the one you love being set to rest in the gentle Laurentian woods and on the edge of the sea? Do you want to hear about our stay in a beautiful house a stone's throw from the ocean OR do you want to know about how Natalie wanted to pick up Ken's ashes after they fell upon the sand. Or how Alec doesn't like thinking about his dad dying and how he says he already adjusted to our new family of three.
What I did this summer must be a classic activity of the newly-minted widow (at least the type that doesn't have to hit the streets immediately looking for a job): I repainted the first floor of the house! Uncovered a wall of exposed brick! Rearranged furniture!