About Me

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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

After the Fairytale, A Different Story.

Hey! I was reading that!
Once upon a time I was part of a certain type of family: we were a happily married couple with our two kids, a house and a dog. We lived in a neighborhood with other families like ours. We had a lucky partnership with a full future ahead of us. Together we would love and influence our children, return to our twosome when they left home, and then enjoy the gifts of later life.  It was the kind of family that I came from myself; the only kind I had ever imagined. A great classic tale.

But then the twist to the story (a horror story?) -- the big bad cancer wolf showed up at our house, started eating up the book, tearing away at the pages. He ate up the husband and father completely, but he spared the rest of us so that we could figure out how to write a whole new chapter.

How do you start a new family story when you're a widow and a single parent of young children? When you're married with kids, there are typically two different choices you have.  Either you stay married, or you give up on that and you get divorced. But when you're divorced or widowed, you have a whole slew of different options.

You could try marriage again. It's what many of us worked toward in our 20s, 30s and sometimes 40s back when we first entered the search for a partner or potential future co-parent. Yes, you can do that again, move in together, figure out how to blend your families, share, divide, sell, and rearrange the accumulated stuff every older adult has put together over the years. After my husband died five years ago, that's what I felt I needed to do to have a full and complete life once again. My kids need a father! I need a husband who lives here with me and shares my bed! I need it now! (My kids, however, were not so interested in reading THAT classic tale over again.)

Nine months ago, I started seeing somebody new. He has his own form of gobbled up family -- his was eaten alive by divorce, mine by death. Either way, our nuclear families have been blown apart. The story of each of our lives shredded mid-way through the book.

Suddenly, I'm not so sure about how it all ends...the story, I mean. Back THEN, before the wolf came around, I was confident I knew just what was going to happen. I liked knowing the ending. Since that wolf came around, though,  I have switched genres completely. I'm not reading fairytales at the moment.  Now I'm engrossed in a mystery. Surprisingly I like it. I have no idea how it ends.

2 comments:

Catherine said...

The fun of reading is not getting to the end of the book, but enjoying each chapter.

Good luck in your new found relationship. That is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to accept and even embrace the element of "who knows what's next" and your observations make me realize I'm not alone with my questions, sense of wonder, fear and at that same time, happiness.