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.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Live in the present? How about the future?

Summer is an interesting time for the moms I know. The working ones juggle work, nanny and camp schedules. The "non-working" ones drive around alot, manage social schedules, keep the meals and fun happening all day long. Schedules change. Camps begin, end, begin again. Vacations happen. Friends leave town. Come back. Leave again.

For me, the new widow, the routine of my past life, the one where I had a husband and an intact family, has been totally shattered. Now, overlay the unscheduled summer, and I am a woman uncomfortable in the present moment. All my routines lost. Everything familiar in flux.

We go on vacation, but when we return we have to confront all over again the truth of what has happened to us. Oh, right, he's still not here. He did die. I am a single mother. Natalie and Alec are fatherless children. I can't figure out why my computer keeps going black. Who wants to live in the present moment when this is what you must confront.

Six months after Ken's death feels harder to me than his entire illness...even than his death and the immediate aftermath. I was so filled with purpose then. I knew what had to be done. And Ken was still the center of my life.

Right here in the present...I am a single mother. No. I don't want to be this.
I am a widow. No. I don't want to be this.
Natalie and Alec have lost the best father a child could have. No.
I have lost my husband that was really my hero in so many ways. No.
The illusion of security is shattered for us. No.

Sometimes when Natalie wants to be doing something different than whatever activity we're doing at the moment, I borrow a line from Ram Dass. I say, "Natalie, BE HERE NOW." Nice advice, but I don't want to follow it. I want to be somewhere else. But here I am.


Lynne Jordan said...


Ms. Gaither said...

I found your blog today because I was searching what to do next. I am 44 years old and my best friend, lover, and husband of 26 years collapsed on September 4th, 2012 of what we would later find out was a blood clot that partially broke off and went to his lung. He was in the hospital and later died on September 12. My world ended on that day. I have three sons with him and their ages are 24, 21, and 12. My 12 year old found that his dad and called me and then began CPR. After 18 seconds with him on the phone, I called 9-1-1 and they were at the house working on him. I was on my way to work and when I got my son's call I turned around to head back home. The rest is on my teaching blog. My 12 year old is the reason I get up everyday and my brain will not let me accept that this has happened. I have not returned to work and not sure when I will be able to. I am so lost, I know I haven't accepted it yet, and I am scared what will happen when I do. I too do not like the "W" word or that my marriage has ended. We were perfect together and I don't know what to do. I feel like I am just staying afloat.

Jill Schacter said...

Dear Mrs. Gaither,
Thank you for writing here and I am very sorry for your sudden loss. It took me a long time to truly accept my husband's death--the reality of it. Probably about 3 years or so. With a loss like this, you just take it in at your own pace. I too was 44 when my husband died 6 years ago. It's a very weird age to lose a husband, and I couldn't imagine how I would survive. I will tell you that I am happy again, and it is possible, but it takes time and you have to grieve for as long as YOU have to grieve. Hugs.