Widow's Dance

by Zoe
(Maryland)

First, there was the loss, the searing pain of loosing my beloved John. Months of being slammed emotionally first in one direction then another. Not living but merely existing in a fog, moving by force not by will. I do not want to do this without him, I cannot.

I mean that from the depths of my soul, time moves me away from the day he was taken from me. That scares me in so many ways; I do not want to be moved from my time with him.

How I function changed instantaneously and forever. All things in my life are marked from the day I lost John. It has been 508 days since John was taken. I live in our house, I make decisions with how he would like things in the forefront, I tell him every morning I love him, I tell him every night through tears how much I miss him. It is how I try to survive this.

I am by most people’s definition, healing, because of course their definition is completely superficial I have a home, I have a job, a very stressful job with people working under me, I pay my bills, and I take care of my dog. I am a widow, and no one wants to look too closely, my pain makes other uncomfortable, my reality makes others doubt the security of their own. So there is a space around me, a distance I keep from others, it makes that part of my life workable.

An employee told me recently that I had gotten mean. A second later, I think she would have re-evaluated what she thought was mean as to what she dealt with after that statement. As I walked away I started to think, am I different?

I realized that in the beginning I was walking backward, as I moved from the date John was taken I was facing that direction staring at the death being pulled away and doing everything to cling to that moment before he was gone. To have him, to feel him to touch him.
At some point in the last few weeks, I looked in the other direction. And, as foolish as this is about to sound, I realized I will never ever have him for as long as I live. I am looking, toward the end of my life, and it is like looking at a road in a dark tunnel, there is just the road and darkness. He was my light, and I will never have my light again. The utter desolation, and the realization that for the rest of my life I will never have him, ever, is overwhelming. In some ways, this is worse than when I first lost him. At least when I first had him taken I had the numbness that comes with death, now I am fully aware of what this means. I am supposed to be with John. He was the best part of me, and he is gone.
I strain to hear his voice in my mind, or feel his touch on my skin, to smell him, and all I have left are echoes, pale images of what was once my reality.

Close your eyes and listen, do you hear it, a music with a maniacal beat, sometimes it is soft sometimes it is so loud that you want to scream, but it is always there, that is the music of grief, it is pounding and unrelenting, plugging your ears simply makes the sound worse, for no matter where you are or what you do you cannot escape the soul shaking tune, because there is no mistaking the music that makes the widows dance.

I guess I have changed. I have no time for the smallness and pettiness of those around me. I do not want to hear it, I do not care, because my John is gone, and I will never have him again for the rest of my life.

One breath, one-step, too many days

Comments for Widow's Dance

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Aug 22, 2011
My Daisy
by: Anonymous

Zoe,
Your writing has touched me.
We all have to try to learn the dance steps, otherwise
we destroy SO many of the relationships we had.
I stumble and fall, almost daily. I try hard to
to stand up, and then there is the constant reminder. And the heartless comments. And the bills to pay. The creditors don't care about our situations. Outside people see our pain, and are alarmed by it, in every phase of our "healing". My daughter put it bluntly. She saw my spiral downward, and just said, Do what you can to survive now. Do not listen to anyone who has not been through it. Our children are the new hope. I have learned to lean on them. If you have your own, I am sure you know what I mean. If you would ever like to chat, I would like that. If you look up "My Daisy", you will find my entry, and location. It will lead you to my contact info, if you search my name, and city, state. I would so like it to talk with others who have gone through the devastating loss..

Aug 14, 2011
Still hurting
by: Connie

Zoe, I lost Mike, my best friend on 2/12/10 and I have been lost ever since. I miss him so much it hurts. I too do not have time or patience for people who don't understand. Moving on to me is a horrible comment and I have no tolerance for those who say it. I play that horrible night in my head over and over. How can we go to bed at 9:30 pm laughing and cuddling and then I wake up at 1:30 to him having a massive heart attack and there was no hope. I miss him touching me and holding me every night until I fell asleep.

I have my children and grand children but all I can think about is how much he loved his grand daughters and his children and how unfair it is that he is missing them and they are missing a wonderful man. I don't want to move forward, I don't know what I am going to do without him. I have our 15 year old son to finish raising and he is missing his dad. I don't
like being around people who don't understand. This is so unfair.

Aug 13, 2011
Looking back
by: Anonymous

This described my own feelings entirely. I lost my wonderful husband almost 10 months ago and as the days go by it feels as though I am going further away from him. People tell me that time heals but I am looking back to that day I last saw him and could speak to him and I do not want to look ahead to what seems a desolate, lonely future without my darling Peter.

Aug 12, 2011
We all know that dance well
by: M Mack

Zoe,

I share your sentiment and also tired of the road going nowhere. It's dark, and uncertain as to where it will take us.
As time goes by I am very aware of everything I am feeling. I miss Ray so much it's painful. The people around me are in their own world of kids, bills, husbands, grandkids.....they aren't at all relating as to where I am. In general, we take their words as mean, but I know they are so unaware of how we are interpreting what they say. We know right from wrong, because of our awareness peaked by our devastating experience and pain. So they say things and never know or even think it might hurt me. I go it alone, and spiritually have him with me. I keep reminding myself that we will be together one day as soulmates in eternity. No, I'm not nuts, I just know he's around and I will be with him again. As a couple, we loved dancing and pillow talk at the end of the day
evaluating the gossip at work, who showed up at the party, and anything that happened. It was gossip, the kind we would never say in public. That's what we miss so much and others have. We have had so much time to sort our feelings and sometimes they are confused and misunderstood. Listen to your heart, love yourself and know you are a good person who was loved and cherished. Although we will never forget the past, we need to look to the future and make the best of bad apples. God bless you and I pray for all of us who understand and have gone through this widows dance. You are never alone.

Aug 12, 2011
Widows Dance
by: Hope

Zoe,

We lost who we were when our Loves died. It is the on going struggle that we stumble through trying to understand who we are now. I feel as if we have been tossed back to pubescent times trying to figure out who we are. Rediscovering ourselves and who we are and what we have become.

I know that since Pauls death I have evolved into someone who no longer has time for the petty games that people play. I know how short life can be. We all know what can be taken from us in the blink of an eye.

With that knowledge I hope to never take another day for granted. It is a struggle, this life without the very person who made me ME.
But I must look back and forward to discover who I am. We need to allow others into our life even though we know how lonely it is to be in a room of people.

I struggle not to draw inward, force that smile that will become natural with time. Alone Sucks and we cannot have what we want the life that we had. So for now Zoe fake it till you make it. Try not to bark an snap at people with logic. But take time to be patient with their humanness . Recall that once we thought oh so differently before we metamorphosed. Before death took who we were away. The soft empathetic side lies beneath the hard skin of survival.

We will find our way. Until then all my best...
HH

Aug 12, 2011
Widows Dancing
by: Judy

Zoe,

Of course you have changed. Your life has been turned upside down, the foundation of your life taken and you've been tossed onto an unwelcome task that you don't want to do. Anyone would be changed by this. We've all been changed.

I completely understand your comments about keeping a distance from the rest of life and people. It's like I go through life in a bubble of sorts, interacting with whoever is there but never really connecting. I've stopped counting the days now but it's been around 20 months since I lost Barry. Very few people realize how new a grief that still really is, and how difficult it is to build a new life alone when you are deeply missing the one who always supported you!

Most people are wrapped up in their own view of life and say asinine things to widows without realizing how dumb they sound. I try to just ignore them because they do not know whereof they speak. Try to think of them as a part of life you just have to deal with like hot weather, mortgage payments. They're just there.

Hang in there, Zoe. We are all dancing together out there.

Aug 12, 2011
Mean??
by: TrishJ

Zoe-
Gotten mean? How can we not be mean? We've had our souls torn from us. Are we supposed to be nice? Really? It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so judgmental and so ignorant at the same time.
Nothing in my life prepared me for the total devastation of losing my husband. My brother (and best friend) passed away 20 years ago. I thought that was devastating. I lost my father, grandparents, beloved aunts and uncles. My husband's death literally stopped my world. It brought me to my knees. My entire life blew up in my face.
I hate the word widow. It's dark and lonely. When we have had such wonderful love in our life how are we supposed to go on without it?
I always loved to dance. My husband loved to dance. I don't like this dance.
Bless you Zoe. You're not mean. Those people around you who don't understand are mean.
Always, 1 breath, one step.
PJ

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