Journey of Learning

One thing (among many) that is true, is that being widowed is not easy. Especially when time passes, and you are still alone.  It doesn’t matter the gender, loss is loss and with it, comes the pain. Everyone faces this differently, as there is no one way to manage the struggle presented. Each new day, brings new challenges to be faced and overcome. Even though there will be times, when we simply break even, but that too is acceptable. Those days when we don’t, that’s okay too as long as we understand life will knock us down, but as long as we get back up and try again, we’re winning.

I talked with a friend the other day, they too are widowed and dealing with the grief of that loss. Their loss was a couple of years ago while mine was over five. I know of others who are dealing with the grief of loss. Each loss brought on by different causes, each individual facing this change the best as they are able.  But this write, as usual, is my story.

Before my husband died, he was not in the best of health, even as he pushed through and ignored many difficulties. He was hospitalized several times. Upon each release he would go back to work as soon as allowed. He drove a truck long haul. Each time going out was a little more difficult, but he was determined. He feared not working, thinking everything he had worked so hard for would be lost. I knew he was sick that weekend, he thought he had the flu. The following Monday he asked his driver manager to get him home so he could see his doctor. I spoke with him very briefly that morning. His last words to me in that phone conversations was “Bec let me go.” I know it was so he could get prepared for what ever load was given him, but even now those words echo in my memory, and I still haven’t fully let go. Many times before his death he had told me he would go first and that he wanted me to not be alone. Several times insisting on me promising to find someone else. So far I’ve not kept that promise.

This is not an easy journey.

I once had someone tell me that when considering relationships, it is easier for someone who has lost a partner to death to recover and move on than for one who has broken up a relationship. Their thought was that it is more difficult because you know the other is out there somewhere, that you will possibly see them in passing. Possibly with someone else.  At the time, I didn’t argue the point with them, as they were adamant they were right. Now, I will say that yes, that does hurt, but no you are incorrect, death does not make it easier. Eventually, for most, your pain will ease. You will be able to see from a new perspective what brought about the dissolving of that relationship. You will learn from that and move forward. And sometimes, you may be able to rekindle what you thought lost. Death means carrying only memories of the one you loved.

My husband died of a massive heart attack in his truck, at a truck stop, hundreds of miles away. It took almost a week to get him home. The struggles during that delay somewhat of a distraction. Though the nights seemed to last an eternity. When he was finally home and I went to the funeral home for family viewing, I could tell that I was looking at the shell, the vessel only as his spirit was already gone to be with the Lord. While other family member stayed, I did not. Let them lament his passing, have that moment when he had begged them for time when he was alive. I left, so as to keep peace and not speak mine.

Its been five years, three months and twenty-four days since his death. I’m traveling a journey that I never really wanted to travel, but I am learning as I travel. Still yet, the grief is real. The grief always lingers, never fully going away. The grief and sadness, are both a strength and a weakness. Because being single, even through widowhood, puts you in an odd position at times. Especially among friends in relationships. You feel as if you have to watch your every move and over think your every word. For me, to avoid that, I avoid many gatherings.

Dating, or even considering dating and even more so entering a relationship is to me a nightmare. The thoughts of entering into that seems frightening. And yes, over the past few years, I have come to enjoy my independence even as I’ve had that tossed at me as being wrong. The way I see it, what is adding to the issues is that I don’t want anyone to take care of me. I don’t want to be a responsibility. Friends? Yes. Someone to meet for coffee and maybe pie? Yes. Hiking a nature trail? Sure. Someone to have long conversations with while star gazing, sitting around a fire pit, on the porch with coffee or tea. Yes. Relationships don’t have to progress into more, but if they do, well then that’s okay as well.

Right now though, after what I have dealt with over the course of time, I am mostly content in this solitary lifestyle. Mostly.

It isn’t easy when one has to figure out how to handle problems that come up. Currently my drier isn’t working. Oh I can get the laundry dry enough after three goes at it, five if its a bigger load. I think I’m going to remove the hose off the back and see if its clogged.I’ve checked what I can, without taking that apart so maybe. The drier is almost ten years old I think so it may just be ready to move on to where ever appliances go after death. I have a back yard full of cats that I am working on either getting adopted or taken to a feral felines where they will be altered and returned. Small things usually but there is also the bigger more important like being here to take care of my folks.

Finances are a struggle but I’m getting by as long as I’m careful. But there is always the worry of the one thing happening that can create havoc and throw everything out of kilter.

The worst struggle, is the loneliness. It can creep up out of nowhere and attempt to overwhelm the peace. The worst is at night, just as I am settling into bed and glance across to that empty side. As the sounds of the night outside my window filter into the quiet. As I rearrange the pillows, drawing one close, and remember. The feelings of grief and loneliness, change the strength to a longing once again. Drifting into another night of restless sleep. Awakening to a new day to begin again.

So what to do? What do I do or try to do? Since I do try to keep what I write a reasonable length, I’ll save that for the next post. Because it really is a journey of learning.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
This entry was posted in adventure, education, encouragement, family, growth, inspiration, life's journey, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Journey of Learning

  1. WebbBlogs says:

    Oh my gosh Rebecca reading this post brought tears to my eyes. I could feel the pain in your words, I know that kind of pain. I understand so much of what you wrote. I wish I had some kind of advice, some magical words to make it all alright. I will definitely be keeping you in my prayers. 💕

  2. Wise Hearted says:

    At 75 my husband and I still joke who will go first and in my heart I have always wanted it to be me. He seems not as frail as me which is one reason our daughter wanted us to move closer to them since she will be my care giver. I drank deeply in your words since we are very close to heaven as we age. I felt you ache and felt your blessing of learning. It was a well thought out heart post and yes, it brought tears to me also. But I like tears at my age, I have had too many dry eyed trials where I have cried alone. I also have learned to be at home and not so busy with my life, health issue can teach you that, health issues and trusting God. My husband and I are different, he does not recharge on people where as I need people. But in this last year he was asked to join several men who meet once a week and its helped me because it has helped him to have a group of men to share with. Thanks for tell the wisdom you have gained from being a widow.

    • My son and I took a week away. I made sure that family were aware and ready to be there for my parents. When we got back my mom told me she hoped that I wasn’t going anywhere else any time soon as she really needed me close. She and dad were fine, she just feels more secure with me close.
      I’m glad your husband found a group that he enjoys being with and helps him get what he needs support wise.

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