I am so tired of being censored from telling the truth. I have tried to submit real, honest articles to online platforms only to be given a hotline number and a brief “I’m sorry for your loss”.
Nobody wants to talk about the real stuff. It’s not light, it’s not fluffy, there isn’t a trace of rainbows or butterflies. The real stuff is dark, gruesome and painful.
But. It. Is. Real.
And if we don’t talk about it, new widows and widowers will think they are the only ones feeling these things. They will feel even more alone than the loss of a spouse already makes us.
So, I’m going to talk about it. And if you don’t want to hear about the ugly side of loss, then please redirect your browser.
Being widowed means pain. It means a hurt so immense and so strong that you would do anything to make it stop.
I have seen people turn to alcohol, drugs, sex, sleep…anything to distract them from the excruciating feelings soaring through their body.
Just last night, I was hurting so badly that I couldn’t move. I couldn’t focus on anything. I was mentally writhing around. And nothing that I did would make it stop.
I have been in so much emotional anguish that I have caused myself physical pain just to redirect my thoughts.
I have gone to bed wishing, hoping and praying to not wake up in the morning.
And I know I am not alone.
I have seen widowed mothers and fathers reach out in desperation because they just cannot take another second of their children fighting.
I have heard stories of these parents tearing themselves apart because they lost their temper and yelled at their kids.
I have seen widowed moms taking their sons to pick out a jock strap. And widowed dads taking their daughters to buy a new bra or homecoming dress.
I have heard the stories of precious little children asking the world’s most impossible to answer questions about their mommy or daddy in heaven. And their living parent’s heart just shatters. Every. Single. Time.
None of us know what we are doing. But we all still have to do it. And we are doing the best that we can.
Being a widowed woman means taking on tasks that you may have never had to do: fixing the plumbing, killing the insects, negotiating a new car purchase.
And the frustration of knowing people are trying to take advantage of our lack of experience with these things.
It means being solicited on every social media platform by men looking for a woman loaded with life insurance money and a broken heart longing to be loved.
It means trying to navigate a dating scene that has quickly transformed into hookups and ghosting while we weren’t looking.
Being a widowed man means learning the nuances of doing a little girl’s hair.
And decorating a house to make it look more like a comfortable home and less like a bachelor pad.
And trying to find a new life partner who is secure enough in herself to not feel like she needs to compete with a ghost.
Widowed life is full of challenges. And one of the worst one’s is dealing with the judgment and opinions of others.
We are judged for moving forward too soon. We are judged for being “hung up” on our deceased love. We are judged for crying in public. We are judged for never shedding a visible tear.
No matter what decision we make, there will be someone in our life who does not approve of it. Trying to make everybody happy is impossible. But we are rarely encouraged to forget everybody else and do what makes us happy. We are rarely told that whatever we choose to do is the exact right decision.
Everyone else would have done it better. Nobody else who believes that has ever lost their spouse.
Being widowed means juggling your new life, trying to come to terms with the end of your old life…all while attempting to find the time and energy for all of the paperwork and phone calls and tasks involved when someone that you are now responsible for dies.
And this isn’t even the half of it…
Every day I encounter another person trying to navigate this life. And every day I see the posts full of anger, frustration and despair because what they are facing feels impossible to overcome.
And all I want to do is make sure it is known: you are not alone.
Please feel free to comment with any additional things you wish people would understand. 💜