There are many things I despise about my situation.
Even calling it a “situation” makes my left eye twitch.
My situation, just to clarify:
I am a Christian.
I am a single mother.
I am a student.
I am a woman.
I am a homeowner.
I am a type-1 diabetic.
I am a widow.
That word – widow – makes both my eyes twitch.
It makes me nauseous.
And it’s not because of what it means.
It’s because of what everyone else thinks it means.
It’s because there is some type of stigma attached to it.
It’s not representative of who I am.
Before I was a widow, I was right in the midst of a seemingly perfect suburban life.
I drove carpool. I made lunches.
I ironed my husband’s clothes for work. Well, let’s not start fibbing…I never iron.
Then, cancer came.
It huffed and it puffed and it took it all away.
For three years, I was becoming a widow.
Then I actually became one.
A real live widow.
People looked at me differently.
They spoke to me differently.
They treated me differently.
Or they didn’t, because they just avoided me.
This is life.
Things were almost perfect.
And then they weren’t.
Obviously, things don’t always go as planned.
I am a widow.
By pure definition alone.
Long ago, women just didn’t remarry after losing their spouse. They mourned forever.
I have mourned Chad’s death every day since November 11, 2010. I miss him.
Some days are good, some days are not. The last few months have been particularly difficult; but I am not, nor will I ever be, sitting in a black lace dress by a darkened window, knitting with my 13 rescued cats. I won’t wear a dark veil or swear off any future relationships. I won’t let my daughters think that my entire identity has been lost.
I miss him terribly. I miss our life. I miss who I was before things became complicated by cancer.
As terrible as the whole ordeal was, and as much as I wish I could have changed the outcome, I am still here. I am still responsible for two little lives and I am still ME.
The way I choose to honor his life and the love we shared is by living, doing, going and being. I think he would approve.
I am different, yes.
I am more aware of the brevity of life, the fragility of it all.
I am more aware of my purpose, my calling in life.
I am different, but I am the same.
I have put myself back together.
I just fit those pieces back differently.
I have a renewed sense of direction — fueled by faith, love, giggles from my girls and insane amounts of coffee.
I am rearranging my life in a way that makes me happy and complete.
It has taken me years to get to this point; 9 years in the making.
Grief is a process that I had no clue how to prepare for. I still don’t know what I am doing.
But I’m doing it…