Saturday, June 22, 2013

Realising I'm Not the Only One

This experience is so intensely personal that I am liable to forget how common it is. In that, being widowed resembles other great milestones of human life — first sexual experience, giving birth, facing death.... We must each experience these things as if no-one else ever had, because for each of us they are in fact unique. And yet, they are also so very common. We all get born; we all die. We don't all lose our virginity or have children, but many, many of us do, and have done over the centuries.

I become afraid of seeming self-centred, not so much here where the purpose of this blog is to record my personal experience of widowhood, but out there in the world at large, or at least in my community. I remember explaining to someone I'd just met that I'd been widowed recently. She said, a little testily, 'Yes, I was widowed two years ago,' and I realised I'd been talking as if I was the only person it had ever happened to. I imagine my personal grief to be more intense than anyone else's, my love to have been greater. But how can we measure grief or love? Both are subjective. I can only say this is my greatest love or most intense grief.

At the Life Writing group last week, we had to choose a topic beginning with the letter R. One woman chose Romance, and told the story of how she met and fell in love with her husband. She was unable to stop herself from breaking down at the end, as she read, 'We were married for 45 years; then, four years ago, he died in a tragic accident.'

'Is that what I have to look forward to?' I thought. 'To still be sobbing four years from now?' 

Ah, and why wouldn't I be? I can't imagine that I'll ever stop missing him.




‘Six Word Saturday’ emanates from Call Me Cate’s blog, Show My Face. To read her and other people’s ‘Six Word Saturday’ posts, click the icon.

15 comments:

  1. A very beautiful and poignant post. I think it's okay to feel the sadness forever if that brings one peace. I was very close to my dad and when he died 3 years ago I was shattered. I miss him every moment of every day and some days I feel the sadness intensely. I know that will never go away.
    Hugs to you.
    Dropping by from SIMC
    Suzy http://suzyspics.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/enjoy-life.html

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    1. Oops I meant dropping by from 6WS

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    2. Thanks, and hugs to you too. After all, it is still 'better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all'.

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  2. Dear Rosemary,

    I guess it's natural for us to feel like our pains are bigger than others, since we can't feel others but just imagine them.

    I came to realized that the more we try to forget or pretend to "just go on" the more we remember and the more we grow our pain. Now I leave with it, cry when I want to cry, accept to be happy and have my conversation with my ghost and it's fine like this.

    Wish you a nice start of week and peace of heart as much as you can.

    Happy (late) SWS

    Grace

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    1. Thank you for your sweet message. Where you are is pretty much where I am coming to also.

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  3. I'm sure there will be times when you will continue to feel sad but as time passes the pain will ease. This path, or similar, is one we all have to follow at some time in our lives. As long as we remember our loved ones they are still with us and if we feel the need to cry for them so be it - some memories will always make us cry. There will be many times when you smile at happy memories too.

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    1. At present even the happy memories can make me cry rather than smile. Still, as a friend reminded me the other day, it hasn't been very long yet - not even 10 months. I guess I just have to wait for time to pass, as you say. Thank you.

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  4. Well, no, you are not the only one to ever become a widow, but considering that lady has been through the same thing you think she might have been a bit more friendly with her answer. She's had 4 years to adjust and you're still finding your way.

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    1. Thanks for your empathy for me:)

      Perhaps she couldn't cope with the reminders. I guess it's all very personal, and not exactly the same for any two people.

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  5. it is personal. there are main streams of patterns. like anything else, it's complex and varying.

    to be alert and perceptive in your own grief, rather than just swamped in it, you give permission to others to become articulate and to be heard rather than silencing themselves.

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    1. Thank you, Pearl. That's an encouraging thought.

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  6. Again, beautifully self reflective and universally true ~

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    1. Thank you; that's just what I hope in writing these things.

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  7. This is a beautiful and brave post. I'm so glad you shared it.

    I agree with Pearl that by being perceptive in your own grief, you give others permission to be heard. Most of us have suffered, but too often we all shroud ourselves in silence and lose what comfort we could provide to one another.

    My dad became a widower shortly into his marriage and I grew up without a mom. Although we moved forward, our lives will be forever impacted by that loss. Thankfully, time also does heal too.

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    1. Thank you Allison. How sad for you and your dad, yet how good that you had each other. I dont know how I would keep moving forward sometimes, were it not for the dear cats and the necessity to care for them.

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