People never know what to say when something horrific happens, like when a 34 year old mother of three kids under the age of 6 unexpectedly loses her husband.
They look at you with horror pooling in their eyes–if they can even stomach looking at you. Most of the time they can’t. I even get told many times that “so and so” just can’t see me because they can’t handle it yet, as if I have the plague.
I know they don’t mean it, so I don’t take it personally. I’m too exhausted to exert any energy on taking anything personally.
The truth is, when my husband died and I got thrown into this vortex of shit, I felt liberated in a way. I felt free from the bondage of socially constructed rules and norms. When you grow up thinking getting married and having kids and living a domestic life is the way to live, and then you wake up one morning to find your husband dying in your living room, suddenly the socially constructed bullshit feels like a mirage. They promised me great things in life if I was good (which I was) and this is the shit I got. Death. Widowhood. Loss.
It was all a mirage.
Thoughts are a mirage too. When you experience a traumatic loss, you realize that so many things are petty and stupid. Greed. Anxiety. Jealousy. Anger. Sadness.
So I do what I want now and I try to quickly move on when I feel a negative emotion. And that feels pretty liberating.
Somebody recently asked how my “emotional tide” was going. First of all, what kind of question is that? The individual made it sound as if I was a teenager in the throes of an emotional rollercoaster ride over a boyfriend who just broke up with me in third period. I forgave the person for their insensitively worded question and answered with the following:
The emotional tide is fine. I have three kids and a lot of responsibility so there is no other option but to be a role model for them. I just successfully put on a funeral with over 500 attendees and I went back to work last week. Busy and feeling a range of emotions but not disabled by it.
The truth is, the more shit I wade through, and the more times I come out as a survivor, the more I feel empowered. Empowered to take on the whole entire world. And that’s what I plan to do.
Sad, angry, hurt, lonely, and a lot of other emotions, but I’m not letting them disable me.
I choose happiness. I choose to move on. I choose to not let this unfortunate thing of which we had no control define the rest of my life.
I fight like hell to take control of the choices I have. Because sometimes in life you don’t have a choice. But when you do, take it and run. Enjoy your life. Do what you love.
23 days since he left us. Still figuring it out, but we’re keeping our heads above water.