I am a widow - - - hateful words

Published on 16 April 2023 at 07:58

I sit here with only 7 more wake ups before I will be on that 8th year day of when my world caved in. 

I look out the window and see the sun shining brightly, green grass and trees, listening to the birds singing on this fine spring day - and I wonder how I have survived 2915 days without the Love of my heart and the Sweetheart of my life. 


That number is absolutely mind-boggling to me. 



In 34 years, 7 months, 17 days and 11 hours, we never spent 2 days without seeing one another. 

In all that time, we barely went 9 hours without talking to one another. 

- Only if he was at work and could not make/receive a phone call. Even in those years before a cell phone, he would stop along the route and call from a pay phone, or use a customer’s phone, just to call home and say, “I was thinking about you, I love you!” 

- Even at night while we slept, there were so few nights that we didn’t wake up in the middle of the night, reach out to one another and say, “I love you” or ask “are you ok?”


So how has it been 2915 days since I have seen his eyes?

Heard his voice?

Felt his touch? 

And even a greater question - how have I survived? 


Not one day at a time.

That’s been too much to deal with. 

My life has been one heartbeat at a time.

One breath at a time. 

Some of those heart beats and breaths have been smiling, or laughing, over memories. 

Some have been spent in life with our kids and grandkids. 

Some have been washed with a river of tears. 

All of them have been lived forcing myself to just breathe and live this moment.

Not allowing myself to give up - this heartbeat, this breath.

Telling myself a gazillion times - “You might give up the next heartbeat, the next breath - but not this one!” 


There have been so many mistakes I have made, too many missteps I have taken. 

Regrets have become the heaviest burden to bear. 

A dark humor has emerged from the darkness of being a widow. 

- And so far, the only ones who understand - and appreciate it - are those who know by experience why I am the way I am. 


I have learned lessons; I think the last number was #3265423365487965423546987 - but I may have missed on the count by one or a thousand. 

As I write, I will be sharing some of those lessons, but just a warning - they will not be in chronological order. 

Simply because my mind, my heart, my life, doesn’t work that way. 


I have seen the scrapbooks that tell a life’s story from minute one to the last - all in order. 

Neat and clean. 

Easy to read. 

Easy to form that picture in the eye of the mind. 



Not happening. 


Mine is a hodge-podge of this and that! 

Dark and light. 

Laughter and tears. 

Anger and sorrow. 

Frustrations and encouragements. 

Totally and completely mixed up! 

Upside down, inside out! 

In short - a magnitude of a mess! 


The day that Rick died (he was at home when he took his last breath, laying in our bed) - after the funeral home had been called and picked him up - I took a shower. 

I stood there under a stream of hot water, hotter than I had ever remembered feeling - with tears hot and heavy streaming down my face, mixing with the hot water. 

I looked at the shower curtain and said, “I am a widow. How can that be? How can I have went from being a wife of almost 35 years to a widow in ONE heartbeat?” 

With no surprise, the shower curtain did not answer me back. 


But the reality of life now without Rick did. 

The sound of silence reverberated in my soul. 

- the sound of no longer hearing his voice. 

- the sound of no longer hearing him breathe. 

- the sound of no longer seeing into his eyes. 

- the sound of no longer feeling his touch. 

- the sound of no longer smelling his unique smell. 

Every breath I took, every beat of my heart, seemed to pound out in some wicked drumbeat -

“I am a widow. It is who I am. It is what I do. I am a widow. Alone.” 


And for these 2915 days, I have heard those words. 

Every morning when I wake up. 

Every night when I go to bed. 


For months - no, years - I fought those words. 

Stomping my feet in anger and in frustration. 

Throwing my fist out to beat them back. 

And then, out of exhaustion and defeat - I accepted them. 

Because no matter how hard I fought them, they were still there. 

Time after time. 

Heartbeat after breath. 

Reality being greater than my heart's desires. 

Or my soul's brokenness. 

“I am a widow. It is who I am. It is what I do. I am a widow. Alone.” 


Once I accepted those words, and decided to embrace them -

I found I could breathe deeper, even easier. 

The darkness of being a widow became more of a long-lost friend. 

The sound of silence wasn’t a comfort to my ears, but neither did it hurt them as badly as before. 

My times alone became almost a comfort to my aching and broken heart. 


I know there are those who have been on this road of widowhood longer than me -

and I look to you for wisdom, guidance, strength. 

And even as I write these words this morning, my 2915’th day, I know that before night comes, someone will join our ranks. 

My heart hurts for each of us. 


I hope that the words of this blog will become a hope and a comfort to someone. 

I hope it makes a way for me to keep on breathing. 

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