losing a spouse

It's National Widows Day, so here's what I really want.
The idea that there are five stages of grief is a myth that needs to be busted.
A few weeks ago, I was vacationing with my son Nick, daughter-in-law Carolyn, the grandkids, Lucas aged 13 and Georgia aged 9, and their adorable dog Simon, in Santa Barbara. I thoroughly relished my time being with my sweet family but, it had been a particularly tough day for me emotionally.
In the movie A Knight's Tale it is a woman who constructs the breastplate that best guards the heart of Sir Ulrich. It is
Maybe listening to the music of my choosing will take me to a new place of healing? Those who have had a significant loss keep a grief playlist in their head. Each is personal and can be ignited by a memory of a song they heard with their loved one.
Life-changing events like deciding to marry, becoming a parent, and finding a career are all by choice. Becoming a widow is not by choice. It is thrust upon you. The word widow brings to mind an old crone, dressed in a long black shapeless dress, shrouded in a black veil, wearing sensible shoes.
Just after my husband Peter died, my accountant warned me about being scammed. I thought I was pretty smart about this and assured him, and the estate attorney, I would not be conned into signing anything without checking with an advisor. But then, things began to happen.
Right after Peter died I suddenly realized that I had to change my ICE (In case of emergency) contact. I entered in all the information for my son. I love my son dearly but the wave of emotion that overcame me when I had to delete Peter's contact information was devastating.
"I believe she would be home recuperating now, if not for a broken transplant system..."
At least once a day I look for Peter. I look when I put my key in the lock and open the front door. I look when I have gotten into bed and wait for him to slip under the covers beside me. I look when I go downstairs to his office. His presence is in the house.
After Peter died I read book after book about grief. It appears that there is blueprint, rigidly entrenched in our society, prescribing the stages of grief. Society has labeled a gold standard for behavior after a loss.
When I was a teenager I would look forward to the coming school year with new books, pencils, erasers, and the whole schmear. I would go to class, write in my new books, but when I had one mistake, it was over. I was the best little girl in the world and had to be perfect. I couldn't just toss it off. I had to start again.
In the six months since my husband Peter died, I have been eating out much of the time. But now things are quieting down and I seem to have more time at home in the evenings and my dinners are downright pathetic.
It is over five months since my sweet husband Peter died and I am beginning to find a modicum of normalcy. My dinner dates have slowed down but my lunch plans are still going. Yes, I am 'demoted to lunch' a bit, although I don't blame my friends, it is more on my part.
Shonda Rimes has a wonderful new book called 'A Year of Yes', where she talks about being fearless enough to answer yes to new adventures. The loss of my sweet husband Peter has forced me to create my own opposite book -- 'A Year of No.'
I admit to openly crying at movies and have even been known to cry at a commercial that includes a puppy. But I had no idea that I had so many tears in my body. I have cried so much since my sweet Peter died that I altered my vision and even improved my astigmatism!
Since losing my husband earlier this year, I have become closer online with other widows. Old friends from my New York days and several friends in Los Angeles have been an unexpected comfort. They have known the pain, and by their example, I see a glimmer of light.
Mike and Katie met through a mutual friend, who had introduced them over dinner. He was one of Mike's best friends and also served in the military with him. They felt an immediate connection and Katie said 'immediately when I met him, I fell for him.'