Although I have been widowed for some time now, occasionally the reality of being alone catches me by surprise. It is the little things that trigger it … a Monarch butterfly passing by (hubby’s favorite), the accomplishments of grandchildren unshared, couples in church holding hands as children look on,  … the little things. And as these little things manifest themselves with a sharp pain in the pit of my stomach, spread to my heart,  pausing as unshed tears on eyelid rims, my resolve to be strong, and move on with my life dissolves momentarily.

Death, and taxes – it is said – are unavoidable. And though we all know that someday we and our loved ones will pass on … the time is never right and it is always a shock. Although he was not well, I truly didn’t expect hubby to pass when he did, and while that whole first year after is a blur, I do remember feelings of not only immense sorrow, but also feelings of fear and uncertainty. There were so many questions – would I be okay financially, would I be able to take care of myself and my life, where would I fit in now? Lots of questions.

Soon after hubby’s passing, a friend who had also lost her husband said to me … “it takes about three years, and though you never forget, it does get easier.”  Interestingly enough I remember waking up in January at the beginning of the 4th year and thinking to myself … “I’m  going to be okay.”

As the holidays come upon me, (hubby died during the holiday season) I am focusing on all the good things life has brought me and continues to bring to me … health, family, friends, work that I enjoy and enough of what I need.

I will spend Thanksgiving surrounded by my family (minus a son and his girl who live in Bali) and I am truly grateful.

Shelley Branson-Kellogg says:

I read your article in Friday’s OC Register. My husband died 16 years ago after 7 weeks of being ill. I completely understand everything you say in the article. I feel the same way. When he got sick, I went to the library and borrowed books on death, dying, and widowhood, they were very helpful. I still think of him everyday and think of people, friends I hear of that experience the same thing. It is a hard adjustment. But I’m thankful for my 2 kids and granddaughter.


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