The Tao of Widowhood

The Tao of Widowhood

Sometimes when I am doing something innocuous like running an errand or cleaning my house, a simplistic mantra comes to me as easy as breathing does.

My husband is dead. I found him. He is not coming back. This is my life now.

The moments when I repeat this to myself are never emotional, teary ones. It’s as if my brain is reminding itself of this predicament. It feels like I’m living in an alternate universe, and I have to remind myself what really happened. Going through something as life changing and traumatic as this has altered my mental state to the very core. While this mantra would probably be seen by outsiders as opening up my own wounds, it’s oddly comforting. These are the facts. This is what happened. This is my life now.

Sometimes you need to check out the new dog park / bar / restaurant
My life now also includes the new dog park / bar / restaurant

Because really, the weird and winding path of grief can’t be entirely composed of emotionally beaten down days where it’s hard to do more than lay on the couch. I need days where I can run errands and clean my apartment, and above all else… I need laughter and friendship. The blubbering emotional idiot that’s constantly leaking and crying, “Poor pitiful me. Why me?” doesn’t exactly make a good drinking buddy.

Plus, grief and sadness are exhausting. The brain (at least mine) seems to protect itself by following the worst days by some lighter ones. It’s as if my brain knows we’re all in this together, and when shit gets too heavy it’s like, “Hey man… maybe you should run to Target. Let’s get really excited about Truffle French Fry flavored potato chips. Today is not a day for deep thoughts.”

Because Target.
Because Target.

So I snack on my truffle flavored chips (delightful). I watch Sex and the City on HBO Now, and color next to my napping dogs. I meet my friends downtown for expensive cocktails, and embrace my dark sense of humor which is pretty prevalent these days. I clean my apartment, and dust off the framed pictures of my dead husband.

My husband is dead. I found him. He is not coming back. This is my life now.

I repeat the tao. Maybe one day I’ll even believe it.

25 thoughts on “The Tao of Widowhood

  1. I can see where it would be comforting to come to terms with your new life. I love your Kate Spade bag and I am jealous of the agility tunnel at your dog park.

  2. In some weird way, your writing is so comforting to me. Almost like it gives me hope that no matter what, we will all overcome grief and sadness at some point. I am so glad you are so open and inviting into your emotions and world. Thank you for sharing such a private and personal part of you <3

    1. Comments like this are really good for me to hear, because I spend a lot of time wondering if this blog has become too much of a ‘daily dose of depression’. I need to write about this in a future post, but finding the right content balance is a struggle for me right now.

  3. I’m impressed by your ability to put this into words. And to understand what’s going on in your mind.
    Separately: those chips are delicious, your Kate Spade is gorgeous, and Target is a great escape.

      1. The biscuits and gravy flavor was interesting, but I wouldn’t call it good. I did like the truffle flavor, but yes, it was remarkably similar to sour cream and onion!

      2. The biscuits and gravy flavor was interesting, but I wouldn’t call it good. I did like the truffle flavor, but yes, it was remarkably similar to sour cream and onion! Also, the gyro and rueben were pretty gross.

      3. Actually, I though the gyro ones were great. The biscuits and gravy, not so much. My husband *may* have been on a quest to try them all…

  4. I can understand what you mean. Every time something traumatic in my life happened, a similar line of thought would echo through my head as well. It’s really not depressing, but it can definitely cause a lot of self reflection that in turn could bring on depression.
    I don’t know if that makes any sense.
    At any rate, I’m glad that you’re going out with friends, and that you have wonderful furry therapists.

  5. There’s definitely something soothing about repeating the facts in a stressful or uncomfortable situation.

    I’m going to find these truffle chips ASAP. And probably the biscuits & gravy ones, too.

  6. I love reading your blog daily, because it is real. Your honesty is refreshing. I’m sure you hold some things back, but your blog always feels real to me. And honesty is beautiful. People can identify with your feelings, even if their circumstances are different.

  7. seems like a solid attitude – maybe not exactly ‘acceptance’ but ‘acknowledgement’, an important step along the way. also i love that the dog park is also a bar/restaurant

  8. Never knew other people got messages from their brains/inner selves/whatever as a way to process life’s traumas. I thought it was just me and its been freaking me out lately.

  9. One of the great things about your blog has always been how it seems to ring true to your thoughts and feelings. That is still true. If you censor yourself too much in effort to not be too depressing, you might lose some of the genuine “you-ness” that shines through. For what it’s worth, I don’t find it depressing…or maybe sometimes it is but I don’t mind thinking about hard thoughts, contemplating life, or feeling empathy for another person’s circumstances. It’s life and it’s ok to face the good and bad.

    I quit smoking and find myself repeating certain things in a similar way. Not that it’s remotely on the same depth plane…but it is a major life change (even though I was an infrequent, secret smoker). My mantra is something like: The cigarette caused this, smoking one doesn’t fix it. If you smoke one more cigarette, you will smoke the rest of your life. You will never smoke another cigarette. Yes, it reminds me of smoking but it also reminds me that this is final and I have to face it. Like my brain re-wiring itself during times when I would normally sneak a smoke. I figure eventually the re-wiring will be complete and I’ll just be “normal” again.

  10. Coloring! I color too when I watch TV and movies — I find it so calming and helps with anxiety. And, chips…are my favorite food. Too bad we don’t live closer 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.