After my husband died, I had so many people say to me, "Well, at least you have your children." Yes, I am beyond grateful for my children. But no, they are not personally responsible for my happiness. They make me happy but it is not their responsibility to tend to my emotional well-being. I would never put that on their shoulders. When you are married you feel responsible for lifting the other person up with love, support, and friendship. And when you become a widow that support is gone. You get up in the morning and pour the coffee into one cup. The other cup sits empty and is starting to collect dust.
Being a widow is hard to put into words. I often tell people who are in my life and have gotten agitated with my boundaries, choices, and overall personality since my husband died, that they too will know what I feel like someday. It may be in a year or in 50 years, but it will happen. One of you will become a widow. One of you will take your coffee for one.
Being a widow of suicide has taken the grief process, the healing, the starting over to a whole other level for me. It has rocked me to my core. Torn apart my self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-love. I have felt unworthy and wondered if I should even still walk this earth.
Gratefully, I have taken action. I have taken any extra energy I have and fueled it into my own learning journey. Learning in depth about spirituality, other realms, the spirit world, where souls go when they leave their body, reincarnation, mindfulness, meditation, gentle yoga for emotional trauma, nature for healing, and more. I have dived deep into my personal journaling and never felt afraid to hit "publish" on anything I have written on my blog. I have become who I was always meant to be. Authentic, real, raw, honest, and grateful.
Do I hate that this happened to my husband? To my family? To my children? To me? Yes. A million times....yes. I want to get face-to-face with the darkness that took my husband and I want to swear at it and I want to knock it to the ground and make it feel the pain it has sewn into my heart. But? But I can't change what has happened. We can't change tragedy. Our minds will try. They will torture us by playing it over and over. This is when we must choose mindfulness. This is when we must find natural healing and journal our emotions. This is when we must set those feelings free and out of our bodies.
I have taken my coffee for one for 19 months. I still look by the coffee pot each morning to see if he left me a note like he did almost every day for 12 years. "Hey Nik. Have a great day. Let's hang out tonight. Love ya, Bird Man."
I am learning to heal my grief and learning the difference between a loss that lasts forever and the painful emotions of grief that can be healed.
I have people ask me how I find the time to write, blog, and dig deep into my own learning about healing grief to help guide others. The answer is simple. I no longer have a husband. I no longer wait for him to come home at 5:00pm and have dinner ready promptly at 6. I no longer wash his work uniforms and iron them every day. I no longer pack his lunches. I have no one to go on a date with on Friday night and no one to sit up late with and talk to when my children go to bed early. This frees up a lot of my personal time. Grief change us. People avoid us. Friends drift away and it's awkward to get back out in the "social" scene when you are now the "single" gal and haven't navigated that territory since you were in your very early 20's. I like my time now to work on me. I enjoy it. I'm grateful for it. Yes, I miss my best friend. Also yes, I know he is so proud of me and is helping me from the other side. I can hear him laughing and saying..."Yup, that's my Nik. Independent, strong-headed, and always going after what she wants no matter what anyone says."
Will I ever love again? I have no idea. I'm just living my life right now. Filling up the empty spaces in my heart with self-love. And filling one coffee cup every morning on the journey towards my dreams.