It’s been eight weeks since Will passed away, and all I can say is that I’ve got a shitstorm of emotions going on. Which isn’t surprising, or even all that awful, it’s just weird…like bipolar on crack. I can go from happy and smiling to a weepy mess in a matter of seconds, and vice-versa. I can enjoy dinner out with my family and cry over a Humane Society commercial an hour later. I go from almost desperately wanting people around to wishing I could just disappear and blow away like a feather on a breeze.
All of this, I’m told, is completely normal. After all, mixed feelings are to be expected during these early months of widowhood—whether one is bipolar or not—and I need to just let them happen. There’s no time limit on grief. I hate it that I’m apt to burst into tears anytime or anywhere, with or without provocation, but I’ve already learned to allow it because I feel SO much better afterwards. It’s a lot like throwing up: nobody likes doing it, but the relief is incredible when it’s over.
This is so different from the way I imagined life would be after losing Will. I always thought I’d be deeply depressed and suicidal in the early going, and I used to half-jokingly tell the kids to drop me off at the psych unit on the way home from the funeral. But I’m not. In fact, suicide is about the last thing on my mind these days; I’m too invested in making sure they don’t have to lose their second parent any sooner than is absolutely necessary. I may feel differently in another few months when it’s been raining for three weeks straight and my seasonal-affective BS kicks in, but I’m not going to worry about it now. And I know Will wouldn’t want me to worry about it either.
I talk to him a lot, you know. I consult him on both major and minor decisions, and sometimes I can almost hear him answer. Sometimes it feels like he’s an eternity away, while at others it seems as though he’s standing right next to me. Recently my son-in-law booked another cruise for this November, and when I asked Will about it, I could practically hear him whisper, “Go for it!” I know he’d want me to go and have fun, even though I’m as poor as Job’s turkey and the boys are picking up the tab (willingly, I might add—they want me to enjoy myself after what I’ve been through this year).
One other thing I’ve found comforting is church. I’ve gone every Sunday since the funeral, and each week it gets a little easier. The ancient rituals are calming and reassuring, and after Mass I have coffee and donuts just like Will and I did in the past. Happily, I’ve been “adopted” by a group of women, most of whom have lost their husbands too and know exactly what this is like. I have also been drafted back into reading from the Scriptures in front of the congregation, as I used to do before he got really sick and I couldn’t commit to a schedule anymore.
The idea is for me to read on one Sunday a month for the next three months, and see if I want to continue. I’ll probably end up doing it for the entire year, just because the gal who oversees the lectors wants me to, and I’m actually pretty good at it. But like everything else these days, I have mixed feelings about making that commitment…maybe by the end of November I’ll be ready to make up my mind.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for these turbulent days. Thanks for reading.