Wednesdays became my least favorite day 11 years ago today.
This is the first year, May 9th fell on a Wednesday. I hated that day. It was the day that Joe left me and the world stopped turning.
Your life changes so much when you lose a spouse. Yes, everyone grieves his loss but my entire life changed that day. I had to grieve losing him but also me. No longer a wife, a widow. No longer a partner, single, make all of the decisions. Single income. Sell his car, give away his stuff, decide who gets it and don’t offend anyone. And no, I’m not strong, stop saying that…
“Widow brain” made it hard to think, to remember, to move, to breathe, but I’m responsible for everything now. I just got used to saying “we” and “our.” Don’t offend anyone. Saying the word widow hurt physically. My eyes hurt for two years. My heart hurt physically. My body hurt. Palpitations daily. My stomach literally died. Then the world started turning, and I had to run to keep up with my own life.
I lost him, myself, his friends and his family. I lost support. Can’t breathe, panic attacks, palpitations, my eyes hurt.
I wanted everyone to leave and leave me alone, but then the silence was so loud. I wanted everyone back, but it was too late. Everyone was back to their own lives. So I started to get back to mine, but it wasn’t there… no life. I had to redefine me, my life, my house, my car, my job, my decision making, my friends. Cook for one, shop for one, laundry for one, RSVP for one to everything, no longer our house, my house. My cats cried at the window waiting for him to come home. My heart hurt for them too.
His spot in line was gone. I was not permitted to continue in that spot because my spot was gone too. You see I merged with him, and now I just had no place in life without him. As I scrambled to quickly make room for myself, I lost myself. I started to rebuild, redefine, I began the rebirth, slowly. I had to live, for me I had to live. I had to start to create my spot again. And remember don’t offend anyone.
I hurt, some days not at all, some days are bad. But I lived. I moved forward. I made my home mine again.
I was lonely, not missing him lonely but missing being a “we.” After I met Bruce, I made my house “ours” again. He will tell you I rescued him, but he rescued me. I was so lost like a raft at sea. He helped me find my spot. I feel off so many times the year. He became my anchor, my compass. Knowing the route before I do, or exploring where ever the wind blows us. That’s my life now. So incredibly different, beautiful and wonderful.
Thank you all for the support, for staying with me. For not getting offended, for checking in on me and for loving me when I didn’t feel like living. Thank you Widow Posse for always understanding, and the support from my family that came from the ashes. Thank you, Bruce, for loving my broken heart and helping me heal and grow.
I will always miss Joe, some days of the year more than others, but I am alive and will keep living. Until I’m done with my chores here on Earth.
Jenine Cole lost her husband May 9th, 2007. She has others that tell the story of the death of her husband, but this one is her favorite. As a Social Worker, a counselor, she believes that sharing is important.