I prepare best I can for loss. Insurance, cell phone, ID, phone numbers, copies off site, extra supplies, back up generator, 2nd car, friends, keeping needs small and manageable. But nothing I did prepared me for the ultimate loss. Terminal cancer. Hearing the news is like being pushed off a cliff in slow motion. When my husband and I hit bottom, LIFE would be smashed to pieces. You can pull out all the stops, fight the good fight, but you're already over the cliff. I was lucky. On the way down I had time to treasure him and say good bye. Then we hit bottom. His heart stopped beating. Mine broke. Life shattered.
There are plenty of blogs that speak eloquently to the newly widowed. We need each other. Like combat soldiers returning from the frontline, we have experienced a life shattering experience that few who haven't been through it can understand. What I'd like to share in this blog is the creation of my new identity that leaves the past behind. That accepts the transformative experience of widowhood as a passage and a gift. I'm accepting that my life is about me, not me and another. Not me and my dead another. Not me and the stepkids. Not me and my future another. I'm bringing me centerstage. I just hope to stay out the the trap that it's all about me. My late husband died six and a half years ago. Widowhood doesn't cut it as an explanation, let alone an excuse for my life. I'm post widowhood.
Rebuilding my life began as soon as the house emptied out and the donated food was consumed. I felt like hell, but I was alive. I knew not to do anything really stupid. The first difficult decision I made by myself was replacing the ratty old electric blanket on our bed. Excuse me, my bed. After that tiny decision came the more complicated ones. Any person used to living on their own has long mastered decision making, but competence comes slowly to me. I want nothing less than mastering the art of living. These are the best days of my life.