Friday, March 31, 2006

Widowhood

This is a long one
for the weekend.

Been going thru my files
and came across
this. Maybe it will help
someone else.

You see 20 years ago, I
became a widow.
April 17, 1986.
A year later a friend lost
her husband and I wrote
this and then I refined it
about 8 years later
for another friend. And that
was 10 years ago.
.........................................
What I learn by being a Widow.

Do not give away his personal things
for a minimum of 6 months, and year
if possible. If it hurts to see them,
then pack them in boxes until a year
later. There is need to give things away
maybe share in helping the grieving.
I don't know. But if you wait a year, you
give or sell things that are done with
your head and heart. Not just your heart
if you do it right away. I did not follow
this rule to the fullest and learn to regret it.

IF you are to give anything. ONLY what
your husband told YOU he wanted given
away, if anything ever happen. You will
be amazed at the people who will come
up to you and tell you or your children
that your husband said they could have
an item if anything happens to him.
Then there are the "helpful friends" who
will buy his things at a small price.
My husband had guns and he was a
mechanic-welder. I had offers of $25 for
a $300 rifle and $10 for a pistol.
"To help me out.”

If you really need to sell, get help
from someone who is NOT going
to benefit from it. I went to parts
stores that sold tools and
asked them. Told them of my lost
and that I didn't plan on getting rich
from these sales, but I didn't want to
be taken either. The owners were
very helpful. One large piece I wrote
to a dealer in Spokane, explaining
and they, too, were helpful.

Anger. About 3 weeks after my
husband died, I came home and just
the look of the yard, set me off. I was
mad. I was mad he left me. (as if he
wanted to die) I was mad he left me
with the whole mess. The yard was
a mess. Over grown. I worked in
Sandpoint, 25 miles away. Leaving
at 4 am and coming home almost 3 pm
was too much. I couldn't keep up with
the housework and the yard work.

We had been on disability with Social
Security. We had just three children
left. Two were to graduate in 3 weeks.
Our SS was to be cut that same month
he died because our youngest was 16
the day after we buried him. And SS
had decided to mess around with the
check. They would put in $3000 and
then take it out. I was going crazy.
If he were here I wouldn't be in this mess.
Damn him!! Why didn't he watch his
health all these years? For 3 hours I
swore, cried, and even wish it was me
instead. So there will be anger. Anger
at him, God, yourself. The “ if onlys”
that will drive you crazy.” If only” if I
had said. If only I had done whatever.
But this too will pass.

The nights. Days are usually fairly
full. I had started a job 11 days after
his death. It was good. I was kept
busy - too busy to think. The nights
were hard. Then I remembered
watching a late night show and they
had George Burns on. It was after
Gracie had died. He was talking about
how hard the nights were for him.
Then he slept in Gracie's spot. He said
it was a calming effect. First, there was
the smell. Then the fact when he slept
in his own place, he would look for her,
in her spot.But he didn't feel for or look
for Gracie, when he was in that spot. And it
wasn't natural for him to look at his own
spot. It worked for me also.
Maybe it will for you

Every wedding, birth of a grandchild.
You will be there thinking if only he
could see this. Then you got to
remember he is - just up above.
While there is comfort in that -
it isn't the same. There will be a
time when something real important
will happen and you will think, oh
gosh, wait until I tell him. Then you
remember you can't. With me it was
downtown and a friend had told me
of a mutual friend who had a heart
attack and died the night before. And
my first thought was how upset Marv
will be to lose this friend. Then to
realize they are together now.

It has been 10 years now for me. And
I have gone on. I have a very special
friend in my life. When Marv's face
faded unless I had a picture, I felt I had
betrayed him. But I still have him in
my heart and always will. He was my
husband, my lover, the father of my
children, and most of all - he was my
best friend. I miss him. Always will.
But I would want him to go on. I would
not want him to mourn me forever.
To be alone. And he did not want me
to either. We talked about it. We said
it would be our jobs, our children and
then whatever happens - happens.
One day at a time. Good Luck

After 6 to 9 months, some of your friends
will change. The women seem to feel
threaten when you are around, when
their husband is around. The same
women who had their husbands
helping you at first. They seem to be
uncomfortable. Like you would be
interested in their husbands. Fat chance.
Your husband is still very much on
your mind. Maybe they are thinking
of the old "gay widow" from the 1920's.

And some of the men. It is weird. I have
talked to some of my friends who have
been widowed. After a while some of
your husband’s friends may make a
pass at you. Myself, I was so out to
lunch, I didn't catch it. Then when I
caught on, I was embarrassed. Did I
say something? Did I do something
to get this reaction? Even had one say -
"well, you were use to getting it and
now you can't - so I, uh - uh, thought
I could help you out." When he said
"it", I was so dumb I didn't know what
"it" was. By the time he got to the
"help you out", I was sick to my stomach
and wanted to up chuck. I think I
mumbled something about I DON'T
THINK SO. And left.

My children were and are good to me.
Except at first I felt like they thought I
died too. They started talking about
getting rid of this and that. And finally
I had to put my foot down and say. I
will take care of things. I will decide
what goes and when. And when they
asked “well what are you going to do
with the tools. You can't weld. You can
only do limited mechanizing.” I told
them I knew people who did know
how to operate the tools and when
my car breaks down then I can have
them fix it with the tools. And I will
let them borrow the tools if they need
them in exchange, for the work. Which
brings up another. Borrowing of your
husband things. ALWAYS KEEP
TRACK OF WHO BORROWS, WHAT
AND WHEN. AND IF THEY BRING
THEM BACK. I lost a few tools as I
forgot who borrow and if they brought
them back. I made a list. One of
them was a $300 piece. Believe
me when you start asking if you
loan someone something, it
can get sticky.

A year later you will find out
you did do something unbelievable.
And when it dawns on you - you
will doubt your sanity. It is ok.
It was the stress of the time. I hid
3 expensive tools in an old shirt
under my bed behind some boxes
that I stored there. Found them
there. Could not remember putting
them there. A friend , who lost her
husband had hid a gun in
the basement behind a large box.
It was rusted when she found it two
years later. She thought she
had sold it.

The first Birthday, father’s day,
Thanksgiving and Christmas are
rough. After the second one it gets
easier to deal with. Then as the
years pass you really won’t think
about the day itself. But you will
find yourself bitchy, out of sorts.
And wonder why? Then you think
about what day it is and it will dawn
on you this is the day he died.
But life will go on. Keep yourself
busy doing things you like. There
is always the nay sayers who talk
behind your back. “Well, if I was in
her shoes, I wouldn’t be doing that
and the answer to that is LADY,
YOU AREN’T IN MY SHOES, and
Thank God you aren’t. There are
those who will stare at you because
you are laughing. Some times things
are funny in sad situations. It does
the soul good to laugh .

The main thing after all that is said
and done. Is to take it one day at
a time. EVERYDAY. You can not
live next week or tomorrow TODAY.

If you can-- sleep
on any major decisions.
Life will go on and so will you.
Just don’t live in the past, just
visit it from time to time......
Good Luck. If I can help, by
listening or answering any
questions....just ask.

Now almost 20 years later
I can tell you life will go on.
Life will be good. And some
times God will bless you twice.
He did with me... he gave me
the king, with whom I love
very much, and is good to me.

1 comment:

God's Helper said...

God did indeed bless you many times. Husbands, children and friends. Love you my friend.