As I kick off my newly titled Blog “Party of One”, I am looking at how over the past 7+ years I have survived my journey with grief since the loss of my husband. Surviving is really all we who are left can do. Or so I thought when Sam dropped dead on the bathroom floor that night in May 2012.
I was a young widow of 62. I had taken early retirement and all of my friends and family were still working and had each other. Feeling like the odd man out, it took all I could do to muster the courage to leave the house. People tried to help me but they had no idea what I was going through and I believe that being around a grieving widow truly made them uncomfortable. It’s surprising how you can look back and things are so clear when you do. Grief is a fog that clouds your mind and you are not present in the moment. You think you are because everything feels so painful, so fresh, but you’re just going through the motions. Grief has made me tougher. No kidding. Sometimes I feel as if it can’t get much worse. Grief has made me more empathetic, you can’t feel pain for someone else unless you too have been through it. Grief has made me more spiritual, I know Sam is with me, I feel him and I talk to him, and I know he hears me.
Something happened this past Sunday morning. After 10:30 Mass I was heading home, but wanted to stop somewhere for breakfast or brunch. I called my neighbor to see if he wanted to meet up, but he was heading to the beach with friends. So I tried another friend Kathy, she had already eaten. As I was quickly passing all the good places to eat, I decided “Hey, I don’t have to have company to eat” I’ll just stop at University Roadhouse and have brunch. I really didn’t give it much thought. Just pulled in, parked, and took a seat at the bar. Normally I wouldn’t have done that but I didn’t feel awkward. Boys and girls, that’s what I call progress. The fact that it took almost a decade is beside the point. I was finally comfortable in my own skin. Hopefully this feeling will stick with me.
Life is lonely when you don’t have a plus one. Am I the only one who has lost a spouse and feels this way? I would be curious about my readers who have gone through this and what you do that helps you cope with loss of this magnitude when you are out and about or just trying to find someone to eat with. Please share in the comments below.