Three Months as a Widow

Three months ago today my beloved husband died. This is a checkin to let you know how myself and my four year old daughter are handling things.

I’m still going to grief counseling and Pepper still isn’t. My grief counselor says we are both doing well. I fill him in on all the details of Pepper and he lets me know if he thinks there is a problem or a potential problem.

It feels like a lifetime has passed since the last checkin, but also like it could have been yesterday or this morning. A current big struggle is how long the days feel. When we had three of us our days were filled with joy and happiness and love. Now each day feels like an endless slog I have to survive to get to go back to bed and forget things for a while. There are just so many moments to fill in a day, for both of us. It is hard being a single parent. We were 28 and 38 when Pepper was born and if we had thought for even a moment that one of us would end up having to raise her on our own, we wouldn’t have had her.

It’s been especially hard not to regret that we did when she is having difficult days. Balancing my grief with her acting out due to her own grief has been more challenging than I’m up for most days. Everything she has done or gone through has been totally normal to the grieving process, she’s leaving those various behavioral issues behind quickly enough that my grief counselor is not concerned, and in every instance I have handled the problem well enough that she knows she is loved and safe and the behavior is or is not okay depending on what the problem is. But it is not easy.

I’m still journaling to my late husband. My grief counselor gave me four things to include in those writings. Please forgive me. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you. So far all I’ve tackled is I love you and that may not be quite done yet either.

A yoyo made with a color way in his honor was made and I have one on the way to me from the creator. Also, the profits from the yoyos in that colorway are being donated to Pepper and I. So cool!

We have a new bed. We had been sleeping on the floor on the mattress from Jason’s hospital bed for nearly 3 months, but a family friend was able to get us a new queen size so we are sleeping well again. That makes a big difference.

I’m still not able to use our dishes or mugs. I am using the utensils though. I’m still not really cooking. I’m keeping up on showers and laundry and that’s about it for my personal care and household care. My mother is coming over a couple of times a week to break up the monotony and to help me catch up on the chores I do more sporadically like washing Pepper’s dishes and taking our the trash.

For the first time this month I told someone that Pepper and I are okay and realized that I meant it. We’re not good. But we are okay. Apparently at some point I decided to survive my husband’s death and as much as that makes me feel guilty and sad, it’s true. I plan to be around for as long as possible for Pepper, even if most days I would still rather be dead.

I think of my husband every day. I cry every day. Random things trigger grief attacks, like the drive past the hospital yesterday. Or pictures. Pictures are the worst. I still turn to tell him things multiple times a day. I miss him like crazy. But Pepper and I are holding on to each other and for each other.

8 thoughts on “Three Months as a Widow

  1. Your courage in talking about your experiences is inspiring. I’m living with stage IV metastatic breast cancer and am anticipating my husband’s status as a widower. Is there anything concrete, in hindsight, you could offer me to do for him? If this is too soon, please don’t hesitate to completely ignore me. Love and light to you. 👍❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your cancer battle. My heart is breaking for you and your husband.

      Aside from things we “should” have done before his brain cancer diagnosis like having a will or life insurance the things I most wish we had done or done more or better would be talking about what he expected of me. Should I plan to remarry at some point, etc? Does he want me to homeschool Pepper for all of her schooling? What are the most important things he wants me to remember to tell Pepper when she is bigger? Which traditions would he want us to be sure to continue?

      A list of favorite things or memories would be wonderful. I love books and wanted a list of his favorite books, but by the time we started trying to craft that list he was too far gone from the brain cancer to help much.

      If you take care of finances or paperwork make sure he knows the passwords and locations of everything he will need.

      Let him take as many pictures or videos as he can. My husband hated both so we don’t have many, but being able to hear his voice again is invaluable to my daughter and I.

      I have a tattoo with my husband’s name in his handwriting. I got it 6 days before his death and he never got to see it because he was unconscious by that point, but it is my most treasured possession alongside my and his wedding rings and another ring we had made with his handwriting. It says “I love you forever promise” on the outside and “even now you are strong enough” on the inside. My daughter has a ring as well with her own messages from daddy.

      I think the most important thing I could have had from my Jason would have been him telling me he wanted me to continue to live and to try and be happy if I could. I may not be so attracted to the idea of death if he had asked me to keep living for our daughter. It would have given me one more thing I could do for him. Still living for him instead of struggling to find a reason to do so.

      Spend as much time holding hands as you can and love each other as hard as you can.

      I’m so sorry you two are going through this. Sending hugs and strength to both of you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your very brave. If you have even the tiniest of property plant something in his honor. I did that which seemed easier than going to the gravesite. Plus I could visit him throughout the day if needed an inside plant would work too. Oh I still cried but I would do things like get a birthday card and burn it or just leave it there. My kids would make drawings. For me it felt like he was closer. And also something new meaning not like using the dishes. Only you will know when your ready. It’s so hard but it sounds like you’re doing as good as one can under the circumstances. This was for my dad so of course your situation is much harder.

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  3. My heart goes out to you and Pepper. Healing from terrible loss takes a long long time and we come out of the dark tunnel of grief different people than we were when we entered. I’m so glad you’re getting support and allowing yourself and your daughter, as best you can, to feel your feelings and acknowledge the difficulty of this journey with honesty and compassion. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

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