Six Months as a Widow

It’s been six months now since my husband died. I can’t believe that.

Pepper and I survived Thanksgiving, but it was so much harder than I expected to make it through my Jason’s favorite holiday without him. It wasn’t a bad day, but it wasn’t a good day either. I hid in my phone while my daughter played with her grandparents. I was so glad to be home and have the day over with.

That experience is making me dread Christmas. Pepper and I were both so excited for the upcoming holiday. Christmas is our favorite day of the year and we were excited this year too even though I didn’t expect to be. Seeing how hard Thanksgiving was for me though makes me just want to skip the next holiday. Pepper is definitely not on board for that. And besides, the tree is up, the gifts are wrapped, and she is so ready for Santa to visit. I just hope to get through the day with as few tears as possible. I certainly cry in front of Pepper, often, especially since Thanksgiving hit me so hard, but I don’t want to ruin the magical day with so many emotions I can’t hide for a single day.

We’re changing the Christmas routine a bit this year so that we’re not alone on the day. Traditionally my parents come over and do Christmas gifts and dinner on Christmas Eve and then we stay home just the three of us on Christmas Day and then we’ll usually see my father in law and whatever of his family is in town the day after. This year, we’ll still have the Christmas Eve celebration as usual, at my daughter’s request, but everyone will also be coming here at some point on Christmas Day so we will be alone very little. I hope the random people visiting and the mountain of gifts will be enough to keep us distracted and in the moment enough to make it through the day.

If I’ve learned anything about myself this past horrific year, it’s that I can survive way more than I ever think I can. So I’m sure we’ll make it through the day just fine, but there may be oceans of tears between the group of us.

I finished NaNoWriMo. Almost a week early. I didn’t enjoy it and I don’t know if I”ll do it again, but I stuck it out and finished a really horrible draft of a novel that I’ll likely never look at again. I’m still glad I did the project this year again because I learned a few things about myself in the process. I learned that  I do not want to be a novelist any more like I did in my life before Jason. I learned that no matter how busy I am I still managed to find an hour and a half a day that I can put towards something else important to me. I also learned, through the character in my book, that I no longer wish I were dead. Since Jason died I’ve spent more time than I like to admit wishing I were dead too and I don’t want that any more. That happened sometime in November. I don’t want to be dead because I don’t want to miss seeing Pepper get bigger. I don’t want to miss that even if I have to see it without my Jason being here too.

A very recent development is that I’m taking  a class on Coursera that is free and it is about Happiness. It’s overwhelming the amount of videos and readings and now assignments I have to do, for no real reason, but I’m trying to use the time I was devoting to NaNoWriMo to take this class and I think it will be beneficial to me in the long run. So far so good, but my first written assignment is due soon and I’m nervous.

My eyes are doing good. We’re weaning off of the steroid drops and should be starting new drops to treat the glaucoma soon. Finally some progress on that front. It’s a relief.

Pepper is doing well. Some behavior issues that all seem to just be because she is four. Nothing concerning for the grief counselor so we just muddle through and love each other as best as we can. She is really just waiting anxiously for Christmas at this point. She has a countdown with make up inside and she is doing her shopping for all of her family and friends at dollar tree. She is very careful with her choices because she wants to choose just the right thing. She is also careful in her choices for the wrapping paper, gift tag, bow, everything. She loves to give gifts and can’t wait for everyone to open what she has chosen. She is just like me in that regard. She chose two things for me and gave me one as soon as it was wrapped. She is so joyful and kind and loving and excited. It’s all contagious. I don’t know what I would do without that little ball of love and I am so grateful I have her.

Our routines have changed a bit and I’m struggling with that. My step father got a new job and that changed all of our weekly schedules because I can’t drive due to my cataracts, glaucoma, etc. My parents come twice a week to get us to our errands and  appointments and those all were up in the air due to the new job schedule. It’s stressing me out and I’m feeling anxious and like a burden. I’m dealing with it, but it hasn’t been easy by any means.

My emotions have been haywire since Thanksgiving. The tears are hitting more and more often again. It feels like I’ve reversed on my grief journey, but we’re still early on in the process and our first solo holidays are certainly going to keep the wheel of emotions spinning. But, we’re surviving one day at a time, together.

5 thoughts on “Six Months as a Widow

  1. It sounds quite positive overall, to me at least. 😉 I still can’t handle celebrating Christmas since my dad passed, and it’s been more than 23 years now…so we spend the day volunteering at the community dinner. It helps pass the day. I hope you and Pepper have a good day with as much joy as you can get out of it. It sounds like you have your own plan for getting thru the day, and it’s a good one. I will be thinking of you, as I’m sure others will be. . Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s amazing how similar our lives are right now. Family helped me get through thanksgiving too. I also have eye problems and had counted on Ted driving when needed. Depending on others is hard. I am glad you have pepper as children really help us. All of a sudden I’ll tear up to a show or mostly music. I haven’t even thought about shopping. I wish you well and enjoy your blog so much. We’ll make it through this next holiday somehow or by the grace of God.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am glad things are going a little better! I wish I could say you will enjoy Christmas again someday, and I do hope that is your experience, but it’s been more than 20 years since my mom died and I still get depressed every Christmas. Every other year my family takes a trip instead of doing traditional at home Christmas. I far prefer those years since they don’t feel like Christmas so I tend not to get as depressed. Maybe once Pepper is older you can do something similar?

    Liked by 1 person

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