Friday, November 9, 2007

I'm a widower. What now?

I have often thought about a description I heard concerning an Airborne Regiment Pathfinder's course. Candidates were thrown into a plane with no notice in the middle of the night, flown in circles for hours, and booted out without warning. Upon parachuting to the ground, they were greeted by unfriendly staff, given a compass and a bearing, and told simply that they would receive further instructions upon completion of this leg. After hours of bush-whacking, they would meet another unfriendly staff member and the process would repeat, this time in a different direction. The test would be over when the candidate collapsed from exhaustion ;-)

How does this relate to grieving? Well, on this journey, we don't get the benefit of a surly sergeant to give us our first bearing -- that task falls to us. And we don't get handed a compass either, nor do we even fully realize that we are lost. All we know is that we are in a very different world than the one we were in when our spouse was alive. The pointless hiking is a joy we have yet to experience, and it may be several weeks or months before we hit the wall of exhaustion. And when we do, the test still isn't over.

For me, I didn't even realize I was lost until about 5 months after Deb died, and I hit the exhaustion wall a few weeks after that. Only then was I able to recognize that I was not in my familiar world, nor would I ever be able to return to that world, and that I would need a lot of help to find my way around this new, unwelcome world. My first task was to get myself oriented and start learning what being a widower was all about. I had a lot to learn.

4 comments:

Happy Lady said...

Just keep going to a support group and Remember Jesus Loves You. My life too have not been easy for the past 3 years since he died. With my little boy who has many many questions my answer to him was Jesus will be with us until we meet him again. It is a challenge and struggle for single parents everywhere but my hope is prayer changes us and family/friends play an important part in our life and love is all about sharing and caring.

JordanV said...

My wife passed away a year and a half ago..people say its gets better and easier(that's bullshit. I still hurt as bad, and I still cry myself to sleep.

John Carson said...

Maybe the answer is to give to others and quit trying to concentrate only on our own hurts. I don’t have all the answers and I am just now learning how hard it is to re adjust. My wife died suddenly only 4 months ago. All I can say is keep your faith, hold on that and those which are dear and carry on.

John Carson
Norman, OK

Vic said...

Hi John, so sorry for your loss. Yes, giving is an important part of grieving, more important for me toward the end. What I found in the middle was that grieving is a very selfish time, a time when I needed all my focus and energy to get through each brutal day. I got used to saying "no," because there were days and weeks that I had nothing to give. But it didn't last forever. Nothing does.

Take care, Vic