So a few days ago, I got in touch with someone who I consider family, and asked if I could solicit some advice. This person has always been straightforward, no bullshit. I knew any advice or statements I received from her could be trusted because it wouldn’t be rooted in trying to make me feel better. I don’t mean to make it sound like this person is mean and cold or anything, she is just truthful and drama free. And that is what I needed. She has provided immense support to me in the past and even though everything in my stubborn personality screams not to ask for help, I knew I needed to.
I chose to text her rather than call her because I know my emotions right now. It could have gone one of any directions – me breaking down in tears or being irrationally angry. It was the former. I explained to her how I am “floundering”. I have no interest in anything, and spend my days being emotionally unstable. The main thing I talked to her about was that I had no idea how to proceed regarding school. School was something Wolf and I did, it was OUR thing. I finished last semester because I knew he would have wanted me to, and my professors were incredibly understanding. This semester, I signed up for because I thought this …. ambivalence would be lessened. I thought I might feel a little more towards other things in my life beyond sadness. :But I am not feeling anything and especially not towards school. I have no ambition, no motivation, to pick up my school books, to take my tests, participate in discussions, anything really. Which is confusing to me, because school was so important to me before. The thoughts that go through my head are always “yeah but school was OUR thing…” and “yeah but art was OUR thing” and as I told her, if I took that route of thinking, I would never get anything done. Of course, I am not getting much of anything done right now, so I would pretty much be staying in the same place.
She didn’t give me a specific direction to go, but she told me it is okay to go in a DIFFERENT direction, that taking a different course of action is not betraying him. She told me that maybe deep down I know I need to change course, but that makes me sad because it’s like losing a part of him. (At this point, I was really glad we were texting because I was blubbering with tears and snot running down my face – attractive, right?) She told me I was entirely normal in this, that everyone has moments where they try to figure out how to proceed, and in my case, a tragic loss launched my moment.
And then she said something, that hit me so hard I lost my breath:
“You are widowed.”
At that moment, I lost my breath, my legs got weak, and I couldn’t stand up. I slumped to the floor and began SOBBING. Not the pretty kind of crying heartbroken women do in movies, but the real life kind. The kind where you cry so hard you can’t breathe, you are gulping for more air so you can cry more, there are tears and snot everywhere and even though your nose is running, it is also stuffed at the same time, inducing a mild panic attack because you can’t take a full breath. The kind where you utter strange noises that maybe kinda sound like words, and repeat them over and over as if somehow making those noises will make the breakdown stop. Yeah, that was me.
I had this breakdown because she was right. I AM widowed… even if not in the legal sense. Wolf was my husband and I was his wife, and we lived that way, even if it was not legally recognized. I had this breakdown because SHE confirmed that. Someone outside our carefully crafted little world recognized what he and I meant to each other, and that fucking hurt and felt good at the same time.
In my last post, I said no one saw tears at the hospital. I lied. There was a moment, in one of the worst times, when hospice was visiting us, giving us options … and I kept my cool during most of that. I had to swallow hard, and steel my jaw, and take a minute before speaking but I held it together. Until the hospice woman told me that they could do a ceremony for Wolf and I, not a legal one obviously, but just so we could have that moment before he passed. THAT was the one moment where I lost my composure… where I was overwhelmed by the fact that there was nothing we could do anymore, that all the positive thoughts in the world could do nothing to fix our situation, that I was going to have to say goodbye to my soulmate, and that there was someone who understood just how completely helpless that made me feel – and was offering to help. Tears came but I didn’t let them stay long.
Tears followed after that as well, when he passed, but again, I didn’t let them stay long. I kept them at bay while I picked up his personal belongings, and cleared out all of my things from my 2 week stay at the hospital. I kept them away when my friend picked me up and took me back to my house, and helped me clean and do laundry. I kept them at bay when she asked me to stay at her house, and I declined, but ended up passing out on her couch for 12 hours straight. I have been numb since. Yes, I cry. I cry A LOT. But I always make it stop. But the other day, when that statement was made to me, the dam broke.
I may not know where to go from here, but I know that I have people who care about me, and believe in me. And yes, I am widowed, but I am not going to disrespect his memory by giving up – regardless of how appealing that may seem.