March 13, 2017

10 Months Since My Husband Died

I had a string of things happen last week that jabbed at my heart and my brain (and exhausted me) to the point that I'm certain the Universe was trying to validate something I was mulling over.

You know how women have been particularly pissed off since last November, to the point that there was the biggest protest EVER the day after the inauguration? Then, last Wednesday was International Women's Day, when women were encouraged to participate in "A Day Without a Woman".

This isn't really about that. Per se.

I felt pretty sure there wasn't anyone in my life who was particularly keen on seeing the movie "The Shack", so I decided to go see it alone that day. I read the book years ago. I admit I couldn't really remember the details of the story, just that I liked its message.

Well shit. There is a big grief component to the story that I forgot all about until it started. I'm not one to shy away from things that could trigger The Feels, but I'm also not a glutton for punishment. I have been trying to avoid crying movies since Mark died because, obviously.

So I cried in my popcorn. And it was kind of hard to stop, sitting in that theater surrounded by a bunch of senior citizens.

But this isn't really about that, either. Per se.

Later that night I figured I should watch something lighter. I had started the (now canceled) series "Good Girls Revolt" (speaking of angry women) in recent days, so I continued with that. Nora Ephron is portrayed in a couple of the episodes.

Of course, I know who Nora Ephron was; "When Harry Met Sally" is one of my favorite movies of all time. But watching "her" in this show made me intrigued to know more, so the next day, I Googled her. While reading her Wikipedia page I learned that her son made a documentary about her titled "Everything is Copy".

After watching this documentary about a prolific female writer who put her personal life out there for the world....until she was sick and dying...which turned out to be where she drew the line....I was struck by an aha! moment.

I have been struggling with something, you see, turning it over and over in my mind for months now, and especially over the last several weeks as I continue to think, maybe I'll write a blog post today....well, maybe not.

For Nora, her illness was too private to share, even with her closest friends. They were stunned when finally told she was at death's door or had just passed. It was her line in the sand, the one thing that she kept to herself.

And I realize it is the same for me since Mark's death. I have become so much more private, only able or willing to share a few nuggets of what I'm going through or doing here and there.

I have found some other widows who write to be completely open, lay it all out there. I thought that would be me too, Ms-Wears-Her-Heart-on-Her-Sleeve. Instead, it's like my grief and widowhood journeys are mine alone. They're not for public consumption. I've discovered that it's deeply personal and private for me, much to my dismay as a blogger.

I have posted here only eight times in the ten months since my husband died.

The first was just his obituary, and another was a cookie recipe.

So really only six posts of any real substance. In ten months.

This is notable because, in my blogging heyday, I posted, like, every other day. I was an open book, writing about anything and everything as the mood struck me.

While I did slow down in the last two years of Mark's life, that was only because I had less time to write for taking care of him. I don't have that excuse now.

But this doesn't only pertain to blogging, I don't share much about how I'm doing anywhere, with very many people at all.

It's just....mine. I'm holding it in my chest. Like, literally, when I think or talk about my loss or grief, my hand goes to my chest.

It's mine to go through and figure out, and I can't handle the idea of being judged for how I go about any of it.

My husband died 10 months ago yesterday. I made his recipe for biscuits and gravy, the best I've ever had in my life. When I was grocery shopping, Walmart was completely out of the tubes of regular Jimmy Dean sausage, so I had to buy the off-brand. I thought to myself as I was cooking it up, I hope Mark isn't appalled.

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