Sometimes I want to rewrite my story. Or maybe just make one up. For the times I meet new people. Or strangers. I think about this a lot. Especially lately. So much loss. So much sadness. Do people really care? But my story defines me. It’s who I am. I don’t want pity. Hugs are nice. But I feel funny. Especially when strangers feel they need to give one. Did I say something to make someone feel sorry for me? I don’t mean to. Ugh! It’s just my story. It’s sad. But the truth. And this truth sucks. Loss. Sadness. Loss. Again. First Gregger. Love of my life. Then Lucy. My savior. Sweetness. So what’s my choice? Lie? Don’t say anything? I fight to hold the words in. Sometimes I do. But my insides ache. I walk away feeling empty. As if words were left unsaid. But why?
The other day I was shopping with Angel. People stop me. Can we see her? Hold her? What’s her name? How old? Your first Yorkie? I feel compelled to explain. I cannot dismiss Lucy. My heart is aching. So the story spills out. And then comes the hug. Poor me. NO! I’m just me. I just have a story. Yes, it’s sad. But, it’s part of me. I’m here. I’m moving forward. And I’m not ready to let it go. So it pours out. I need a t-shirt. A hat. “Angel’s Mom,” “Moving On,” “Picking up the Pieces.” I don’t know.
I get my struggle. When an athlete stops playing their sport, what defines him/her? Someone asks, “What do you do?” And they say, “Well, I played this or that.” But they often struggle with the “now.” They know what they “were,” but finding the “now” is tough. My life identified me. A wife, a mom, daughter, sister, friend. But always Gregger’s wife. He was my half. My better half. I can’t let him go. Yet. So I tell the story. I lost my husband. I am not just single. I am a WIDOW. No husband. But. There is a difference. And it matters to me. My husband isn’t just gone. He didn’t just leave. He didn’t choose to leave. I didn’t choose for him to leave. And the worst part. He isn’t coming back. Or walking through the door. Anytime. He is gone. Forever. He is dead.
A widow. Still “sort of” married. Just married to someone in a “different place.” That defines me. It is my story. And that is the story I need to share. So as my journey continues, I am a widow. A widow trying to move to a new happy place. Whatever that may be.