Updated: Sep 8, 2018
Four years ago I lost my husband and I was so lost. As I have done all my life I used writing as an outlet for my pain and sorrow. I began writing again as a form of therapy. At the urging of my family and friends I created Widow Traveler with the hope that it may bring comfort to others going through loss.
Here is my story
Life can bring such happiness. It can also give you a swift kick in the ass. Once in a while life can give you such an amazing gift that your life changes forever.
On a hot summers day in 1980 my life was changed forever when i met my Jack. We always joked and said it was lust at first sight. The first time he kissed me I wanted to bolt. Not because I didn't like him but because what I felt scared the hell out of me. I was barely 21 and wasn't thinking about a serious relationship. I didn't have much luck in that area and was really skittish. When I met Jack I knew he was going to change my life forever.
Lust quickly changed to love. You know the old kids taunt, first comes love, next comes marriage, then comes me pushing a baby carriage. Okay so I did it a little out of order and was pushing the carriage before the marriage. Lust is a powerful thing :).
I blessed with my step daughter, son and daughter. Jack was an amazing dad. He was hands on and shared all of the child rearing duties with me. . We did it all together.
Life wasn't always easy but the rough times only strengthened our relationship. I was the problem solver always figuring things out. He was the strength. He would wrap his arms around me, hold me tight an all was right with the world. He believed in me and made me believe in myself. To say I had no self-esteem when I met him would be an understatement. It is amazing how the love of a good man can make you believe you can do anything and then support you while you do.
Jack fit right into my life, my family loved him and my childhood friends became his friends. I was lucky to be part of his fun loving Canadian family. I came to love them all.
With the passing of time relationships change. The lust may have cooled slightly but the love continued to grow. There is theory that the gods split a soul into two parts creating a female human and a male human called split a parts or also known as a twin soul. The belief is that each of us on a deeply subconscious level knows that something is missing within ourselves and we seek wholeness. Jack was my split apart. With him I was whole. He filled a deep empty place in my soul.
Oh how we loved each other, so much so that we renewed our wedding vows on our 25th wedding anniversary. Even after almost 34 years together the touch of his hand gave me butterflies. We held hands all the time. The hugs , kisses and I love you were daily events. We were each other’s best friends who truly enjoyed each other’s company. We usually called each other "'my love".
Life was good, kids were grown and we were looking to the future and planning for our retirement and it finally being our time. My life, my dreams and my future all ended on March 11, 2014. I came home from work a little later than usual and went to wake Jack up. The moment I opened the door, even though the room was dark I knew. My heart seemed to break the moment I stepped in the room. I walked hesitantly to the bed and shook him and he was so cold. I flew to the light, turned it on and I knew. In that moment the life I had was no more. My soul-mate, my husband, my lover, my best friend, my strength and the father of my children was gone.
With my family's support I made it through all of the funeral arrangements and the funeral. There was so much to deal with. All of the financials, bills, mortgage, and so forth. Through a river of tears I still managed to get through it all.
Nights are the worst. Sometimes when I close my eyes I see that face. At other times I blame myself, thinking if I hadn't left the house earlier than usual I would have seen him that morning and may have noticed something that may have prompted me to take him bitching all the way to the doctor. If I had just called him to say good morning and I love you, maybe I could have saved him. My head knows It isn't my fault but my heart still feels guilty.
So how am surviving this? I have love and support of both families and our friends. Work is my salvation, my peers and staff are amazing . They understand the spacing out at times, the times when I can't hold back all the tears, they give me tissues and understanding. I cry a lot in the car while talking to Jack. At night I cry myself to sleep while hugging his favorite green plaid flannel. I pray for strength and for Jack.
I take one breath at a time, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. I will get through each every first the best I can. The first holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. It won't be easy but life goes on and there is life after.