Sigh. I don’t lead with my widow foot. There was a time when I would if I thought there was some advantage to it. I was all about easing my burdens through any means necessary through the caregiving years and right after Will died. But these days, I am vague about my status.
I talk about Rob, the fact that I have grown step-daughters, that he and I are raising a seven year old still and that we’ve only been married for going on three years. I don’t elaborate on the how’s, why’s or huh’s – because the math could lead a person to speculate all manner of options leading to the bottom line that is my life.
It’s not that I am ashamed or even overly worried about the effect that my having been widowed once – a while back now – has on people. It can vary but normally people are a bit taken aback and by the time they find words – if they are inclined to words at all – I’ve moved the conversation along.
I do that because I don’t feel new people need to offer me condolences or feel sad for me.
But yesterday at yoga, in the course of being drawn out about my writing, I got backed into a bit of a corner – mostly because I’d tried to talk around the topic of my memoir instead of just laying it all out – and I revealed, in as few words as possible, the whole widow thing.
Later, during a discussion of the vritt’s – I posted about them recently – I used going through the motions after the death of a spouse as an example of how sometimes sleepwalking through life is not a bad thing but is instead a cushion to help a person get by. I framed it in light of my own experience.
One of the great things about moving away from Iowa was leaving behind those who knew about Will. People who could bear some witness to the me of that span of time. It was nice to be shed of them in a way.
Gradually I have revealed this part of my life to people, but as I talked about my memoir to the women in my training, I admitted that what keeps me from finishing it is the fear of it being published and widely read. Mostly, because I don’t want to be known as a widow. Someone who went all “boot-strappy” on her life and overcame … adversity? Is it really adversity if it’s a normal life event that everyone will go through at some point or another if they partner up and stay together?
“Some people find my life interesting,” I told the group at one point, “but I don’t want to be a guru or self-help maven. This is how I did it and have someone think it is the right way, the only way instead of just a way.”
Someone commented here once that I was her grief guru. That is something I can’t be. I believe only in the process of life under which all the details fall and one of them is coping with death and moving on with life at some point.
Ach, I am rambling. I don’t know what to say to people anymore about grief, which is another problem with finishing the memoir. I feel removed from it though never safe from it, if you know what I mean.
Time to hit the showers, me thinks.