Every morning when I check my Facebook feed I’m reminded of the past 8 years of my life on Facebook. If you’ve ever lost someone, you know that Facebook’s “on this day” feed can be treacherous waters. Today’s showed me when I got my first tattoo, a memorial to my late husband 1.5 years after he died.
It’s also the first post I made about a proposed natural gas pipeline coming through our lovely county and my opposition to it. And it’s a post about the first 6 months since Kevin died and how I spent the weekend burning my wedding dress with girlfriends.
When I visited my almost-92-year-old grandmother last night she laughed at how busy I was and all the things that I do. I told her I never expected this was how life was going to turn out. I shared about my new business organizing and leading tours for widows and widowers. We talked about widowhood, she has been one for 7 years also, and we talked about moving forward. I remember visiting her in that same cottage with my late husband when he was sick. She wanted to see him since he was finally out of the hospital. It was a good but tough visit-he wasn’t feeling well, couldn’t eat like a “normal person” as he had no attached esophagus. I had visited him with my now husband. Last night she commented how glad she was that I had Dave and how nice he and his family were. It was nice to hear-she approved.
Looking forward I am hoping the business I have developed is a success. I hope many widows and widowers discover it and we have a wonderful and safe time adventuring together. Looking back I can’t believe I’m the one doing this; it’s hard to believe that I’m the widow in this place here and now. Looking back my first tattoo was so important; I knew I would get one some day and it would have to be important and sacred. Looking forward – tomorrow I’m scheduled for my second tattoo, part of it as a memorial to my miscarriage and part of it as a reminder that I can keep soaring. How did I get here?
I’m involved in so many things but they all revolve around a central theme in my life. Grief changed me. It altered how I feel about nature and people. It has given me a goal to use my talents to help others. I’d love to make money and I’d like to be famous but in my day-to-day it’s all about how I can change the world through my abilities. Like saving my backyard. Honoring the ones I love. Making the world a better place for the future. Being an intimate part of my family and friend’s lives. It’s no longer about what “looks right” to the outside world or what fits within the lines of the conservative population in which I live. It’s about what I think is the right thing to do that can help others and can provide me with self care and healing.
As I told my grandmother, it’s not what I expected life to look like.