I’m feeling so much stronger. In all honesty, nothing’s that different in my life, but I view it differently. I guess it comes down to a matter of perception. Our lives are just like a mirror, reflecting back what’s going on with us. And for me right now, I’m feeling like I can actually affect some change in my life.
My husband, Patrick, had done some Buddhist chanting during his life, and always joked that if you wanted to know how things were going, all you had to do was look at his butsudan, (the alter where he chanted) – if the water was dry, the greenery wilted, or dead, and bits of ash blown around, well, you pretty much knew things weren’t going well!
A couple years into my “widowhood” (yes, I do hate that word “widow,” but am starting to give in), I suddenly looked around, and saw that my life had been falling apart. It’s like I came out a fog, one that I didn’t even know I was in. I thought I had it pretty together during those first two years (considering a nuclear bomb had place placed under my life and exploded), but as I started coming out of that fog, I saw that, not only was I a widow, but I was a classic widow – fences were falling down on my property, beat-up luggage and broken boxes piled in the entryway collecting dust, things were broken or not working. My God! I thought my life looked like that derelict house that those two women lived in for years in the HBO miniseries, “Grey Gardens.” I even started referring to my property as “Grey Gardens!”
Also, during my two-year haze, I made some bad choices, like – extreme pruning. Okay, while I had the cognizance to recognize that my place was constantly full of dead leaves, lots and lots of dead leaves, my solution was to cut down almost half the trees on my property. Yes, it certainly helped the leaf problem, but I went too far! Why?? Why would I do that??
I also painted my wonderfully large closet – HOT PINK. And re-covered the love seat in HOT PINK CRUSHED VELVET. Why? I just felt like doing something wild. Wild! And hey, I could have done something like started using heroin, so actually, I think painting a room hot pink was a much healthier choice! And truthfully . . . I’m kinda enjoying the color.
Beware the widow. I had tried so hard to not make stupid widow mistakes, and still I made stupid widow mistakes (much more important ones than what I’ve list here). They say you shouldn’t make any important decisions during the first year of widowhood. And I’d say, be careful even up to two years! Even now, at 3 ½ years in, I’m still cautious about the quality of my judgment on some things.
In the past, I use to look around quite frequently to see what life was reflecting back at me. Is it a mess? Does everything sparkle? And at a certain point, I quit it. Why? Cause, it wasn’t going to change anything. And while it’s interesting to look and note, let’s face it, it doesn’t always offer new information. I mean, I didn’t need to look at the condition of my place to know that I was in pain. Trust me, I already knew that.
I am so much stronger now. And I am still working on trying to bring my life back together. It’s a long process. And just like that fence that still isn’t fixed, it’s just going to take some time. But like I said, I’m standing straighter, and I am making good progress. And besides, I have a few ideas about how I’m going to get it done. Hah! In a way, I guess I am rebuilding my life – from the ground up. But I have to say – I’m looking around, and it looks . . . promising.