Widow's Fog

A variety of life trials and tribulations prepare you to deal with those predictable and also untimely happenings in the future, but I cannot name any situation that begins to prepare you to deal with losing and then living life without a longtime partner and spouse.  When you have been married for nearly fifty years as Otto and I were, it is difficult to articulate all the ways that he is missed, and although he was chronically ill for several years, I was not prepared to say a goodbye that I knew ultimately was going to last for the rest of my life.    

One phenomenon that I will never forget is what I can only describe as the widow’s fog; it is so dense that you cannot see through it to the other side, yet such a vapor that you cannot capture even a tiny piece.  Although this condition comes to visit less often now, it is so powerfully real that it triggers symptoms of sadness that do not easily disappear.    

I discovered an enlightening article on Facebook comparing the death of a forever spouse to a gigantic ocean wave that in the beginning washes over and consumes you; then as time goes on the waves still consume you but the timing between the waves lets you take a breath before the next one hits.  You ultimately learn to anticipate the waves and prepare for those times when you are the saddest. 

A study by Northern Illinois University professors reports, "Just as you cannot stop the waves in the ocean; you cannot stop the feelings of grief.  You can only ride the wave of your grief and find a comfortable place to express it."  And "the intensity of your grief is directly related to the strength of your attachment to what was lost. "

Holidays and days of remembrance can take your breath away and leave you wondering if you will ever get beyond the heartache.  At times you are able to deal with the memories that bring comfort then come the occasions that tears flow down your face and overwhelm your existence. 

When someone you love deeply passes away, it creates scars, the deeper the love the worse the scar.  It seems that the greater the love, the longer time it takes to recover.   

 I subscribe to an online service called "What’s Your Grief" and I find it informative reading.  Laura Abbruzzese from Chicago, Illinois writes that "you cannot create a road map to a place you have never traveled; there is no road map for my journey and I am figuring it out as I go.  All I ask is trust that I am doing everything I can to live my life and go forward without my favorite person."

I believe that I am doing what is right for me although it might not appear that way to everyone. I understand the words lonely, alone and lonesome; although they are not interchangeable, those words visit my thoughts often.  

Brenda S. Brown 


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