Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Illness and the widow

First and foremost I want to thank you all for submitting comments and communicating during my absence.  Support is what I meant this site to be all about.  You all came through for me and more importantly each other.

I want to personally thank you for the support and concern you have showed me since telling you that I am facing some health issues and trying to figure out a course of action.  I have had a lot of tests and doctor appointments over the past month or so.  I hate all of the time, effort and negative attention an illness brings on.  Needless to say this is very tough without Lane here to lend a hand, an arm, a leg or whatever I needed.

I have noted that friends and family have an easier time dealing with an illness then they do with widowhood.  Many more volunteers to take me to appointments then I need.  Daily communications with people inquiring about how I feel and asking what they can do to help.  Calls returned.  Even shoulders to cry on.  To be honest, when Lane died I expected this type of reaction.  But never got or came close to getting it.  I guess illness is less emotional so it is easier for friends and family to deal with.  Society has also set a protocol, a "to do" list when dealing with a sick friend.  There does not seem to be accepted behavior, a "go to plan" on how to deal with a widow.  Interesting, isn't?  How life changing these events are and how differently they are dealt with.

I have also concluded that being a widow is very similar to nausea.  The feeling of nausea sneaks up on you, you become hot, maybe sweaty and shaky.  I feel emotionally drained and sad all over. Then a few minutes later that feeling of dread and despair begins to subside.  The tight feeling in my throat loosens.  Even the feeling of "poor me" fades in a flash.  So odd.

I think I have felt the widow nausea many times over the past 9 years.  Getting ready for his funeral.  Last summer when I went to a wedding.  Even last week preparing for a work project that I dreaded.  Maybe the frequency of widow nausea declines in time but the intensity and sick feeling in the pit of the stomach does not.  I guess it is one of those side effects that doctors, clergy and social workers either like to avoid or don't know much about.

I guess a big difference in illness vs. widowhood is that when your husband dies life as you know it has changed forever.  And you know it the second after say "I'm sorry for your loss."

As for me, the jury is still out.  Will keep you posted.

In the meantime, do the best you can. That's pretty much all we got.  Agree?

Sue