I share the not-so-fun stuff about being a widow mostly because I’ve been told not to talk about it by so many people. I’ve been told to only share positive things, uplifting things, inspirational things, and things that demonstrate how strong I am.
These folks want me to exclusively share those things because it makes them feel better and more comfortable.
When I was first widowed, I googled frantically. Not only had my husband died, but my only source of unconditional love had died, my only family had died, and my support system died. George was my very best friend who filled just about all of my needs.
I googled because I hoped I wasn’t the only young, weird, lonely widow who didn’t find comfort in hearing about “God’s plan” or “how I needed to be strong and care for the other grieving people around me” (because I had “only been with him for six years” and I was “so young and would get married again soon.”)
Thankfully, other widows had been brave enough to share their stories and I found comfort in the fact that they didn’t use bologna platitudes.
I found Michelle Miller’s book, “Vodka Soup for the Widowed Soul: Stories of Grief, Alcohol, Infidelity, Cursing and Hope.” I found The Hot Young Widows Club. I found Anjali Pinto’s articles, “When I Became a Widow at 27, I Used Sex to Survive My Heartbreak” and “I was judged for having sex after my husband died. I think he would have understood.”
If these women hadn’t been brave enough to share their realities and make me feel less “wrong” about who I am as a person (the person my husband fiercely loved, I might add), I don’t think I would have survived.
The fact of the matter is that my reality isn’t comfortable. I get it. But here’s the thing- my same uncomfortable reality could quickly become anyone’s reality in the U.S today because of covid.
That’s why I’m sharing about how hard it is to be hospitalized for the third time in a month with chronic health issues. I’m in one of the same hospitals that my terminally ill husband with a heart condition stayed in. But now I’m the one with an EKG and oxygen monitor. And I had nightmares last night about all of the things I could have done to save him ( I watched him die again and again until I finally gave up on sleep at 4:00 am).
Because of covid, there’s nobody to hug and there’s no hand to hold while I’m in here (or at home, for that matter). So once again, I turn to comedy. I force myself to laugh by watching gut busting stand-up routines, shows, movies, and YouTube videos. I write endless routines and sketches for the various clients and projects I’m a part of.
I also share.
I share partially because I’m hoping to connect with others who feel this way and partially because I don’t want anyone else who’s already hurting to feel any shame by doing what they have to in order to survive.
What makes you laugh so hard your side hurts? Like, what makes you straight up guffaw? Let me know in the comments below!