Nov 11 2015

BECOMING AN UNMARRIED WOMAN

dinner plateWhether widowed or divorced, it takes time to become single again. It was several years after the Mister died before I – not unlike Punxsutawney Phil – stuck my head out to look around at how much dark weather was still ahead. I learned a fair amount about grieving in those years.

We had done everything together for three decades, including home decorating. About the first thing I did when he was gone was get rid of the dishes we had chosen together years before. I bought a very girly, very flowery set that he would have disliked very much. They didn’t remind me of him every time I set the table. They were MY dishes, not OUR dishes. It was a different mindset, and I found that it helped me to deal with aloneness as a positive. MY sheets and MY television shows and MY paint colors began replacing the things we had chosen together.

I started doing things WE wouldn’t have enjoyed as a couple. Binge watching The Walking Dead. Owning a parrot. Eating meatless pizza. Writing books. MY things, not OUR things.

Grieving is a natural function of life, one of the unpleasant ones like nausea or constipation. You feel awful, but you WILL live through it. I discovered that it is also a very selfish business. It’s easy to use a friend who you wouldn’t help through some future depression of his/her own. You could hurt someone in the process … and it will haunt you.

At some point along the grief timeline, I finally admitted I was deeply angry. It felt disloyal. But I was furious that I cared for him so long and lost so much when he did so little to help himself. It was years before I could actually say that to myself, much less to you.

Facing it was my final step in Becoming an Unmarried Woman. And I now like that status a lot.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://lindabmyers.com/becoming-an-unmarried-woman/

8 comments

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  1. Thank you for this, and, as always, for your wisdom about widowhood. It is so helpful I can’t even express it.

      • Linda on November 13, 2015 at 4:41 pm
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      Your comment honors me, Katharine. What could be more rewarding than helping a friend? Well, maybe an entire box of dark chocolate gives it a run for its money.

    • Stephen Wasilewski on November 13, 2015 at 2:38 am
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    What ever direction we take (single/married) we will need to go through a lasting history to get us to where we are. Joy ( spouse) and I have maintained our individuality. It has worked for us for 45 years.

    Of course, I wish you the best future.

      • Linda on November 13, 2015 at 4:39 pm
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      You two are an institution. You have mastered the art of bobbing and weaving through life as your personalities, goals and outlooks have changed.

    • Vanessa on November 11, 2015 at 10:19 pm
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    I think that status looks good on you! You wear it well 😉

      • Linda on November 13, 2015 at 4:34 pm
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      That’s a good thing since you’re my stylist. If I look like crap then … I’m just saying.

    • Susie Eaton on November 11, 2015 at 9:54 pm
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    Now there is some hard won wisdom! Thanks for your candor Linda, and your clear assessment. That will help anyone who reads it. Nice that you are at peace with the single life too. And who knows what lies ahead? Im betting there are plenty good surprises left in your future.

      • Linda on November 13, 2015 at 4:33 pm
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      Thanks, Susie. There may be a real surprise tonight. A gent is taking me out to dinner … I’m thinking it’s to say adios. Or not. So much for my psychic powers!

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