Thursday, November 20, 2014

Widowhood Is Different Than a Breakup

Dealing with the death of my husband is so different than a break up.  The void that I feel after my husband died is so extreme that I just feel lost, I feel like I am just blowing every which way in the wind.

I have had one major break up in my life and I remember the pain of that break up but this is different.  With the break up, I focused on my ex, on what he was doing in everyday life.  I could picture him going about his daily activities, wondering what he was eating, how work was going, what he was doing, the potential of him calling, of running into him, and of course, even the fantasies that one day we might get back together.

With the break up I was also hurt and a little angry with some guilt mixed in because there is always at least a little of that in a break up, which is why people break up.  Something didn't work in the relationship.  There were problems.

But because Jeff is just gone, there is nothing to focus on.  He is not of this Earth anymore.  I cannot picture him going about daily activities.  There is no chance that he will call, or I will run into him, or any fantasy of us being together again like we were before.  I am not hurt or angry about anything he did to me.  I don't feel guilty.  Because he had cancer and we knew he was going to die sooner than we wanted, we were able to say everything we needed to say.  I knew how much he loved me and I was able to tell him how much I loved him.

So this is not like a break up for me.  With a break up, I had something to focus on.  With the death of the love of my life there is literally nothing to focus on.  There is just nothing there.  I'm lost.  I feel like my soul is searching for something to cling to, to connect with.  Our relationship didn't end because we weren't right for each other, because we hurt each other, or because we didn't want to be together.  Our relationship ended because he died.

I went from having a perfectly functional relationship, that wasn't perfect by any means, but it was awesome, it was fulfilling, it was a fantastically equal partnership, to just nothing.  It is just gone.  He is gone.

Sometimes I feel like a divorce or break up can be harder then a death.  I know Jeff would never choose to leave me and I usually get nothing but sympathy.  With a divorce or break up, it doesn't really matter who does the leaving, there is usually regret and hurt, especially when the other person has moved on or is happy and you're not.

Most of the time with a break up or a divorce there is no sympathy.  People might say stupid stuff to widows but at least there is sympathy.  People definitely say stupid stuff to divorcees and there usually isn't any sympathy.

But at least with a break up I had something to focus on.  I had the hurt or anger or guilt to focus on.  There is a glimmer of hope in the background that someday, we could get back together.

With his death, I just can't wrap my head around it.  I try and focus on looking for signs that he is still around, that he still loves me, that we will be together one day in a different way.  But it's just not the same.  The void I feel is massive.  I don't have any hurt or anger or guilt to fill it. 

Some of you have hurt, anger, and guilt and probably think I have nothing to complain about.  Maybe I should focus on that.

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