Saturday, July 20, 2019

THE OLD GRAY COW - WIDOWHOOD


Widowhood changes everything.

Identity.

Purpose.

Passions.

Interests.

Outlook on life in general.

These things change because the journey, on which they piggybacked has significantly changed.

Who I was before 1:30 p.m. on August 30th, 2018 has changed: I am Bob’s wife … and yet I am not.

By 8:05 a.m., December 14th, 2018, my old life was drastically altered, and my new status became “Widow”.

Being labeled as such is so demeaning – the very term implies that I am a non-person.

And because I am a non-person, my purpose has been severely altered.

Where I was once vibrantly important to someone for a specific purpose … I have now been shelved and put out to pasture.

I have become the old gray cow no body really gives a damn about.

Everyone can SEE that I am still in the picture, but I serve no real purpose anymore.

I can still enjoy the green grass I am allotted to munch on; but that’s about as far as anyone is concerned for me.

There is no one caring if I come home – or not  at the end of the day.

There is no voice calling to me (they assured me that they would – but those appointed calling times come and go with NO call); and no one is sending the dogs to look for me.

Basically, I have been forgotten in the everyday busyness of their lives; I am the puzzle piece no one wants to fuss with.

When I went from wife to widow with my husband’s last expelled breath, my position in this life was simultaneously shifted from family matriarch to persona non grata.

It is an adjustment.

I don’t feel like an old gray cow.

And I don’t much care for the green pastures of my new life either, where I can wander to my heart’s content – but no one on Earth cares if I live or die.

No one.

It is an adjustment.

My passions have changed significantly too.

I am no longer interested in the things that used to interest me.

Those passions no longer matter since Bob is no longer here to share one passion in particular, or any other passion in general … and the kids/grandkids’ noninterest in me have made the extending passions obsolete.

Who knew I’d become the old woman no one could find time for – in the blink of an eye?

So.

I have learned to stop making other people comfortable; if they want to continue being disrespectful to me, and continue dishonoring their father by the way they disregard me, I have stopped chasing after them.

I have decided to lazily graze – while meeting each new life challenge that inevitably crosses my path, like a snake in the grass.

And mid-cud-chew, glance up at the blue sky longingly because I know Bob is up there watching me and smiling with pride and unconditional love for me, at all that I have accomplished on my own since he left my side.

HE told me he had faith in me that I would overcome whatever obstacles I would face when he was physically gone. I draw on those comforting and empowering words when the blue skies seem heavy with gray clouds, and the green pasture seems so frighteningly vast and overwhelmingly lonely.

Whether future new passions will spring to life and snag future interests is not even a concern to me right now.

I can’t think that far ahead – widow’s fog has made all thoughts of the future a little sketchy in the here-&-present.


With so much time on my hands, and nothing to do but contemplate so much more time on my hands; aimlessly wandering in the green grass pasture, I have joined the NFG Club (does that count as a passion?).


I am learning, after 44 years of constant companionship, how to solo ... and pray that I can dodge the thunderbolts when my defenses are down.

It is exhausting to be on guard all the time.


Outlook in general, concerning me and my life in the present, does in some ways resemble the old gray cow scenario.

I am a senior woman; became a bona fide early-retired Senior Citizen fifteen days after I became a Widow. ANY THOUGHTS of going back into the work force arena while dealing with my husband’s absence in my life couldn’t even be entertained seriously: I could barely think straight. There was no way I could punch a work schedule time clock without pissing everyone around me off with my constant brain freezes. Add to that concept that I had not worked outside the home in decades – WHO, in their right mind – would hire a 62 year old with limited work experience AND Widow’s Fog disability?

Yes! Widow’s Fog IS a REAL disability. It randomly attacks you without warning and renders you helpless. It is nearly impossible to function when it holds you captive in its unrelenting grip. You can’t think. You can’t move. Your sensory receptors have been disabled. Your emotions are all over the place – it is worse than menopausal upheaval! Seriously.


So, this is my new life.

It is an adjustment.

It is confusing – if everyone else is confused, I wish they would consider how confusing it is to ME; and try a little tender and compassionate patience with me.

Of course, everyone else is not Bob (who was always a tender, compassionate, empathetic, and patient person): and THAT is the issue.

It is a bit unsetting: for everyone.

It is unavoidable; specifically, for me.

I lost the most.

I lost everything.

There are good days – but mostly, there are bad days that stretch into the far horizon, without end.


Standing, gray-haired (ALL that gray in my hair came in after Bob’s graduation) in a green pasture (people tell me it is green – to me it appears colorless), looking at life through doleful eyes (the sparkle went out of my eyes when the sparkle went out of Bob’s), chewing my cud (looking thoughtful; but really just passing time), with barely enough energy to switch my tail.


A Life Experience I wish could have avoided.

Everything changed with my husband’s last expelled breath; and my push from life as I knew it when I was "Wife", into the space I now occupy as "Widow".

E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

Widowhood changes everything.

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