...is how it felt when slowly but surely the dark, numb days of grief following the death of my husband began changing into light and laughter, the numbness evolving into warmth and vitality. Through the fog and fuzziness a realisation dawned that I now had the opportunity to do and be whatever I wanted - a new future, a new beginning.
It goes without saying that I would not have chosen to be given this opportunity but then who chooses to be a widow? And certainly not at the age of 32. For the 9 years we were married, we shared that marriage with cancer for 8 of them. At times I felt like I was dying too, 5 years of a terminal diagnosis and whilst Bruce was incredibly positive about the hand that been dealt him, that diagnosis was always there in the background, lurking with intent.
And so it was that one day I became a widow. Life changing. Numbing. Terrified of being along, being lonely. I had spent the last 5 years dreading this moment and now it had arrived. This was now my life. Sink or swim, I had to get on with it, just as Bruce had had to get on with living with cancer. But I wasn't prepared to sink - that would be like letting the side down, squandering the depth of his strength and courage he had shown throughout his life, and of mine too over the years of being by his side. So the autopilot switched back on and enabled me to pick up on life before cancer, but whilst outwardly showing the world I was coping, inside I was in turmoil, processing and analysing all that had happened, working out how I had come to be in this awful place. This hadn't been in my master game plan.
With time all that internal processing began to tease out the jumbled mess in my mind and 'like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon' the autopilot turned to conscious enlightened actions and I am now able to embrace my life with open arms and be happy with who I am and what I do.
There are many site and forums on the web I have found where widows can find advice and give and receive support - all of which are excellent whilst in the dark days of grief and bereavement. But reading them I found myself being immersed back to those dark days and I don't want to return there. Instead I want to focus on all the opportunities and positives that this terrible journey has given me, and find others who feel the same.
So I hope this blog will be a collection of thoughts and links to other positive and uplifting widow blogs - to inspire and empower other widows to re-emerge into their life after the loss of a partner. And it's a life that can be full of love, laughter and passion if you WANT it to be!