It seems like you can’t get online anywhere these days without reading that someone is writing their memoir about becoming a widow. And I’m sure that you have all been on the edges of your seats, wondering what I think about it. Well. I’ll tell you.
I think it’s fantastic.
Personally, anyone who is willing to write a true memoir about any aspect of their life has my utmost respect. I don’t think many people realize how much courage it takes to really, truly tell your story in a way that says “screw it” to other people’s opinions (usually the people you are closest to) and let ‘er fly. I mean, I write this blog twice a week (usually) and I can’t even do that.
In this day and age of self-publishing and ebooks, where the publishing world has basically been turned on its ear and any person out there could conceivably write and publish a book (thereby leaving it up to the masses and not necessarily some 60-year-old man behind the desk of a publishing company to decide if it’s a worthy read or not), I say write it and throw it out there. If there’s anything I’ve learned, working on The Widdahood Post, it’s that every writer has a voice and every person has a story. And no story is more important than another.
I’ve heard and seen people in the widow world virtually roll their eyes at the next person who has decided to write a book or start a widow page/website. Now, I can understand that annoyance when you are literally getting besieged by “status updates” and if it’s annoying you, it’s all within your power to “unfriend” or “hide” (love the power of the virtual world). But for someone who struggled back in 2007 to find something, anything that spoke to me or that I could relate to...I think it’s nothing short of miraculous that we have so many choices out there now.
The truth is, the reason I started blogging a little over a year ago was because I had started writing my own memoir. Well...not really a memoir. More of a “funny” account of what had happened. There was nothing to be learned. There really wasn’t anything very helpful about it. I wrote it for the very selfish reason that I had always found the humor in the things that have happened in my life...and I needed to find the humor in this.
And two-hundred-pages-that-will-never-see-the-light-of-day later...that’s what I did.
It’s really weird how life changes. I started blogging in May 2010 with my sights set on publishing something. And a year later, theWiddahood was born, I started writing for other publications, and I’m happy.
All of these changes in such a short amount of time have really made me think about that memoir. Where at one point, widowhood seemed so consuming that I could write a book about it, it has suddenly taken a backseat to the whole of my life. Yes, I am a widow.
But that is not my whole story.
Widowhood has nothing to do with the fact that I love my legs from the knees down, but my thighs hurt my feelings every day.
It has nothing to do with the funny things my kids say every day. (Like today, for example: My 5-year-old looked at the line-up of Milkbones, cotton swabs, and tongue depressors at the vet’s office and said, “I had no idea that dogs ate fluffy things and wooden sticks!!”)
It has nothing to do with the fact that listening to the Blues makes me happy.
My story is still forming.
At 35-years-old, I look back on my life with as little regret as possible, remember moments that make my heart catch, and laugh at what has happened as much as I possibly can. At 35-years-old, I wonder how I will age, what my adult relationship with my kids will be like, and if I will ever learn to like cauliflower.
At 35-years-old, I look at my life forming and I can honestly say that widowhood has become an important chapter of my life.
It’s just not the book.