Thursday, December 26, 2013
The Widow Awards
I don't know about you, but when I make through certain milestones...I feel like I've accomplished something monumental.
I think I was prouder of myself when I got through the first anniversary of my husband's death than I was when I got my college diploma. I want to jump up and down every year on the day after his birthday because I'm so excited to be on the other side. And, frankly, I think I deserve a trophy every year on December 26th.
I'm actually cheating and writing this on Christmas Day. But I can feel it mounting - that jubilation that only getting through the holidays can bring. I've gotten through the build-up and what is sometimes the forced merriment of the holiday season. Christmas Eve, and all of the stress that comes with it, is over. I'm halfway through what I consider a successful Christmas Day (meaning nothing catastrophic has happened) and can already feel the relief that comes with getting closure on another December 25th.
I know that so many of us are sad that, not only are we missing our spouses, but some of the magic of the season is gone as well. And I totally get that. Even if you're fortunate to be with people during the holidays, there is still a loneliness that can't be explained to others. The best way I can think of phrasing it is that even if you're with people you love...there is still a connection that's missing. There's a separateness. There is a caution that we didn't feel before, a worry that if we feel too much - whether it's sadness or happiness - that emotion might just be too overwhelming.
This is the reason why I love widow(er)s. No one gets that like we do. I can guarantee that tomorrow I will wake up to many messages from my comrades in loss, celebrating the fact that they've made it through yet another milestone (or maybe even their first).
How I wish we could get all together! We need a big giant ballroom with an elaborate stage - even bigger than the Oscars! We will all be nominated for different categories like Best Meltdown or Most Elaborate Comfort Food Creator or Most Realistic - Coping Category. We will all applaud each other as we take the stage in our most comfortable sweats and each accept an award that we will proudly display in our homes that will remind us - and everyone we know - that we made it through another day.
Because it's big. It's a huge accomplishment that most people don't understand. I don't know one person in our situation who hasn't woken up one morning and thought, "I did it. I made it through." Others in our circles don't understand the energy, emotional control, and fierce concentration it takes to sometimes just live through a day.
But we do.
I read a quote the other day that I love (of course now I can't find it). It went something like "I know I'm having a hard day, but so far my success rate at getting through tough moments is 100%." And that's true. I've done it before. And I will have to do it again. But I've proven to myself that I can. And so have you.
So, I raise my glass you, my fellow widdas. If you were here, I'd be handing you a tacky trophy probably made out of an abandoned Barbie doll and whatever craft supplies I have laying around. But I would be giving it to you with pride, smiling at you, and congratulating you for making it through the day.
Because as we all know...that's huge.