I went to a Widow support group catch up this week… I go to a lot of them. They are cheap therapy, and in that group I can be me. No one has to mind their words in case they upset me by mentioning Claytie or talking about death the way that people in my other circles seem to. I’m not anyone special in that group, I am not the odd one out, because we have all lost our person. I can just be me and that’s incredibly liberating.
At this weeks catch up there were four new people. It’s a weird feeling when new members join the group. We all have this huge interest in hearing their stories, but it is tinged with so very much empathy because they are only with the group because their person has recently died. You want to tell them that it will get better – but it doesn’t, you just learn to live around it. Talking to them reopens the scab on your loss, it’s hard and it hurts but it is also really nice to know that everyone in the group gets it. It sounds weird to say it -my kids think it’s the most miserable thing they could ever imagine, but it’s really really helpful… and for me, it helps to put my situation into perspective.
One new lady is now widowed for the second time! Her first partner completed suicide and her second (soul mate) died after a longer illness. How on earth do you survive this horror story twice?! How do you keep getting out of bed each morning? It is hard enough living this life now. It’s hard to think about finding happiness a second time only to lose it again. Maybe I should just be grateful for the fairytale that I had. Maybe it’s greedy to think that I could have another? I could live to be in my 90s I don’t want that to be on my own… the fairy tale I had makes me believe totally that it is worth the risk of trying again.
Another of the ladies that is new is only quite young. Her husband died suddenly and unexpectedly in a similar way to Claytie in the middle of the year. Here one minute gone the next. She has a two year old and is due with her second baby this side of Christmas. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for her…having a toddler and a new baby is hard in an ideal scenario, and this is as far from that as you could possibly get! We were so lucky that the boys all finished school, reached adulthood and grew up knowing who Claytie was and how much they were loved by him.
Another person is still not entirely sure how his wife died, but it was a suspected reaction to the covid vaccine. She had her immunisation on the Thursday and was gone by Monday! He may never know for sure what the actual cause of death was, and I can’t imagine what that does to you. In our case, we had a very clear answer about the cause of Clayties death. It does help to know what happened and that we definitely could not have done anything to stop it from happening.
I know I keep saying how lucky we have been in all of the things that have happened to us. I genuinely feel it. I know it. I’m not saying that things haven’t been hard for us – they have been horrendous! But we have been lucky. We have had the most amazing people in our world to help us get through it – old friends and new ones and the absolute best family in the world. My heart breaks for some of the people I have met who don’t have what we do. I can’t imagine how much harder it would be for them to process their grief. I am hugely grateful every single day for being this lucky.