Thursday, November 26, 2009
This is incredibly hard to say, but it needs to be said, so I'm saying it.I've met someone. Someone really nice. Someone who makes me feel special, who makes me feel like a woman again, and not like a sad, lonely old widow. Someone who makes me feel alive. And yet, I have been having huge difficulty coming to terms with that. It's been 8 months since my husband, Ian, died. And it has been a hard, lonely, gruelling 8 months at that. But still only 8 months. You have no idea how much guilt and shame I have had to work through to get to the point where I can actually talk about it because 8 months is such a short time. When Ian passed away I didn't think I would ever meet anyone else, I didn't think I wanted to meet someone else, and I certainly didn't dream that it would happen so soon. But it has, and that's just the way it is. And to be honest, I think I owe a lot of that to my psychotherapist who helped me to deal with my grief in a more structured and philosophical way, and to accept that that was a chapter of my life which has now ended and I need to let the new chapter begin (he did not, however, recommend that I go looking for someone within a year, mind you). I'll be honest, it's not quite as simple as that. This isn't about forgetting my past. Ian's family will always be my family too, I love them all so I'm not going to forget them, obviously, and I don't want to miss out on watching Ewan grow up. And I have not stopped loving Ian - I never will - but that doesn't mean that I can't love someone else. Love is boundless. I truly believe that my happiness would be paramount to Ian. But there is something in me which has changed over the passed few months, a strength which at times shows itself in ways which surprise even me. Ian's sister and mother will know exactly what I mean when I say this - that you cannot sit and watch your loved one slowy die in front of you over a period of 7 weeks, at the end of which you have had to make the agonising decision to withdraw life support treatment, say your goodbyes, hold their hand and watch them pass away right in front of you, without being deeply and profoundly changed by it. That change is not always a good thing. I have become very short tempered and less tolerant of people who place far too much importance on mundane material issues, who don't appreciate their loved ones the way they should, and who aren't willing to support one another through sheer selfishness. These people have absolutely no idea of the treasure that they have within their grasp, a precious thing that could be so easily lost. But at times, that change is a good thing. I have become more decisive, more sure of what I want, and more willing to take control of my own life. And you know what? That feels so good, knowing that I have the power to shape what lies ahead of me. And I have made the decision that I don't want to be a grieving widow any more, and that I have every right to be happy just like anyone else. Anyone who feels the need to judge me can keep their opinions to themselves, because quite frankly I'm not interested. Unless you have actually been in my position, then you cannot possibly know what the past 8 months have felt like, and are therefore not qualified to do so. There. I've said it. And it actually feels quite good!