Mortality is such an uncomfortable subject. It is something that is very hard to discuss seriously, so we might find ways to add humor to it to alleviate some of the discomfort. I believe it is something that we all need to get to a comfort level with.
I now believe life is a privilege and no longer a given right. My husband was killed at the age of 32 and I am still angry about that. The anger no longer consumes me, but I am angry at the situation. There are several different ways that I can deal with that anger. What I have chosen to do is deal with it in a positive manner. I feel privileged every day I wake up and in all those moments I get to enjoy with my children, family and friends. I know now that it is really possible for me to die at any moment, so I try not to take my life for granted.
It is hard for me to understand how people can feel that their life is a given right, since I no longer do. I can understand how they may feel that way, because I once felt that way. This is just one way my perception has changed since the death of my husband. People may say that their life is a privilege, but their actions can speak louder than those words.
I think we all want to make our footprint or fingerprints in this world and may struggle with the fact that when we leave…will people really remember us? The fact is that someone will. There might not be a million people that do and that is okay. As long as we touch one person in our lives I believe we are successful.
What is important is that we are doing more than breathing. We are joining society and contributing. Living life can mean so many things. I bet if you sat in a room of 100 people and flashed the word life on a screen and if those people were to say the first word that came to their head, the answers would vary tremendously. The one thing that we should all be really grateful for is having the privilege to live another day, hour or even a minute.
I think we may have all experienced the whispers. The whispers are when you walk into a room or a general area where people are whispering about you. They may not be saying anything negative or maybe they are, but you know that they are talking about you. It’s the quick glance that you get that usually gives it away. What unconscious immediate reaction do you have? It is a feeling that there is something wrong with you. You begin to look back at the last time you saw these people and have a mini playback in your head. You confirm that you did nothing that would cause these whispers. Then you might check yourself out to see if something is out-of-place. You do this as stealthy as possible as not to alert them you know they are talking about you and you are uncomfortable. We do all these things, because it is in our nature.
I am guilty of the whispers. We learn it in grade school when we are discussing a classmate, accept then it normally came with a large amount of giggles. This is likely something our parents taught us or we developed the trade somewhere along the way.
As a widow, I felt these whispers. They may or may not have been there all the time, but I saw the glances. These glances might have been from the unfamiliar territory all of us were in. They were probably all wondering what in the world do you say to someone who lost their husband. While I remained guarded not wanting to face anyone or at times facing what these whispers meant.
There was a time when I was on the other side. I was not the one that lost their husband, but was an acquaintance of someone who had. I knew very little about this person before they lost their husband. I only saw them around. One day, I went to a public place where I was immediately informed of the husband’s passing. It was not from the widow, but from others spreading the word through their whispers. It was the first thing said to me when I arrived. It was as if it were the breaking news at 5 o’clock. I sat back and listened to these whispers spread like a wildfire. I heard each person’s perception. It actually made me sick to my stomach listening to this. I was not sure if it was due to the nature in which the discussion was happening or if it made me realize that this is how the news spread of my own husband’s death.
There are also the whispers that spread like the game telephone. When they get back to you after they went through the gossip train you only hope they were distorted towards the end. These are people’s judgments exposed to the world around them for each person to interpret. Their perception combined with their judgments are spread to any listening ear.
Judgments are cast on people like a plague at times and I am unsure why. The judgments people make about your life and decisions are their judgments to own. They are not yours and you should not let those judgments impact how you feel and what you are doing. Unless they are positive and make you feel a bit better about yourself. Keep those close to create a found confidence that keeps you motivated to accomplish what others have only spoken about!
After I became a widow, I met some very inspiring people. I met other widows that showed me their strength and their desire to live life. I watched them all grieving in different ways, but their desire to help others was astonishing. It made me realize that there are so many unselfish people in this world. That people are able to put themselves aside and give you the support you need to make it through your new life.
I also met new sides of people who I had known for years. We often take on roles in each others lives and are very comfortable with that. When something turns that balance around and you begin to take on a new role in the relationship it can cause some complications. In my situation it happened so seamlessly that I did not notice any role changes until after it was over. Most of the roles have returned to normal, but knowing that people are capable of such great things really provides the comfort that you need.
There are organizations that provide support without asking anything in return and for someone who has been in a role of giving, not receiving can cause some discomfort. So it can be challenging to get used to. All I can say about that is know that is okay to ask and genuine people will not ask anything in return. I met with some individuals of an organization last week and they provided me with the guidance I needed to move forward with a project that is very important to me.
This past weekend I met up with some really great friends. It is great to be able to enjoy each others company. Being able to discuss life without feeling like there is a white elephant in the room. It really made me feel like I am continuing to move forward in my life and am creating the social environment that is important to me.
I am fortunate to have those friends and organizations that support me and what I want to accomplish.
I want to continue to live this life with such passion that when I leave this world I will know my life will be celebrated!