Fast Forward

pond in autumn.  woman wearing red coat siting on a benchAfter I heard the words your husband is dead I sobbed for a brief moment.  Then my thoughts went to my children.  How was I going to tell them that their father was dead?  It brought instant pain to my heart.  For the first time in life, I knew how someone could die from a broken heart.  The emotional pain consumed my body.  The anticipation of what I might feel next was overwhelming. 

You might think that during those first few weeks you experience the worst emotional struggle in your life.  Sad to say you haven’t even started…

I know that is not very uplifting, but honesty might get you through the next few moments of your journey.  

You begin to feel numb.  Your tears subside a little and you wonder why.  Is it normal not to cry now every time you hear his or her name?  Yes, it can be.  

Then there is a time when you want to hit the fast forward button to spare yourself from feeling any more.  I would meet other widows who were much farther in their journey than mine, and I would be jealous.  I could not even wrap my mind around how they were capable of functioning.  

I wanted to push fast forward and be in their shoes.  I wanted to laugh without guilt, to look at my children without tears and to face the world without fear.  What I discovered was that they too had walked this journey and that is why they were capable now.  

What made me realize this was meeting others who had lost their loved ones many years ago and hit the fast forward button.  They were still walking in my shoes. They did not let grief take over.  It frightened them so much that they couldn’t.  It depleted them, and they did not let go.  When I was in the room with them I could feel the heartache that was there. The grief absorbed into me.  I got up from my chair, ran out of the room and kept running.  I found a peaceful place near a pond and sat on a bench.  I sobbed.  It felt like I was sobbing for all of them.  I was releasing all of the pain and anger that had devoured them. 

Sitting alone listening to my own sobs provided me with an understanding.  I needed to choose which path I would take.  Would I hit fast forward or face what scared me?  I chose to face what scared me, and in those moments by the pond I began to hear the whispers of my crazy courage.  

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon


11 thoughts on “Fast Forward

  1. “Sad to say you haven’t even started…” SO TRUE! You’ve describe the first steps so perfectly. A lot of widows will connect with all you’ve said. hugs to you Samantha, and thanks for putting together the blog hop.

  2. Haven’t even started is right. Worse three months, for me, were at 6 to 9 months. Winter blahs setting in didn’t help one bit, I’m certain. A scary thing to hear – it gets a lot worse before it starts getting better. But honesty is what serves us best.

    • It does get worse before it gets better. And during those moments you can’t imagine it getting harder then it hits you. 6 to 9 months is very challenging and I have heard that from several people. I wonder why that is…maybe true reality starts to sink in at that time.

  3. I was the grief magnet who sucked out everyone else’s pain and vented it. It helped me put my own pain in perspective. If I could hurt for all of them, I could survive what was on my plate.

    • It is how I felt and feel at times. A grief magnet is a great way to describe that. It is almost like you can feel it building and building, then I need to leave for a bit to release it or I think I am going to explode.

  4. I also found times when I would like to have pressed fast forward. For me it has been times such as holidays, and other special days. I just wanted those days to be over. Facing our wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other days felt too painful to go through. I just wanted them to be over. I have completed all of the “firsts” now and although it still hurts, I can face these times better this second time around. …This blog hop is a great idea! I just hope I can get them all

  5. Somehow I am convinced a little part within me has died. Which is this off-button, that prevents me from truly enjoying life. The don’t worry, just live it up-button that cannot be turned on anymore. And somehow I can live with that. Is that the scar, I wonder, that will heal eventually but will always be visible (like the appendix scar from my childhood that still itches when the weather changes)? Being aware of it, on the other hand, means that there is life, lots of it within me. Glad you took your time looking for your button (not the fast-forward one), and did hear the whispers.

  6. I have just started reading your book. My husband was a police office killed in the line of duty in April, 2010, in Texas. I am guessing that we were all at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial the same year. I appreciate hearing your perspective, as LOD deaths are unique. We go through so much of the grief process very much in the public eye. That can be very difficult at times. I look forward to reading your thoughts and experiences along the way. It helps to remind us all that we are not alone on this unwanted journey.

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