I could blog about something really happy and positive right now, sure. But I honestly don't feel like it. I had a really rough day and it's all that has been on my mind. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy - very happy. Things in my life are going WONDERFULLY right now. I don't think they could be more perfect. I am very thankful for everything I have and etc.
But today was hard. And those hard days really play their tole on me, especially when they have to do with grief. Despite everything I am thankful for and the fantastic life I have going for me, I need to take a moment to just write. To accept these moments of pain, hurt, and grief that come with being a widow. I tell you what, grief wipes everything out of you no matter what it constitutes of. Especially if you fight it and don't let the emotions out when you feel them. The "sad" emotions that you felt earlier in the day are now turned into anger, or guilt, etc. That's one reason why it's SO important to feel the emotions when they come. Not hide them.
But today was one of those days where I had to hide my feelings and couldn't fully embrace what I was feeling. It wasn't appropriate to start crying or take that moment for myself and take a 'bathroom break'. I just started my new job on Monday. I've been doing orientation and tomorrow is my first actual day in my department. During orientation we've been doing the basic things. And today involved a lot of computer time with training. We were getting instruction on how to get to specific spots on the computer and I couldn't just leave because I was having a 'moment'.
Talking about all our different options we can sign up for.
Benefits - This is finally a job with benefits that could have supported both Spencer and I and have been very, very affordable. This could have given us what we needed to get by. Without the stress and worry. Finally. And now that I have it? He's gone.
Emergency contacts - Has automatically been Spencer for 3 years. Something I never hesitated with. If something happened to me, I wanted my husband to know about it first and make the decision about what should be done. I have no problem listing my parents, except for the fact that they do not live in Utah. They live 12 hours away. I don't want them to worry.
Beneficiaries - Of course this kicks up some feelings. I always thought I'd outlive Spencer. It was just kind of an understood thing in our relationship because of his terminal illness. But still, if something awful were to happen to me, I would want my husband to get the money. I have no problem with my mom, she deserves any extra money more than anyone I know... but it's still the fact that I don't have a husband to leave it to. I don't have a family. I don't have that anymore and it hurts to be reminded of that.
Spouse - I want to sign up Spencer for everything. To me, I still have a spouse. I hate that I can't do that. I hate being reminded that he is something I no longer have. I hate having to completely ignore that part of things now. I hate that people assume I am just single. That I don't have a past. That I am just your average 21 year old instead of a not-so-average, been-though-everything, widowed 21-year old.
And the stupid little section on the computer screen that only gives you the option to be "married" or "single" - Legally I am no longer married. Legally I am single. But in my heart? I don't feel single. I am still very much tied to my husband, deceased or not. Even though I hate being labeled as a widow.. It's what I am. It gives me a defining term that I feel more comfortable with rather than "single".
And not only those things... But I have been meeting so, so many people. I have been getting to know many people and they ask me about my life. The basics. You know -- what most people can answer without even having to think about. But asking me about my life... about why I've moved so much etc etc is a question that makes me think. Questions that I seriously hesitate to answer. What should I say? When is it appropriate to disclose that I lost my husband? How are other people going to react? The outcome of how ever I choose to answer in the moment is one of two things: either awkward, or feels very incomplete.
Awkward because of 1) How I say it and act to their response (sometimes I feel like I'm "too okay" with it when they freak out) and 2) how they choose to respond. "I'm Sorry" "I didn't know" "You're so young" "oh my gosh I am so sorry. Wow. I'm sorry (and it goes on)". There is no easy way to bring it up without having some kind of awkward moment between me and the person I am talking to.
It can feel incomplete because in the moment, for whatever reason, I choose not to disclose that I'm widowed. But then I feel like I'm leaving out such a MAJOR part of my life. Spencer was, and still is, a huge part of me and my life. My past, present, and future. He will ALWAYS be with me. In my heart. And so it's hard when I feel like I can't talk about him. Because I want to be able to talk about him all of the time. Like he is here.
It's definitely a balance. A very hard balance. It's an answer that is going to take a lot of time and practice to perfect. And even when I am able to come up with an answer and a way of saying things that is comfortable, in a moment under the pressure of answering questions about my life, I will most likely forget the answer that I want to say.
It's that elephant in the room that is always going to be there. With time it will get easier to deal with. But for now, it's hard. I've never been around so many people, meeting so many people, and having to make small talk.... Everyone else's small talk is my "really-big-life-changing-talk"... or something to that effect. You see what I'm saying??
There is a lot of times that I'm talking to someone around my age and they just got married... or are going to get married. (in fact a girl that was orienting with me just got married 2 weeks ago and we spent a lot of time together and I had this situation....) I want to relate to them on that level. Because it was a huge moment in my life. A very special moment. I want to talk about my wedding day too. But when I might start saying something about "oh when I got married..." "yeah my husband..." etc. They don't see the ring. They haven't heard me talk about my husband at all. They assume that I am single. They are taken off guard. They ask the questions. Which leads to the answer that I am just not quite sure how on earth to answer so i'm comfortable with it.
It's all just hard. An adjustment I didn't even think of. I was so excited about everything, which I should be, that I didn't expect or plan for these events. And there is no amount of 'planning' that you can do... because in the situation it's so, so much different.
I just hope that with time (preferably quickly) things will go a little smoother. My co-workers will learn a little bit about my past in the most comfortable way possible... and then it will blow over and we'll all be normal. Hopefully I won't be labeled as "that poor girl" "the widow" or various other hurtful terms. Hopefully tomorrow is better and everyone is able to focus on WORK and not my life, you know? I don't know if I can deal with another day like today....
It was a hard day....