Club I Did Not Ask To Join

June 16, 2024

Dear Mitch,
I hate that I am in a club that I never asked to join

—the Widow’s Club! At times, anger flares over this injustice. Anguish replaces the anger as quickly as it flares.

If I am not Mitch’s wife, who am I now?

I still feel married to you. Which is odd in some ways because, of course, I am, but before I was forced into these shoes, I never gave the idea of how marriage feels with one partner dead. I try to think back. Did I think of a couple as still married when one of them died, or did I think of them as single? I’m not sure what I thought. Now, I know at least how the widow feels.

No wonder I feel discombobulated!

My world has been turned upside down. The feeling is akin to a disturbance in equilibrium. I am grieving your death, our dreams for the future hand-in-hand, our past memories, your touch, and my identity. Whoa! When that is down on paper, black and white, it feels intense! This is why my grief is deep. I’ve heard that the intensity of this grief will decrease, yet I will continue to grieve for you until my death.

To make matters even more difficult,

I am a widow who lives in the “grey zone.” No, I’m not referring to my hair, although it has definitely turned gray. It is the resources I am unable to tap into because you are not of retirement age and we no longer have children living at home. This becomes significant when you go from a two-income household to a one-income household. Luckily, I don’t have much debt, but it still is a struggle at times.

Of all the clubs I have asked or not asked to join, this one is by far the most difficult to endure.

Even though there are many days when I feel like I can’t do one more day of this, I do. I do it because, deep down, I know that’s what you want me to do—to live life fully, feel joy again, show love to our grandson, and be present in the moment. I may not be there today, but each day I am clawing my way from the dark side of The Widow’s Club to the light side of The Widow’s Club.

With all my love,

Nicole

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