10 Things I’ve Learned About Myself Since Becoming a Widow

Being alone leaves me with an awful lot of time to get to know myself…

  1.  I collect things now–unopened mail; thousands of dollars worth of underwear, lipstick, clothing; the phone numbers of Tinder men I never plan to talk to again…
  2. Give me an emotion or a distinct moment or stage of grief, and I can probably name a song that perfectly represents it.
  3. I am uniquely satisfied by three second snippets of Ron’s voice.  I will scour Facebook, old camera memory cards, my entire media library, etc. for hours searching for that sound.  Most of the time, I don’t even cry.
  4. I can not finish a book.  I want to read all the books, so I start all the books, and I never finish any of the books.  Which brings me to point five…
  5. My attention span is narrower than ever.  Sometimes I can’t even stay tuned into one-on-one conversations.  Most of the time I can’t remember dates and times of plans.  I frequently read texts and messages and begin to type replies only to get distracted and never send them.  It takes me weeks to formulate blog posts because if I type something that reminds me of something else, I rapidly fall down the rabbit hole.
  6. Food is my enemy because it makes me physically ill.  Alcohol, somehow, is not and does not.  Alcohol inspires me to dance.  Usually in my underwear.
  7. I probably don’t want anyone to watch me cry but I do want everyone to offer.  Rarely do I trek the one floor up to my parents’ apartment or request their presence here when I’m upset.  They always offer, and I always decline.  I cry alone and then talk about it later.  Sorry, fam.  Just knowing I have the option not to be alone is exactly what I need.
  8. I’m overly sensitive.  I always have been, but now it’s extreme.  I’ve cried over broken dishes, mismatched socks, throwing away expired food, terrifying bugs that I want to kill but can’t fathom harming, the cats pooping in the litter box I just cleaned…
  9. I’m hygienic as fuck.  I suddenly shower and change my underwear multiple times a day (it’s fine–as mentioned in point one, I collect them anyway; it’s hard to run out when you’re closing in on 100 pairs).  I shave my legs at least 6 times a week.  I rarely forget to take my makeup off at night–and of course, if I do, I cry about it.  Is this compulsive behavior?  Probably.  But at least I always smell good.
  10. Possibly most importantly, I can survive things I never dreamed I could survive.  It’s not always by choice or willpower that I persevere–sometimes I don’t even think it’s conscious.  But I am here, and somehow, at the end of most days, I still even want to be here–because Ron would want me to be here.

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Chelly

Widowed at 26. Blogging about life, death, and everything in-between. #LookTwiceSaveALife #ShareTheRoad #MotorcycleAwareness

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