Archive for the ‘Married Musings’ Category

IT’S SAD, REALLY   Leave a comment

One thing that has been made plain to me is that people generally don’t like someone to be grieving or mourning more than, say, a few months. Six, at the most.

People want you to be over it.  Like you could possibly be over losing part of your very heart.  As if it was a football game where your team lost, or the cancelling of a TV show you really like.

I have had two people in the past two weeks ask me how I was.  I hate being asked that when I’m grieving.  I almost always say “Fine”, or “Okay” even when I’m not.  It is what they want to hear and anything else makes them uncomfortable.  I’ve learned this through painful experience.

With both people, who I thought I knew well enough to share with, I said something other than “Fine”.  And both of them suggested counseling.  One person mailed me a list of therapists and grief groups in my area, the other (who is a Counselor in her day job) suggested I talk to someone, or join a grief group.

What they said was not wrong, and I know it was meant well.  But – why suggest counseling?  Just because I am still grieving and in mourning 10 months after my dear husband passed away, they are thinking I should be over it?  Or I need help getting over it?  Why is that the first thing they want me to do?

Do you know what I would have much preferred they say?  I would have much preferred if they would have said, “Why don’t we make a date to go walking on the beach this weekend?”  Or, “There is a new Chinese place I’d like to try.  Would you like to go to dinner next week?”  Or, “Why don’t you come over for dinner tomorrow?” Or even, “Why don’t we go to lunch after church?”

That is what would help.  That is, actually, what I need.  That is what would make a difference to me, in my life.  It is sad, really.  Grief makes so many people so uncomfortable.  They don’t know how to deal with it.  They don’t want you to start to cry when you talk about the person who is gone.  They squirm and change the subject or make excuses to get away.  If I do that when talking to you – you don’t have to do anything.  You don’t have to say anything.  Just listen.

It is sad, really.  I wish people in my life could understand grief and mourning.

Posted February 15, 2017 by Maureen in Married Musings

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IMPOSTOR   Leave a comment

I feel like an impostor.  Or a fake.

Thanksgiving weekend has always been a big family weekend for us.  As many as can travel from a tri-state area to spend three days together.  Eating, playing, talking, eating, doing activities.  Eating.  This year I was not looking forward to it.  I am not looking forward to my “first” holiday season without my husband.  I didn’t want the sympathetic looks and the “How ARE you’s” from well-meaning family members.  So many emotions all mashed and roiled around together.

It actually wasn’t too bad.  The distractions of the three days helped a lot I found.  And it was good to see family, to catch up on what everyone is doing (and, at our age, the latest health bulletins).  My niece’s son and daughter are at an especially adorable age and they were clearly having a terrific time with the plethora of cousins and Aunts, Uncles, Great Aunts, and Great Uncles.

I talked and laughed with everyone else.  And felt like an impostor.  I could laugh, but I couldn’t sustain the happy feeling.  I could enjoy activities for a short while, but then I would just watch.  When we saw our cousins they asked after me and time and again I saw “the look”.  This is the look that comes over their face when they have asked after my job and gotten updated and then …. they don’t know what to say.  They can’t ask about Randy since he is gone.  They don’t want to ask how I am since that can bring up strong emotions.  So they falter, and the conversation peters out.   I just waited, giving them a few second, and I would jump in and change the subject or start talking about something else.

And I felt like a fake.  I was totally faking being okay and that I was getting along just fine.  I was an impostor this past weekend.  I wonder how many people I fooled?

Posted November 27, 2016 by Maureen in Married Musings, Memories

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Feelin’ what I’m feelin’   Leave a comment

A couple of Sundays ago we had a real move of the Holy Spirit at church, and I came away feeling just a tiny bit better as far as my grief goes.

By the grace of God (which I do not deserve) and His blessing (which I also do not deserve) I will be moving to a smaller apartment next month.  It is in the same complex I’m in now — in fact, it is 10 steps away from where I live now.  My rent will go down $800 a month, which is a HUGE help here in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Have I said yet that I don’t deserve this?

When people ask how I am my standard response is “I’m still breathing in and out.”  I know, as a Christian, I’m supposed to be saying something like, “Oh, I feel blessed!” or, “I feel good in the Lord today!” or something like that.  And I may get there some day.  But not today.  And probably not tomorrow.

So until then, I keep breathing in and out.

Posted August 13, 2016 by Maureen in Christian, Married Musings, Randomness

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PROGRESS ?   Leave a comment

I’m not sure if you could call this progress.  Moving forward maybe.  Positive movement might even be a better, more accurate phrase.

I have to downsize.  Without my husband’s income I can’t continue living where I am, I have to move to a place that is smaller.  This will be the THIRD TIME I’ve had to downsize in the past eight years.  Before I got married last year I had gotten rid of literally over half the things I owned. Then we got married and we bought a lot of things together. New dishes. New silverware.  New pots and pans. Rugs.  Bookcases.

And now I have to get rid of at least 1/3 of all that.  The first two weeks after Randy passed away it was so sad and depressing for me to even think about getting rid of this stuff.  I was mad and upset and sad that I had to downsize.  AGAIN.

Eventually, after most of the emotions had passed, I was able to talk to God about it.  A lot, actually.  And I finally received His peace.  It was there all along, waiting for me.  But I had to come to that point where I accepted it.

So I have been packing, and hauling boxes to Goodwill.  Then I pack some more, and make another trip.  I have sold some things, and given away some things.  And you know what?  I feel better. So I asked myself: “Self, why do you feel better?”  And I think it is because I do not feel like a helpless victim of my circumstances. Rather, I am taking responsibility and doing something about my situation.  I am taking positive steps to making my life better and live somewhere I can afford.

And in the meantime, I have been able to bless people with what I gave away and what I have sold.  I have had to make tough choices on what to give away, but I am keeping all the things that 1) I need and 2) are important to me.  Not only that, but the $4,500 or so in debt I found out I was in from unpaid bills is almost totally taken care of.  And that, people, is GOD.  No other way to explain all the events that had to take place, all the things that had to fall into place, so that all that debt would be paid.

Thank you, God, for being patient with me.  I don’t know how you do it, but I am glad you do. Thank you for being my provider, my rock, my fortress, my very foundation.  To you be all glory and honor and praise.

Posted May 10, 2016 by Maureen in Christian, Married Musings, Uncategorized

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As Well As I Can   1 comment

I’m still breathing in and out. Still going through each day.  Sometimes I can take a whole day at a time, other times I can only do half a day.  Or less.

There have been financial challenges since my husband passed.  I try not to worry about them, try not to fret, try not to carry those cares around with me and bring them to bed.  It is a struggle!  I have great faith that God will take care of me and provide for me, but I am a responsible person and believe in paying my bills, and when I am faced with a huge amount of them I feel bad that I can’t pay all of them right away.

In the meantime, God has provided an insurance policy from my union that I had no idea was even a possibility.  God has provided a check for $100 from missionary friends of mine.  They are having their own health and financial struggles, yet they sent me a check.  God has provided me a $1,000 one month reduction in rent from my property management company.  (Now if that isn’t God than I don’t know how else to explain them doing that!!)

God is watching out for this widow.  God is providing and will provide for me.  It is promised in the Bible and I believe it.  But I miss my most wonderful husband, and I am sad.  So, I am doing as well as I can, and having faith as much as I can right now.

Posted May 4, 2016 by Maureen in Christian, Married Musings

Still Breathing In and Out   Leave a comment

My husband’s service was last Saturday.  For days beforehand, and all day that day until 1:00 pm I kept saying to myself, “I DON’T want to do this!”  But I did.  Because he was only going to get one memorial service, and I wanted to do it right.  And it was done right.  It was a fitting, moving, unique memorial of his life and the person he was.  And we had lots of food afterwards, which he would have enjoyed very much.

I was totally spent the next day.  And the day after, truth be told.  Not only sad and feeling the loss, but drained from all the emotions of Saturday.  And yet God gave me strength.  He gives me strength.  Just enough to get through each day.

On the Friday before the memorial, my little sister sent me flowers via FedEx.  It was a dozen of the same kind of orchids I had in my wedding bouquet.  I burst into tears when I opened the package.  Sad, but also very happy memories.  I so appreciated her doing that, and remembering me and my husband that way.  Monday, after a long day and being very very tired emotionally and physically, I got an email out of the blue from the property management company that runs the apartment complex where I live.  “Maureen,” the email said, “we don’t want you to worry about anything.  Next month we’ve taken $1,000 off your rent.”  Who DOES that?  I never asked them to do something like that — never even thought to ask for that.  But God knew.  God does stuff like that.

I saw a friend at work this week.  She had never met my husband, but she knew me and had been very happy about my engagement and then marriage.  She gave me a sad smile, and then just hugged me. That’s it.  She didn’t say anything, she just gave me a big hug.  I’ve had people at church come up and take my hand and tell me, “I know what you are going through – I lost my spouse.”  And that is all they say.  Just that.  That is all that is needed.

I’ve been getting cards in the mail from people.  I know a couple that have been missionaries to orphans and widows all over the world.  They have a terrific ministry and I have been on three missions trips with their group.  I know them personally and have been in their home.  They sent me a lovely card …. and a check for $100.

I’m moving from strength to strength, taking each day in whatever sized chunk I can handle at a time.  Resting in God’s grace and His foundation.

Posted April 29, 2016 by Maureen in Christian, Married Musings

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Struggle   Leave a comment

Every day since my most wonderful husband passed away has been a struggle.  I feel like I am in a horrible, deja-vu, unreal nightmare.

I met with my Pastor this week and we went over the service and also where tables would be laid out for the reception.  It made me so sad.  I kept saying to myself, “I don’t want to do this.  I don’t want to do this.”  And yet – this is the only memorial service My Randy will have.  I want to do it right.  So I made decisions and I made choices and I am doing the things I have to do.

I will have to move out of our apartment, which has caused a lot of stress and anxiety in me.  Our property management company is being very nice and accommodating and I won’t have to move until this summer.  I have been reminded again of how God has always looked after me and taken care of me.  He has always provided, just what I needed, when I need it.  Sometimes my flesh gets in the way and I stress or get anxious, but the steady, unchanging, persistent love of God never leaves me and I find myself resting on that rock.

I don’t want to be a widow. I don’t want to be alone.  I want my Randy back.  But things don’t always turn out the way we want them.  Things happen, life changes, time moves on.  I just cling to my rock, and hold onto my faith in the great creator and provider, and I get by day by day.

Posted April 16, 2016 by Maureen in Married Musings

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