There is a widow site/online community that I am a member of. A place where those who have lost a partner can vent, moan, laugh, weep their way through with others who at least have some understanding of what it is like. In the build up to Christmas the posts are understandably about all the excess pain that comes with the season of joy and goodwill to all men for us widows/widowers. From the small things, the way you’re addressed in cards or on envelopes and who’s remembered to send anything in the post at all; to the difficulties in watching your children in nativity plays singing their hearts out, albeit badly, without their daddy or mummy beside you to share that big fat moment of pride, together; to the larger ongoing issues that come from the expectations of family and friends to be over it, at least for the festive season. To the outsider’s eye (the non-widowed that is) a lot of these posts could be read as self-indulgent moans but to all those reading this who have lost a partner you will get it. It’s hard at this time of year and it’s extremely hard to keep your perspective about you. I know I am lucky to have the girls to watch in plays. There are others who weren’t so fortunate to have that longed for child before their partner died. I am lucky to have wonderful friends and family who still remember us in many presents and carefully worded cards and who don’t mind when my ‘second Christmas as a widow’ bambi legs (it’s how I actually feel – a novice at Christmas once more) mean I have forgotten to buy a gift, not made it to the post office in time or not sent proper Christmas cards…so ie their kindness has not been reciprocated (YET). So I do try to remember that I am lucky when I feel the widow bah humbugs of Christmas wash over me. If I can’t I vent to my widow friend.
To vent somewhere is a life line. That widow community online that I referred to, I tend to read it to comfort myself that I am not the only one going ever so slightly mad. But for others it’s a place where they can say what they need to say when they feel the world is conspiring against them. A place where the normal world will not judge them for bitching about it, the normal world and all its smug normalness. I haven’t used it too often because once again I am lucky (I am getting so good at this Pollyanna Glad Game…) to have found through my blog a friend who is unfortunately on this same path but who I know would have been a BFF even if we didn’t have the big ‘W’ word in common. We vent to each other so that our friends and family don’t hate us I guess. And it’s been such a huge help. So I am dedicating this post to her. You’re my Christmas star Mrs C. I saw this word pic on facebook the other day and in my head I toasted it for us with a large glass of Wairau Cove. Perhaps I shall print us some off to hand out to peeps on our merry widow way????
Oh and if you’re out there and you need your very own kindred widow spirit you could have a wee look at the Way Foundation