Wednesday, 9 August 2017


I have noticed many changes over the past three years on this journey as widow. One of the mini casualties in myself has been confidence. I was reminded of this when I heard a widow speaking on cbc this am. This was comforting to hear, as often is the case with me when I feel that connection with another that tells me it isn't just you. I have been stuck in this thought ever since. I never had a great sense of confidence to begin with, so having the world ripped out from under me when I was on my way there was a setback for sure. It's an effort for me to accept a compliment even one deserved. I immediately want to justify why you shouldn't say that. I have learned to shut up sometimes, try to take it in, twist it around my brain, let it spin like the rainbow circle on my mac, analyze and ignore the voice that wishes to spit it back in your face. But acceptance -it's not my automatic response by any means. I am learning.

I notice instead the areas where I have failed in confidence lately. Things like minor household fixes, walking in the woods at dusk, dating, making decisions alone, staying alone in the cottage with only a mouse as company, my photography, my writing, my job as educator, giving advice to my children, picking good movies to watch, sticking to my word. I am also afraid of things I once wasn't- eating alone in a restaurant, walking alone at night in Halifax, aging, grocery shopping yes I am afraid of fucking grocery shopping and avoid at all costs until I have to. Yet in some big things I overcame the fear (flying, driving, being alone in a strange place) Another of life's paradoxes. But on the whole I have to say I don't trust life as much as I once did. I have hardened myself since that second big rug pulling in my life - Terry's swift death, and my first born son Justin's- that swift shocking reversal of fortune. I find these took more than my feet out from under me. The uncertainty in life left me breathless on the floor. A fallen warrior so to speak. I use any excuse in the book to stay down, to remain in uncertainty, to not move forward.  Part of it I believe is directly related to moving on without him. To be in some way exceeding and thriving in the here and now leaves behind the old life, the person I was with Terry who I want to be again, me and him, the us we were.

We only have one life unless my hopeful dream of reincarnation is true. One life to live. I am more than half way through mine. I am asking how to trust in life again and no answers are forthcoming. Save one.  Just do it anyway. Fuck I hate to admit it but Nike has it right, just put one foot in front of the other. Get up off the floor, move through the fear, the uncertainty, it doesn't have to feel good, in fact it won't sometimes, do it anyway. It's the bravest thing I can do some days to just get out of bed, shower, dress and face the day. I have not spent a day in bed since he died, I have crawled there grateful as hell, when it was still light out, but I have not hidden all day beneath the covers from the shitty rug pulling life. Some days that's the bravest I am, other days I go for groceries taking baby steps toward my own life. Semi confident in the fact that if I buy it, maybe cook it, and then eat it I will have energy to go on and do something I am not afraid of.

I don't want to be one of those people who never try, I'd rather try and fail or try and still have uncertainty and lack of confidence but do it the fuck anyway. Cliche I know, maybe Oprah was right all along dammit. I will reward myself today and thank the women on cbc for her courage in admitting my foibles by doing something scary that I lack confidence in, if I fail so be it. No one is watching except me.

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