Most days, being a widow is just part of the fabric of who I am now. I don’t wear it like a cape every day anymore. It doesn’t wrap around my throat, threatening to strangle me if it gets caught on something. It’s not out there, waving visible. It’s not always a shield that I use to separate me from everyone else. I don’t always feel the need to wave it around saying “Hey LOOK, this horrible thing happened to me and it was unbearable and I still can’t quite function right because of it, so please excuse my weirdness.” It’s also not as much of a superpower anymore where I can push through anything because, this horrible thing happened and it propelled me through the first 18 months afterwards with super speed because I had to run away from my grief.
Now it’s just a woven part of the fabric of me. Little threads with widow written on them. It’s changed so much of me. I stare and try to capture so many little moments. I try to remember the little things, but they often slip through my fingers like sand because my memory is still shit. I love harder, I try to live bigger. I appreciate more.
I used to think that certain songs were Parker speaking to me, sending me some message. That happens far less often. I don’t really see her, or hear her anymore. I almost never talk about ghost wife, although I think about her often, I don’t feel the need to verbalize it. I make a silent little nod to a memory, or some connection I’ve made and I don’t need to bring it into my current life. Sometimes I’ll send a message to Kidlet, or someone else who knew her, and ask them if they remember. Mostly I just let it be my own private thing, and that’s a new thing for me.
There is still a Parker shaped hole in my heart, but the edges have smoothed and I trip over it less often. The hole hasn’t shrunk but my heart continues to grow as I live and love so there’s more room to walk around it.
And sometimes, I still pull out that cape. Sometimes I need the comfort of it, and that’s okay too. There are no rules to this widowhood thing.