In the widow community, people often talk about secondary losses. Those losses that come after the loss of our spouse. Loss of security, loss of friends, financial loss, and in some cases, loss of family.
It’s incredibly hard to lose touch with a family you once saw as your own, a family you thought you were a part of. Death does a lot to rip people apart and it’s understandable that every person, and every family has to deal with their grief in their own way. Sometimes there are casualties other than the person that died
I have memories of holiday dinners with a family I will never see again, gifts made with love, countless updates on how everyone was doing. Love sent and received. Phone calls made from the hospital keeping her mother updated because I knew how a mother would worry. I knew her family like my own and I love them.
Unfortunately, everyone grieves in their own way and while I want to reach out and hold family close, so many people want to push me away. It’s easier to forget I existed. I wasn’t really the spouse anyway, not in God’s eyes, according to them.
Secondary losses are the losses that keep giving. I don’t want to be the one to cut people out so every holiday I would call, but I was never the one that got the call. Eventually the holidays start coming where I fight the urge to pick up the phone because maybe they just don’t want to hear from me and I’m pushing my love where it isn’t wanted. The phone doesn’t ring, eventually text messages go unanswered.
There are so many questions it brings up for me. So many ways it makes me hurt for me AND for Parker to wonder if it’s so easy to push me aside.
But at the same time I hurt for them. It can’t be easy to see me living and not see her. It can’t even be bearable to see me moving forward and know that she’s frozen in time. I fully respect and understand that they are all doing what’s best for them in their own grief. I’m assuming their faith and my life play war with each other as well, we know that wasn’t easy.
I can’t imagine, and don’t want to imagine what it’s like to lose a child and I have so much love and compassion for my mother in law.
But fuck, losing an entire family on top of losing my wife.
This shit sucks.
Widowing isn’t easy.