A Therapeutic story for widows of 50 plus!

She was a nurse in a large teaching hospital.  Her husband, Brian,  despite his strong love for her could not give up the things that were slowly killing him. He kept her laughing ‘til the end, inspite of everything.  Then he was gone.  She was in the intensive care unit every day after his heart bypass operation, watching him slowly fade away.  He could not be stopped. 

He used to say that he was amazed that he had reached 60.  He had done so many dangerous things during his lifetime. On one occasion he was swinging on the end of a long rope off a sheer mountainside, saved by one solitary carabina, while rescuing people lost in a mountain blizzard.  He was lowered into the sea from a helicopter on countless occasions, to pick up drowning people.  Once he found himself grappling in the cold Atlantic Ocean with a very large and fat French yachtsman who could not swim.  The man tore at Brian’s face mask and broke his airline.  Brian had to make a tough decision: ‘It’s him or me’.  The Frenchman floated away into the ocean and the crew winched Brian back to safety.  He had broken most of the bones in his body at one time or other, through bravery, foolhardiness and as he admitted, stupidity on occasion.  But as a sober and hardworking man, just one year before receiving his hard earned pension, the cigarettes carried him off.

She was distraught but not very surprised.  He had struggled with his addiction to tobacco for many years.  She felt young, too young to be a widow.  She would have to take another look at her life and try to pick up the pieces.  She knew she must become comfortable in her own skin.  She was no longer one of a pair.  She needed to understand who she was as a person, not always as someone reflected by another.

On the day of his funeral the skies opened and water flowed like rivers down the roads on the moor.  She had never seen anything like it.  She told herself the heavens were weeping for her lost love.

Their friends gathered and celebrated his life.  A man who could talk to anyone, from the Queen Mother with whom he had waltzed, to the men on the factory floor sweeping up dropped pastry.  He could talk well into the night, recounting stories from the past, and now there was just an empty silence.

He had not wanted his death to be announced to the world, no newspaper columns, no obituaries. She kept her mind occupied with work and at home she redecorated the whole house, keeping busy, always busy, but every time she went out she found herself explaining to yet another person that her man had died.  Again and again the tears fell, every person witnessing her grief.

The tears of sorrow changed and became associated with a different feeling.  They seemed to be more about self pity than grief.  At first she hardly noticed the difference, but when she asked herself why she was crying she realised that she had cried out her loss and now she was weeping with pity for herself in her lonely state.

She decided that this was not helping her in any way.  She had many years to enjoy and much to contribute to the world.  Somehow she must find ways of getting what she needed from the world.  She needed friendship – people who care about her to be in her life.  As a couple they had been rather too insular, she needed to develop her friendships and her talents.

That she did, she drummed and sang and joined a band and life improved a lot.  In spite of that joy there was a big hole in her life.  There was no-one to share the joys and sorrows of each day, no-one who cared about where she  was or what she was doing, no loving arms to hold her close and warm.  The men who did approach her were not right for her.  They did not share her mystical insights.  They were too earthbound.

 She had fostered a belief that the Universe provides what we ask for, and in general had found it to be so.  When finally she was feeling as if she had established her own identity and knew well what she herself was, she decided to make a move…..

The Universe responded with alacrity… The story unfolds….If you are a widow, you create the next part yourself, through intention, action, and even prayer.