This opinion piece was initially published on May 21, 2015
Being alone sucks. That was the thought I could not shake this past Sunday.
When I first had the idea to write about being alone, it was a positive post. One about independence, and not feeling pressured to be in a romantic relationship. I was going to write about how when people tell me (unsolicited) that I will find someone else, I think to myself, “I’ve got this. I have a great job, two super kids, wonderful friends, and family. I’m confident. I shouldn’t be made to feel as though I need a relationship. I’m okay on my own.”
But, on what was one of the most beautiful Sundays in recent memory, I could barely get out of bed. I felt completely alone. All I wanted was my Garry. I didn’t have any plans to share this as a post, because at The Haute Life our goal is to spread a positive attitude. Who wants to read about how much my day sucked?
Well, just a few weeks ago, I had a debate with a good friend about the same topic. When asked what she wanted to see on our site, her exact response was, “I want to see more FML moments. I want to see a selfie of you at the grocery store, wearing a baseball cap, with the kids acting like maniacs in the background.”
I then promptly asked her if she had been following me during my grocery shopping. (hahaha.)
Her argument was simple: people want drama. My counterpoint: we don’t want to spread drama. We want to spread good vibes only! She cited the success of all of the “Real” Housewives. I cited Debbie Downer. She left me with, okay, then how about 15% sad/85% happy, and I left her with “a no way.”
Thinking back to my state of melancholy on Sunday, I can’t help but ponder her 15/85% comment. There was a better case for the FML moments rather than people want drama, and I found it. I realized that while posing with expensive champagne is fun, it’s also important to show people what is real. Especially, for those readers who are here because they too have lost someone or are experiencing challenging times.
I would feel horrible if another widow sees our pictures and posts and wonders, “Why the hell is she all “Little Miss Sunshine,” while I feel as though my heart has been ripped out of my chest?” The truth is, having a positive attitude is an everyday struggle, and there are some days when I fail miserably. We all have FML moments! By sharing these moments; we can experience something positive by connecting with each other and realizing we are never alone!
So back to that beautiful, but horrible Sunday. The Sunday when I wanted to quit it all. It was a perfect weather day. And maybe that gorgeous sun and the changing of the seasons is what did it to me; a reminder that time is passing without Garry. Maybe it was that my five-year-old son had his first piano recital, and I wanted so desperately for Garry to see how focused (and handsome) he was. He would have been so proud of his baby Rhett. Maybe it was the thought of all the future milestones without a daddy to cheer Rhett on. No matter the reason, my “I’m Alone and Okay with It” post, seemed like the dumbest idea I ever had. I’m not okay with losing Garry. And, I don’t want someone new, I want him. I want the person who made me feel loved in a way I never thought anyone could love me. Our home isn’t the same without him. Work isn’t the same without him; nothing is. He’s everywhere I look, and nowhere to be found. And it breaks my heart over and over again.
On that Sunday, I was clinging to the edge and trying not to fall into the pit. Because, once you do fall in, it is dark and hard to climb out of. I know because I’ve been there. People often talk about being strong after you lose someone. For me, all of my strength is spent on fighting the pit of negativity. If I can stay out of the pit, then I can handle everything else.
So, how did I stay out of the pit? The power of positive thoughts is real. There’s a big pep talk going on inside of my head all of the time. I also sometimes use a little trick of making promises. I like to keep my word, and always with my children. So, I promised the boys a bike ride and ice cream. It took a while to get there, but by the afternoon we made it.
These bad days are going to come and go. We have two choices: give into the negativity and fall into the pit or find the optimism that is part of human nature. If it weren’t, we would have been extinct long ago. Part of that optimism is realizing we’re not alone. And so, I end up at my original post idea.
I am so lucky to have so many wonderful friends and family. Friends who check in and include the boys and me in their plans. Friends who take my boys on 7 am rides on the MBTA, or out for donuts, or to brunch so I can get an extra hour of sleep on a Saturday morning. (That amazing morning friend also just happens to be Miss 15/85%.) I’m lucky that I wanted and was able to have children; two beautiful reminders of the wonderful man I miss so much.
And so, on the days when I do feel lonely and am close to falling in, I fight hard. I try to find the beautiful things worth living for, the everyday gifts that are always there- ants carrying some little treasure, the sound of the wind rustling leaves, the moon still out and smiling during the day. But mainly, I use the best defense and think positive thoughts. At least 85% of the time. 😉
Love, Jess 🙂
Featured Print, “I Need A Second Sunday” can be found here.
We hope these posts provides hope, support and a sounding board for anyone who has lost a spouse. We know we’re not alone. We want to hear from you. Share your experiences and comments, and maybe we can learn, grow, and heal together.