The 105 day trial

I know, I know, the standard trial period is either 30 days or 90 days! However, my life did not allow me to write this blog fifteen days ago, so here it is, on day 105.

105 days ago, on February 25, 2016, my world was turned on its proverbial ear.  My husband, my better half, my partner in crime, my partner in life, the father of my children – Richard Mark Hudson – passed away without warning, leaving me to take on the title of “widow” (see previous blog). In the 105 days since that event, I have done the best I can with what is available.  I have learned that being a widow is not something anyone can tell you how to do.  It is a new lifestyle, really.  Here are some observations from the last 105 days:

  • some companies do not consider “widowed” to be a marital status; the options provided are “single”, “married”, and “divorced”.
  • Many people do not realize that just because your spouse has died does not guarantee you a “survivors benefit”.  If there are no children under 18, and you are under 60, you get $255 “burial benefit”. Period. No monthly check (although they will send you a paper stating that if you do not remarry before age 60, you might qualify for a check in the amount of $XXX at that time).
  • In many instances, your presence makes others uncomfortable, especially in the first couple of weeks. People will apologize for making jokes, speaking of dating, bragging on their own spouses, or even sharing memories of your deceased spouse.
  • Every creditor that your spouse had wants a death certificate, and wants to know if there is an estate. When you tell them there is no estate, they send you letters every two weeks requesting payment from the “estate”, with a notice in small letters that only the estate is responsible, and not the surviving spouse – yet they address the letters to the surviving spouse. Ah, yes, this is SO COMFORTING!!!! {can you feel the palpable sarcasm?}
  • When the cemetery tells you there are no other charges on the day after your spouse dies and you are making arrangements for a plot, they lie. There is an additional $400 charge for the piece of granite that the free marker provided by the VA has to be placed on.
  • 90% of the people who say “just call me if you need anything” know damn good and well you will never call, or they would not make the offer. The really serious ones call you every so often to find out why you haven’t called yet.
  • Everyone will tell you do not make snap decisions. I tell you, if anyone offers to do something for you (yard work, house work, etc), take them up on it at the time!! They do not come back and offer again if you politely say “I may take you up on that later”.

So, at 105 days, I can say I’m okay. I’m adjusting to being alone, and in many ways I kind of like it.  Until I look at my kids and grandkids; then I hate it.  I used to know that if there was something that I could not do for one of them I had a backup in Mark.  If Mom/Grandma couldn’t do it because she was busy, Dad/Grandpa could fill in.  I don’t have a fill in anymore.  Eleven days ago, I lost my Little Miss Piggy. She was a great dog, and I had her for every day she was alive for nearly ten years. However, for the first time in my adult life, I didn’t have a shoulder for me to deal with this loss – I had to do it on my own.  The last loss I dealt with on my own was my dad in 1979, and I was sorely out of practice. Wait –  I just realized that I have effectively dealt with the loss of my husband on my own (trust me, there is NO ONE THERE at 3 am!)and I can deal with Piggy’s loss, too. But overall, I am doing okay. No spotlights and billboards, but I’m not curled in a corner in the fetal position without the ability to speak.

105 days. A little more than three months.  Mother’s Day passed, as did Ryan’s birthday. Father’s Day and your birthday are coming. People have returned to their lives, as I build a new life. Decisions have to be made by myself now, and I am making them.  Are they the right decisions? Who knows! They are my decisions, and I will live with that.  Sometimes I feel invisible; other times I feel like I’m alone in a spotlight. I have realized that our children are grown, and all decisions I make must be what is best for me. I can and should consider them in all the choices I make, but ultimately the choices are mine.

I start classes at Ole Miss in August in pursuit of my Bachelor’s Degree; I got my Associates Degree in May without you.  My educational pursuits hold a different meaning now than they did on February 24, 2016, when you were still physically here.  Sometimes I can almost hear your voice in my mind; other times I scramble to Facebook to stare at a picture of you because I am afraid I’m forgetting the little things.  I imagine how you looked when they found you. I remember how you looked in the casket. I see you in  our son, when he grins as he picks on his niece or sister. You are part of the fabric of my life, and always will be.

105 days. The next question is when will I stop counting.

This entry was posted in death, family, friends, life, marriage, milestone, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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