When sadness hits

I’ve gotten quite good at forgetting that I’m a widow at times. I can be rather comfortable laughing and joking and just being “in the moment” when the times call for it. Over the last two days, I’ve been on game. Travelling for work with the bosses and working hard to make a great impression for our first-ever benefit auction was easier than I thought, really. Maybe more so because everyone knows that even though I look the part of a “normal” person, they all know that I am still grieving and expect that I will be a bit sad from time to time. And when I get around people who are OK with my laughter and grief being combined, I relax and find it easier to be myself.

Note: This post was originally shared on my “widowhood” blog, “Frances 3.0: Still in Beta”.

After a day’s successful meetings and an extremely successful inaugural auction dinner, a dozen of us decided to celebrate in the hotel’s lounge. My drink choice soon became the envy of everyone around, as did my gadgety mobile phone. Once it was determined that I held court on these two issues, it was so easy for Frances 2.0 to come out and play. It wasn’t long before we were all laughing about this-and-that, and I was happily engaged in idle chit-chat about everything from Swedish Fish to the art of game hunting. I was in my element.

It’s funny how comfortable you can feel when you’re around a group of people who know “your story” and are OK with you enjoying life. Everyone knew that that evening was the start of my holidays, and they were truly helping me to celebrate that fact. And it was great. I was able to forget my worries for the evening… for my second night in a fancy hotel.

But then it happened. I woke up this morning, rolled over, and went to snuggle up to Paul. I don’t know when the last time was that I did that. And I don’t know if it was the fact that I had one too many vodka Martinis, or if I just plain forgot that I am alone. Then it started. It was at that moment that I realised Paul wasn’t there next to me, and the entire celebratory mood from the night before left my mind – overtaken by the sadness.

It made me realise that I can’t remember the last time someone held me in their arms. I suppose it was when I was in England for Paul’s memorial services. Since then, I’ve given and received hugs, but I’ve never really been held. And I so want to have someone just hold me while I cry. I miss that comforting feeling. It’s not the “skin hunger” I’ve read about, it’s an emotional thing; a security thing in some ways. I guess I wish there was someone to make me feel safe and loved and secure.

I don’t know why it’s come about so out of the blue, but I am glad that it’s come about on the day I am flying out to see Paul’s family and friends in the UK. Maybe the two things are connected. I know that once I arrive, I will be given all of that compassion, love, and affection that I feel I am missing here at home. While it was so very nice to see Frances 2.0 coming out last night, maybe it made Frances 3.0 a bit jealous because it seems that she’s the one who’s taken control this morning.  

So… from happy to sad in less than 12 hours. From feeling secure about my role in the world to feeling vulnerable and lonely. I suppose these ups and downs are a normal part of the process, but I really wish the ups would last a little longer. And one day they will. But for now, I just need to know that the sadness won’t last forever and that I will be laughing before I know it.

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