Well, it’s a brand new year. We’ve made it… I’ve made it.
The original intent of this site was to chronicle my first full year as a widower. I had planned a daily diary of sorts to help me get things off my chest and to, hopefully, help others who would walk a similar road in the future. That was the plan, but life kept getting in the way. There were days when I had a burning desire to write on this blog, but no time to do it. At other times, I was just too worn out. Still, I think it’s worthwhile endeavor and one that I will keep going.
I may not have posted daily, or even weekly at times, but I did learn some valuable lessons that I want to share with you.
LOVE IS ALL AROUND
From the day that Cindy passed, I have been surrounded by the most incredible outpouring of love. My friends and family have wrapped their collective arms around me and Kevin and shown us nothing but absolute love and compassion. To this day, I can’t walk the halls at work without some friends stopping to ask how I am or to give me a big bear hug. It’s the most amazing thing.
LIFE DOES GO ON
If you had told me, at the start of 2016, that I would meet an incredible woman like Deborah and be engaged, I would have said you were certifiably insane, but that’s exactly what happened.
I also got a promotion at my day job and launched two new part-time business, the most notable of which is Western States Wrestling.
Life really does go on. Sometimes, it feels like it won’t, but it does. Sometimes, I couldn’t even imagine what the future would look like, but I found that I just had to hang on and keep stepping – one foot after the other.
YOU CAN’T FILL THE VOID WITH STUFF
When you lose a loved one, it leaves a humongous void. I found that to be especially true having lost a spouse. In my pain and grief, I tried to fill the void with stuff. At first, I added tremendously to my autograph collection. Then, I moved on to championship belts and random Amazon purchases. While there was a momentary thrill of opening the packages as they arrived, it was very short-lived and the pain returned. So, I had to purchase something else.
Over the past year, I have spent a mind-boggling amount of money trying to fill the void with stuff, only to discover that it can’t be done.
Watch your money. I’ve spent a lot and stopped just before putting myself into a bad financial shape. Fortunately for me, some of what I purchased has resale value and I can recover some of what I spent. A lot of that money, however, is gone forever. If you ever find yourself in a similar position, and I pray that you never do, be careful with your pennies.
LIFE IS SHORT. DON’T FORGET TO LIVE
This may seem contradictory to what I wrote above, but it’s really not and it’s equally true. Cindy’s passing at the age of 54 showed me just how fleeting life can be. The Holy Bible refers to life as a vapor and that’s pretty accurate. In the past, I was so stressed about the future that I forgot to live for today. Now, I’m better about that.
It’s a balancing act and It’s one that I’m getting better at.
IT’S OKAY TO CRY
As men, we’re often taught that it’s not “manly” to cry. HOGWASH! That’s how your body rids itself of a lot of the pain. When you’re sad and feel like crying, cry.
IT’S NOT OKAY TO BE A PERPETUAL VICTIM
Emotions come on strong, but you cannot give up and crawl into a shell. There were so many times I wanted to do just that, but realized that I couldn’t. I had to keep going. I had to keep getting up and keep facing the world. It would have been so easy to play the “victim card” and throw an epic pity party, but that’s not productive and it’s not helpful.
As Zig Ziglar said, “Pity parties are no fun because not very many people come to them and, those who do, don’t bring presents.” I love Zig Ziglar.
IT’S OKAY TO BE MAD WITH GOD SOMETIMES
I’ve been angry at God a lot over the past 17 months. I mean I have been extremely angry with God. Still, He loves me. I don’t understand His plan and, if I’m honest, I sometimes think His plan is stupid and I tell Him so. Still, He loves me.
Well, gang, there are a few things I’ve learned as a widower so far. Thank you so much for you love and support. I hope you’ll continue to visit the site as I continue on this new journey.
May God bless you richly.