Moving Forward: the Strange In-Between

I’m at an odd in-between.

I don’t quite feel at home in my new life. It still feels like new shoes not quite broken in. But the longer I tread this journey, the more it becomes a little more comfortable.

Yet at the same time, if my husband were to reappear, he wouldn’t fit neatly into my current life. That makes me know I’m not quite living my old life either. And that chafes me. I know I need to move forward, but it is strangely discomforting to know I am.

I exist somewhere between the two normals – not quite in the old, but not quite fully in the new. It’s an interesting and confusing sensation. I was talking to a friend, mentioning this odd sensation and could only liken it to a restless night. You know that feeling when you get up, not really sure you ever really slept but not sure you didn’t. The fuzzy “in between”.

That’s what life is after being widowed for several years. The dichotomy of moving forward.  Part of you still lives in the past – in the memories – functioning the way you did then, while another part of you is living in this strange new world, learning to function completely differently.

It’s an odd feeling – for the abnormal to slowly fade into normal. For the absence to morph into ordinary. At the beginning I would have sworn it never could happen – to get used to this new unwanted life. And in some ways I never will be. But in a lot of ways I am.

The loss isn’t a searing flesh wound any longer. It is a dull throb I have learned to live with. When  a memory resurfaces which reminds me how my life once operated, it brings a stark realization how far I’ve traveled from that life. It makes me sad and happy. Proud and disappointed.

I love how I’ve grown. I love some of my new experiences. I am starting to fall in love with a new vision for my life. But I still long for what I had and what I lost. Long for him and who he was.

Past and future compete for me. Stretch me. Sometimes break me.

When I focus on one, I feel I compromise the other. And it burdens me… this feeling of betraying old or new or both.

Widowhood is a unique rebirth. Unique because you live two lives at once: your old and your new.

4 thoughts on “Moving Forward: the Strange In-Between

  1. Mary Martha Russell March 23, 2020 — 3:53 am

    I totally understand what you’re describing. One friend is pushing me to “decide to live again.” It was described to me as a decision you make instantly and never look back. Am I mistaken to think that it’s not that instantaneous? It’s been 2.25 years for me & they have been complicated by the confirmation of my husband’s infidelity. It’s also due to the fact that I had lost “who I was” because of an isolationist lifestyle we’d adopted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You continue to express in words the feelings I am experiencing since the death of my husband 3 yrs ago. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So very true. Trying to in a way “let go of the past” and “embrace the future.” Easier some days than others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarita Faye Hagar April 26, 2020 — 9:20 am

    This is so true of how I am feeling. My husband passed almost 5 yrs. ago. I still haven’t removed my wedding rings. I so feel his presence at times. With being quarantined makes it even worse. I so long for a hug. My children and grandchildren do drive by visits, but it is still really hard. Thank you for writing this. Sarita Hagar

    Liked by 1 person

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