Monday, February 8, 2016

6 Months of Grief Project: Day 3

Tools of a Widow

This is Day 3 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.

Well, we're getting racy already and it's only Day 3! My apologies if you are shocked by what you see in today's images. I think sex, especially women's sexuality and specifically widow's sexuality is still a taboo in our culture and that really enrages me. It is yet another way that women are silenced, that our power is muffled and that we are made to feel shame and judgment about something that is completely natural.

I'm 43-years-old and have lost my love and my lover. Suddenly, my bed is empty. It's cold and lonely. But facing the prospect of dating at this moment in my life is unthinkable. I need people around me who love and care for me, not awkward coffee dates with strangers. Now, I have been spending some time with a sweet, sexy friend from the past, which I highly recommend if you are a new widow and have this kind of person in your life. It's easy and comfortable, because he knows me and cares for me and I know him and trust him. We are clear about boundaries and we have no illusions about what this relationship could or could not be.

When we first started spending time together, I felt a lot of guilt and shame. But then I realized that the very FIRST person to encourage me to have pleasure and intimate connection with another human being, would be my husband. 

Another aspect of sudden widowhood that hit me out of nowhere is a much higher sex drive, stemming from deep grief. All widows grieve differently, but my grief seems to include a deep desire for sex. Since I can't see my friend every day(!), I've had to make use of a tool to help out with that, and I think it's pretty clear what that tool is...

If you want to see an animated GIF of this image, check out my Instagram feed.

The other tool featured in this image is a giant butcher's cleaver. I chose this particular knife for this photo because my husband was the one who used the cleaver in the house. He was a lover of meat (his last name was Hunter, after all!) and he was always grilling up something delicious for us to eat. He was also a frugal meat buyer, so he would always bring home whole chickens, or large pig parts from a nearby farm and chop it up in our kitchen with his trusty meat cleaver. This was his job and he loved it. I would never have taken up that cleaver when he was alive.

But now he is dead and I have to take care of myself. I taught myself how to use it correctly, and keep it sharp. A widow needs her tools. What are your tools, as you grieve your loss?

I welcome any kind of support or connection around this grieving process. Connecting with other widows has been one of my life savers, so feel free to comment here, or connect with me on my InstagramTwitterFacebook and/or Pinterest page on Grief.

And since I am very aware that this project can bring up a lot around yours or other's grief and loss, I will always follow every post some online grief support resources that have helped me. Please feel free to let me know of online support that you have found healing in your grief, as well:

Thank you, and see you tomorrow.

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