Widow Vows Not to Become Bitter

There is one thing that I am vehement about, and that is I do not want to become a bitter old woman.  I see so many widows who become bitter and lonely.  They seem to succumb to their loneliness, and lose their zest for living.  I can see how easy it would be to become bitter, but I have vowed that I will not.

Is this something that is easier to say than to do?  I don’t think that it is.  I know for certain that you have to maintain your sense of humor.  I know for certain that you have to keep your love of life alive.  I know for certain that you have to find your passion, and pursue it with a vengeance.  I know for certain that you can’t let life pass you by.  I know for certain that you can’t give up on your dreams.

These are the things that I know for certain, and I am hopeful that these will keep me from becoming a bitter old woman.

When you have seen death, it changes the way that you view life.  Little inconsequential things that were important before are no longer important.  Events or people that would have been upsetting are no longer upsetting.  You now know how your life can change in an instant, and you strive to make every day count.  You begin to search for your mission in life – at least I did.  I searched and found that being a spiritual writer was what I was meant to do – it was my mission in life.

I decided that I would fulfill that mission.  Certainly, that would keep me from becoming a bitter old woman who turned her anger into bitterness.  Maybe what I have on my side is that I never was angry.  Many people believe that anger is one of the stages of grief.  I can honestly say that I never felt angry.

My daughter who was extremely close to her father, and who was by his side with me when he died, was very angry.  She was so angry at him for dying.  I never could understand how she could be so very angry.  She was angry that he left her.  She was angry that he wouldn’t be there for many of the important things in her life, like graduating from high school, attending college, and eventually getting married.

I did feel hurt because he never said good-bye to me.  I like to think that he understood that he didn’t say it because it wasn’t good-bye.  I also know that it was too difficult for him to do.  I know I couldn’t say good-bye either

I haven’t felt anger.  After all, how could I be angry with the man that I loved so very much?  How could I be angry with the man that I shared my life with?  How could I be angry with the man that I still held in my heart?

After all, we are all going to die one day.  They were just the first to return home; they are leading the way to our new existence in the light and love of God.  As I look back, I think that feeling anger towards the one we love is merely our earthly existence reacting to our soul’s separation from them.

As I sit writing this, I salute the man who occupies my heart, the man whom I cannot be angry with, the man who is leading the way to the light…to the home we will all return to. I salute the man whom I vow to that I will not become a bitter old woman – I know that he would not of wanted me to become that.

I have promised him that I will write of my journey alone, I will write of our love, and I will pursue my passion with a vengeance.  I vow to make him proud of me and the love that we continue to share.

Paula Ezop 2011

Paula Ezop

More Articles Written by Paula

Paula M. Ezop is a spirituality commentary columnist. Her inspirational columns Following the Spiritual Soul have appeared in Oconee Today, a South Carolina Scripps Howard publication. They are currently in: Celebrating the Success of the Modern Woman, Esteem Yourself, and Open to Hope. She has contributed to such popular books as Chicken Soup for the Caregivers Soul and she has written the foreword to Whispers of Inspiration, a collection of both poetry and prose gathered from voices around the world. Paula also co-authored a book in the Mommies Line, Spirituality for Mommies. Her Ebook Sparkly Bits of Spiritual Wisdom is available online, it is a collection of her inspirational columns. She has also written Sparkly Bits of Spiritual Wisdom – 29 ½ Ways for Women to Get In Touch With Their Spirits. Closest to her heart is her most recent book, A Widow’s Journey – Healing a Broken Heart. Wiggles Press has published her children’s chapter books, The Adventures of Penelope Star and the Mystery of the Three Dragons, and Lee McKenzie’s Summer to Remember – both are the first in a series. Paula holds the Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Elementary Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Her heartfelt and meaningful writing began as a means to overcome the loss of her husband. Paula has now written hundreds of articles and several books centering on life and faith. Her sustaining philosophy is that “we are more than the woman we see in our mirror.”

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  • Rosemary Burgos-Mira says:

    This reminds me that I got very angry with God. How could he take my husband away.My husband was not sick, there was no warning. He came home one day and said he had heart burn and then the next morning I woke up and he was no longer here. How can God have done that? I guess as everyone says, he was blessed because only the good people die peacefully in their sleep. Yes, but he was only 53. Our daughters were only in high school. The oldest was a senior. He didn’t get to see her graduate from high school, or see our other daughter turn 16. We didn’t get a chance to spend our senior years together. He won’t get to see the girls grow up. I guess, I’m being selfish, but it is not fair. He was a good man and there are so many people out there who do not deserve to live, but are still alive. Oh well, I guess I am sounding bitter. I really am not, but I just don’t understand why only the good die young!

  • Liz says:

    Thank You for writing this, I felt anger for about 5 minutes. But mostly I am just very sad a lot. Your article was very helpful to me though.

    Thanks Again

  • Grace says:

    I lost my husband 9 months ago after a year long battle with pancreatic cancer. I took care of him for the last few months and while it was so very difficult seeing his body deteriorate…it was also a privelege to serve him as he had always served me. I have to say that I identify with the woman who said she was hurt that her husband didn’t say good-bye to her…I think my husband withdrew from me emotionally the last couple of months because it was the only way he could handle leaving me…but it still hurt. He was 50 years old and we were looking forward to enjoying our empty nest years together. I have been trying so hard to move forward in my grief… my firends and family want me to ‘get better’ because they don’t know what to do with my pain. I feel like I am failing at helping my children work through their grief. How do you look forward with hope? No matter what kind of a future I try to envision , it never comes close to the future I was looking forward to with my best friend

  • Gene says:

    It is now 8 months since I lost my Darling wife of 36 years and I cry more than I have ever done before.
    For me there will never be “closure” I feel angry that this beautiful person had to die.
    Even though I have children and grandchildren who are precious to me and help fill some of the void, I do feel lonely and somehow like a lesser being, my darling made me whole bacause when 2 people love each other they do become one.
    I can never get rid of this trerrible loneliness and pain that I feel because it seems like the best part of me has been torn out of my body .
    I do feel angry because in the last years of our life when we could spend more time on the things we loved to do together , this beautiful lady has been cruelly taken away from me.
    I do feel angry and sad bacause this person who has always had so much love to give can no longer bring joy and happiness to her children and grandchildren
    I do feel angry and sad because in spite of her courage and determination, she still had to succumb to that terrible disease. And dear Lord how sad I feelat the surprise and pain in her beautiful hazel eyes as she gave her last breath, a look which will be seared in my brain forever.
    I have gone back to work after 2 or so years of precious time being near my love during her struggle with cancer and I consider it a priviledge that she wanted me near her to share this terrible journey with her, and my only wish was that I could take take this pain from her and willingly carry it myself.
    At work I cope reasonably well because my darling was not part of this environment , but I don’t cope well with social events with family and friends because everything reminds me of the beautiful times we shared together and then for days after these events it hurts like hell and I descend again into that familiar dark place.
    I spent all of the first 8 weeks after her death In this dark terrible place, not knowing at all how to deal with this new reality , but now I am out of that phase, I can now cope with my new reality a little better,buit I am far from healed, what makes it worse is that I no longer willingly share my grief with loved ones around me who were affected by her death (and I used to lean on for support) because they are recovering and I don’t want them to hurt all over again, and so this leaves me more isolated.
    We shared dreams and plans of the things we could do TOGETHER, -all of this has become meaningless to me and I feel as though I have no useful purpose in life without her. For the sake of my family I will survive of course and try to be there for them, because that’s what my darling would have wanted, but I do so with a terrible longing and a terrible aching in my heart.
    I have photos of her all around the house in my vehicle and at work, because when I look at her smiling face it makes me feel just that little bit better, I dont want to remove my wedding band because united with her we had the the most precious intimate and wonderful times of our life and so my wedding band will stay on, probably till I die, in honour of my beautiful Lady.
    I don’t know if my grieving is NORMAL
    I dont know how long it will last but I have a feeling that in my case”closure” won’t come quickly, -and nor would I expect it to when the love of my life has been taken away from me.

  • Louiza Calore says:

    Marco died on the 28 April 2006. Soon it will be 5 years. It was very tragic and very sudden and our son was only 2 years old. I was 38 then and just could not accept that I am a widow. Sometimes I am fine and sometimes sad and sometimes angry…. I think we all grief differently…. the important thing is that you grief and that no way is right or wrong….