She was alone for the first time in 43 years. When her husband died, she thought she could handle day to day issues. She knew how to care for the car, the house, pay bills, manage financial arrangements.
Oh, don’t pity her. She was going to be fine.
Except she wasn’t. The day- to- day lonliness, coupled with sincere grief and sorrow at losing her best friend and loving mate at a time in life when she could no longer go out and start a career, or make new friends. (And when someone called to say they tried to reach her but she was out, she said, “Try Saturday night.”
“Tough.” That’s what everyone said she was, with some admiration. And she tried to maintain that image.
But it was stressful, and then, horror of horrors, her hair began to fall out.
All her medical experts said it possibly (and probably) was caused by stress from suppressed sorrow.
The good news is there was a satisfactory solution: Get a wonderful wig (or two) and start wearing them so you won’t constantly be reminded of the loss.
“I just can’t,” she protested. “l’m afraid people will notice it,” she protested.
“And what’s the worst case scenario if that happens?” I countered.
“They’ll ask me if I’m sick and if I have Cancer!” she said, tearing up.
“The best news is you can smile and say, ‘NO, thank God. I have hair issues so I bought these, so I can look nice. Do you like this one or should I try another color?”
Face it, own it, and you’re not a victim!
And once you can again look in the mirrow and see yourself looking normal, you can focus again on your very real grief and take steps to start diminishing it.
It will never be gone entirely, and perhaps we don’t want it to be. If one had a good relationship, the remaining partner will constantly be reminded of that missing mate. “Grapple them (those good memorie) to your soul with hoops of steel,” (Thanks, Shakespeare) and talk about them with others who are doing the same.
They may be the people sitting at your bridge table– who just told you your new wig is pretty.