I was having a hard time figuring out what to write about this week. There is so much I want to share with my fellow widows. I started writing a different post, but it felt like this post should come first. For the last ten months, I have been working on forgiving myself for everything that I did wrong or thought I did wrong. And I know I am not the only one out there dealing with the same issue. Forgiveness takes time just like everything else in grief.
Matt and I had a huge fight the week he died which resulted in me in a moment of anger saying to him why don’t we just call it what it is and divorce when he just wanted more time to think. He asked me to go to his brothers and then come home on the weekend to talk more. I just wanted to stop fighting and stop my anxiety. That moment is one I will regret every single day. I am forgiving myself for that every day.
Two days later as I was leaving work my dad called and I thought it was to ask if I wanted coffee. He said two policemen were at the house and would not say why but needed to talk to me. My heart sank as they said they could not wait until I was home. I knew what the cop was going to say before he said it. That night I made so many calls and sent so many texts that I don’t remember. I have asked those people to forgive me for the way I told them. Matt is dead. And I felt responsible.
Hello, crazy lady party of one. That was me. I blamed myself. I thought everyone that knew him hated me. Standing at his memorial service talking about how much I loved him and all I could think was all these people hate me and I am such a fraud I killed him. I had a panic attack at the end of the service and ran out. My sister found me on the sidewalk unable to breathe.
I went to dinner after not wanting to eat. For the week leading up to the service I barely ate. My support people were the best though. Making sure I ate something. Telling me I had the right to grieve that I loved him and still do and that mattered. That I did not kill him and to stop blaming myself. But how do you forgive yourself when the person you love is gone and you never got to make the last conversation better.
Therapy was a thing for a bit. I told her that Matt died thinking I did not love him and that bothered me and still does. She and many others assure me that he knew. So many people believe we would have ended up back together that we would have figured it out. How I wish we had the chance to do that. But we didn’t so I had to work on forgiving myself.
You can not move forward and carry the weight of the past. I know that regardless of that fight, or if I let him just go to his brothers the result would have been the same. That he was going to have that heart attack. I would have still fallen apart. In the end, I probably would have still blamed myself. I should have made him go to the doctor or quit smoking. Living in the rabbit hole of self-hate and blame came easy. Forgiveness did not.
Months after he died, I still hated myself. I still was convinced I killed him. I still blamed myself I just learned to hide it from the people that loved me. Once in a while, I would get you are not blaming yourself right. And I would lie through my teeth and say no. Forgiving yourself takes time and is not something that just happens. Changing the way you think, acknowledging that there were factors out of your control.
Going to Maine is something that helped me with that. Sitting outside talking to my best friend about everything. Explaining why I blamed myself and then realizing how silly it was. Matt would not want me to do that. I can not carry that burden anymore. He was an adult that refused to go to the doctor when he started to feel sick. How could I be to blame? His family told me that in October, but I still was convinced they hated me that day.
They don’t hate me. In fact, I still spend time with them. I don’t hate me. I have forgiven myself for everything that leads up to the fight. Came to terms with it take two people and there were issues that lead to that fight on both sides. I wish I could still see him one more time and just tell him that I love him always and I wish I fought harder to keep us together. In the end, I did not kill him and no matter how much others told me this I needed to forgive myself, and now that I have a weight that has been lifted off my shoulders.
If you were like me and things were not good when it ended remember that changes nothing. You still loved your spouse. Nothing you did killed him. Work on forgiving yourself because you will need to let go of that to heal. Listen to those around you that are telling you that you did nothing wrong. And if you need to talk to someone that understands your pain just know I am here for you.