A Friends and Family Post
“It is important that we remember.
It is vital we do more than just remember.”
Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons
Memorial Day sucks big giant moose wang, as the hubs liked to say, for many of the bereaved in the US. Why? Lemme tell you. It’s the first big holiday weekend of the summer. That’s when all y’all with families make a big To Do and go out and have fun times. It’s a holiday in which W’s are easily forgotten since it’s not like Thanksgiving or Christmas which tend to focus on both giving and including.
The Stealth Holiday Grief Bomb
Don’t feel bad, we forget about us too, and underestimate the impact this holiday weekend may have on us. Last year was my first solo Memorial Day. The year before saw our family together, scattering Dan’s ashes in Hood River, Oregon. I’d been feeling great for months and failed to anticipate the power this holiday, dedicated to those who gave their lives in the service of our country, would have on me. It was bad. Nuclear meltdown bad. Sobbing hysterically in my brother-in-law’s pub kinda bad. Why would I share this humiliating moment with you? Just keeping it real, folks. (Once again, apologies to the crew at The Varsity Pub who were total gentlemen about it. Tip those guys well when you’re there.)
And I wasn’t alone. I spent the weekend in person and online with other solo widows (those of us without kids or families), most of us rattled by the unexpected grief bomb this weekend dropped in our laps. I know my family and friends were horrified to learn how bad it got for me, once they’d returned home from whatever Memorial Day fun they’d been having with their families. I’d been in such a good place in the weeks prior that they couldn’t have predicted I’d be bawling my eyes out, absolutely miserable, lonely and alone. I swore I’d never again experience a Memorial Day at home. (Never say never, as I’m currently back in Boise just in time for Memorial Day weekend.) The fallout from that meltdown did permanent damage to some of my closest relationships, but that’s a
drunk post for another day.
Call Your W
So why am I sharing this with you? Because if you’re reading, you probably have a W in your life. Give her a call and see if she wants to do something with you. Invite her on a hike, to go camping with you, something Memorial Day-ish, or just see how she’s doing. Remind her she’s not alone and that you are there for her. She may be like I was, and not even know that a grief bomb is about to drop. I’m pretty self-aware when it comes to my grief, and it was a shocker. How much of a surprise? I went to a concert with a friend that evening, and that grief bomb didn’t hit until I got home.
So don’t forget your W’s on the surprise attack holidays. Don’t worry about me this year. This year, I’m ready for whatever happens.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.