Friday, November 13, 2015

Weary . . . of Weariness

I'm very excited again this week to join a talented group of women bloggers in an online, unedited flash mob free write. This week, the word-prompt given to us by our fearless leader Kate Motaung (whose wonderful blog can be found at is "weary". My timer is set for 5 minutes; ready, set,

Once again, the word Kate has chosen is, for me, ironic. You see, I haven't written on my blog (or participated in FMF) for over a month. Not because I don't love the FMF group or love to write. I've just been so darned weary.

You see, 2 months and 4 days ago, I entered my 7th year of widowhood. The first year was rough; the second year was actually worse; the third year was almost as bad as the 2nd. But I've moved on from the sharp grief, with it's ragged edges that scraped relentlessly at my heart and soul.

Somewhere in the past 3 years, that sharp grief faded away, although it comes back to life from time to time, like a horrible phoenix. I noticed it's lessening; I noticed something else as well.

My soul, my heart are proof of what a very smart person (probably a scientist) determined long ago -- nature abhors a vacuum. You see, when the gut-wrenching, mind-numbing grief departed, something moved right on in to the space left behind.

Like water dripping on a stone, weariness began to erode my spirit and my heart.

Oh, I put a good face on it. I go to work and even a social event from time to time. I smile and laugh and converse as if all is well. I'm really good at it. Heck, if I had a dollar for every time in the past 6+ years someone has told me how "strong" I am, how impressed at how I've soldiered on . . . well, I'm not sure how many dollars I would have collected, but it would be quite a few.

I even pretend that my days are filled with productive activity. When asked, and that rarely happens when you live alone, what I did all day, I can recite a list of activities that make me sound like a dynamo. But between you and me . . . my recitation is fabricated. Things are not getting knitted, the kids' scrapbooks are not being created (really? look at all those reminders of what is no more?), books are not being written.

But enough is enough. I'm tired of being weary. I'm tired of just getting by. I want to wake up every day invigorated and excited to see what the day will bring. I want to go to bed every night, tired in a good way, in a way that speaks of a well-lived day, a day not just survived, but lived.

How do I get to that point? Sheer determination, one moment at a time.

Can I do it? I sure hope so.

Thank you for reading. I realize this wasn't the uplifting, inspirational post you would prefer to read, but you stuck with me to the end. I hope I haven't scared you off, that you'll come back to see how my journey continues. 







  1. Dear Patti,
    Thank you for your honest post. It was beautiful. Don't worry about being too depressing the world is much too much clogged with cheery distractions in my opinion. I am praying for you. A little advice: {not that you asked} as you doggedly fight to fill that vacuum to live full again,and you should, let the person of Jesus Christ fill up the vacuum first by practicing being in His simple presence every single day. Because we wrestle not against flesh and blood {or nature} but spiritual wickedness in high places. "But be of good cheer and courage" says our Savior, "I have overcome the world"
    Your neighbor at 5minfri,Leah

  2. Dear Patti, I entered my 7th year of widowhood this past March. I too am weary of the weariness but mine comes from 6 years of career instability. I was laid off 1 year after my husband Joe's passing. Never did I dream of the difficulties I would face in rebuilding a career.

    Yes, I am weary of putting on a good front for people that all is well but then they "can't handle the truth." (channeling Jack Nicholson) I'm weary of the loneliness because people are too busy with their lives to be bothered with little old me.

    Like you I want to feel invigorated every morning and tired from a life well lived at the end of the day.

    Will keep you in my prayers. Neighbor #56 from FMF.

  3. patti, maybe you need to be around people with whom you can be honest more often. i'm guessing the pressure to make everyone around you comfortable is part of what makes you tired and weary.

    i had a friend who was widowed at a young age suddenly. it was weird how so many of her married friends seemed to drop by the wayside. eventually, she found new friendships along the way, but it was a difficult time as her life began to configure with more female friendships when she missed men in her life...and old friendships with couples and families.

    i was shocked to see it happen and sad for her. yes, she still had many of her interests, but in terms of her long term couple friends? there was definitely a strain.

    people seem to get uncomfortable being around a friend whose husband, their friend died. instead of dealing with it and admitting the discomfort, they often stay away. don't they realize what they are doing?

  4. Oh, Patti, I'm so glad I'm your neighbor today and found you here. I can't imagine your grief because I haven't lived it. I've lost people in my life, like my mother. Yet losing one like the love of your life would be heartbreaking. You typed some beautiful words here in sharing your heart with us. Like this: "I’ve moved on from the sharp grief, with it’s ragged edges that scraped relentlessly at my heart and soul."
    I'm so proud of you for being honest with where you really are. There's healing in acknowledging true feelings and grief. Thank you for sharing your words with us. I was truly blessed by your heart shared here! I'm looking forward to reading more of your journey here. Keep sharing, keep writing. You have a beautiful way with words! Happy Friday to you!

  5. Patti,
    I'm so glad you stepped out to be real with us today! Father I life Patti before you. Sometimes it's so easy for those of us that haven't faced loss like Patti has to forget the pain. Or to think that since years have passed, the pain has passed too. Father take Patti's weary. Not that she will heal from the pain of losing her husband, but that she will "live" as she desires instead of just surviving. Surround her with God fearing people that can do just that. In Jesus name. Amen Hugs to you

  6. Leah, I'm so glad to see you hear again -- even after I haven't been posting regularly. You're so right about practicing His presence. In fact, last weekend I set my phone alarm for various times during the day when I'm not in class (right before class, right after, etc) with a nice, gentle chime. It's my reminder to pause and think of Him, share a few words with Him, and listen for Him. I'm hopeful that eventually I won't need the reminder and that I'll pause even more often.

  7. Oh, Michele, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I wish we lived closer (need to check your blog to see where you live!), so we could sit down with a cup of tea and chat. Like you, I've had career issues, but mine (thankfully) are different from yours -- I can't imagine dealing with the stress of a layoff at such a horrible time in your life. Thank you for praying for me. I've added you to my prayer list as well.

  8. So true about losing friends after losing a spouse -- I've heard that so often from women who are widowed when all of their friends' are still "couples". Another issue that contributed to my lack of friends is that just less than a year after my husband passed away, I moved several hours away to take a full-time job (I was working part-time prior to that). It's been hard to move beyond just "surface friendships" with coworkers. And, of course, surface friendships don't allow for much "real" conversation.

  9. Rachel, your words warmed my heart this chilly November morning! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and for your encouragement and compassion. Bless you!

  10. Thank you, Christy, for your lifting me up in prayer. I so appreciate it!

  11. A very raw and real post. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thank you, Kadie!