Friday, August 26, 2011

There's Just Too Much That Time Cannot Erase

The title of this post was taken from the son My Immortal by Evanescence.

Tact, we all do it. When using applied verbal behavior techniques, tact means to label something. I think of it as putting a thumbtack in something. We give an object a name and tact that name to it. Everything around us has a label of some sort.
     We not only label objects, but we also label other people and ourselves. See, until four months ago I would have used the following words to define who I was. 
Wife
Mother
Daughter
Sister
Aunt
Friend
Teacher
Student
Married
Kind
Caring
Impulsive
Insecure
Shy
Quiet
Mrs.
Optimistic
It's funny how one event in your life can change so many things. See, I knew who I was before. I was comfortable with who I was. Mike's passing changed my labels, it changed how I define who I am, or who I was. According to the government I'm no longer married, and am considered single. What? I haven't been single since high school. I can no longer label myself as a wife, and if I can't use that term to define myself, then how does it make sense to call Mike my husband. Doesn't husband infer that he is still alive? Everything seems so blurred. I don't know who I am or where I stand. Not only has it changed how I see myself, but it's changed every relationship in my life. I seem to define or put everything into one of two categories, Before Mike Passed and After Mike Passed. I find myself avoiding things from the first category, because it reminds me too much of what I've lost. I've changed where I have the oil changed in our my cars. I want to switch banks, and I've switched dentists. It makes absolutely no sense, and yet I do it. There are things that I can't seem to change.  The labels in my life  don't seem to apply anymore, and that leaves me feeling lost and alone. 
     The first day back to work I walked to my room and realized the name plate on my door said Mrs. Dawson. I guess technically I'm not a Mrs. anymore either. Shouldn't it be Ms. Dawson? It didn't hit me until that moment, and I guess maybe I should have had it changed, but who thinks about these things. 

7 comments:

ethompson said...

My grandfather passed when I was 4 years old. He was the only man my grandmother ever loved. Their courtship and marriage always seemed like a fairy tale to me. My grandmother was 59 years old when he passed. They did have many years together, but his sudden death, he died in her arms, changed her as well. She remained Mrs. Bud Carter until she died last year at the age of 92. His death changed her, but she always remained his loyal wife. She always referred to him as her husband. He was the love of her life. You need to do what feels right to you and forget about convention and societal norms. You must create your own norms. You must do what is right for you, Sebastian, Tyler, and Mason. Let society conform to you, not the other way around! Thinking of you...

Beverly said...

I agree wholeheartedly with ethompson !!!!!!! I still think of you as a Mrs., but like they said ....DO whats RIGTH for you !!!! Loved their comment !

Katrina Jackson said...

I remember going through something similar when I was divorced. You are desperately searching to try to figure out who you are now and who you're comfortable being and what to do next. It's definitely hard to have your life suddenly shift, especially when it is in a way you don't want and never expected. I'm sure you will figure it out eventually.

Miss. Him said...

You are not alone in your quest for who you are. My grief counselor asked me who I am without my husband and all I could think of was "mom" and that is sad because I am SO much more.

Darrell said...

I think that's a natural response. I can't relate to your loss, but I've been there in a small way. After my wife left, one of the first things I wanted to do was rearrange the furniture. I didn't feel so alone that way, it didn't quite feel like I was sitting in the same house that once wasn't so empty. That's probably dumb, but it made sense at the time.

Mel said...

Elisabeth - What great insight. You've changed how I'm looking at this. I do need to find what works for me.

Miss.Him - I hate that we both are going through the same thing. It's hard to redefine who we are. Hugs!

Darrell - It is kinda like that. I too have bought new furniture, and rearranged things. None of it was in an effort to erase Mike's memory, but in an effort to help me be at peace and not feel so alone.

Jill said...

Mel, my grandmother lost her husband when he was 37. He left behind 4 small boys ages 11, 9, 4, & 4. She lived the rest of her life as if he were still here. That is just what worked for her. I know that grandfather better than the one who didn't pass until I was already married. My grandmother never let his memory pass. He was, and still is, talked about everyday. I actually grew up having a relationship with him even though he passed away when my daddy was 11. Like Elisabeth said, find what works for you. I love you.