Last night was my friends husbands two year "angelversary" (the cute word a widow, probably Taryn, made up to soften the blow of what it really is - the day our husband died). For this, Kelly and I went to Tiffany's house to celebrate Brad's life through board games, pizza, and Patron shots. When you meet Tiffany (Brian's widow), or Kelly, or any of the widows I've gotten close to, your first reactions go something like this:
"Wow, she's pretty."
"Wow, she's smart."
"Wow, she's funny."
"She's so, so strong..."
"She's really got her shit together considering the circumstances. How does she do it?"
The girls I've gotten close to seem invincible sometimes, even to me. It can almost be intimidating. When I take a step back and think about these new people in my life, I'm in awe of how lucky I am to associate with them not only in general, but on a daily basis and on a deep, connective level. I mean, it's not 'lucky' how us coming together happened, but I feel lucky that it was us that came together. I mean, it could have been anyone, yet it was these girls I was so blessed to have in my life. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside.
I'm losing track of my point...
So I have these strong girls in my life that, frankly, I look up to. But reality is that most of us just play a good game. Yes we have strong qualities, but there's another side that we typically don't let people see. The massively damaged side. And despite our great ability to hide it, we are all well aware of our own discrepancies which often leads to us unfairly judging the shit out of ourselves. I do this to myself often. Too often. I think a lot of widows do. Actually, I bet most people do. I look at the other widows in my life and I think, "If only I could be more like them. They really have their shit together. How do they do that?" It sucks sometimes feeling that the ones around you, especially the ones you relate to the most, are somehow doing this life thing better than you. Makes me feel like a failure.
Dramatic, maybe, but honest.
Then, reality hits. As I sat in Tiffany's kitchen, chatting with my two girls, the conversation got serious as it typically does with us at some point. The conversation almost always goes back to our husbands.The husbands came up and we started admitting how terribly we all felt we were coping with it all. All of us... feel like we are hot messes. All of us. My beautiful, sweet, smart, friends who make it seem like everything is ok on a daily basis, feel like they are falling apart half the time.... just like me. The idea that anyone was doing anything better than me, was all in my head.
Is it sick that I find comfort in this? Probably. But, I bet they find comfort in the fact that I'm a hot mess, too. Kelly always tells me things along the lines of, "Girl, you do more on your computer in a couple of hours than I do in an entire week."
Well, I think she's crazy. Because, most of the time, I do this on my computer. I write. About nothing. And maybe sometimes I have something 'meaningful' that I'm doing, but in reality, the few things that are meaningful are slowww moving. Getting a tag on my car was a feat. I still have yet to pay the ticket I got last month and though I should do it right now while I'm thinking about it, I won't, because I just don't care to. All of my underwear have holes in them right now, but they still serve the purpose at hand so I'll wait until they're falling apart, just cause. I need to get shots for school and will probably wait until the last minute. If I could get away with sleeping all day, I probably would. If I could get away with not showering for a while, I probably would do that too.
We sat in the kitchen, we poured our hearts out to each other, we looked each other in the eye and realized we're all crazy, and that that's ok. And no matter what happens - lack of shower, holey underwear and all - we have each other to lean on, and none of us will judge each other for any of it. That, my friends, is unconditional love built on shitty circumstances in common that nobody else will ever understand. And I'll take it. Somewhere along this craptastic path of pain and loss, I found sisters. Irreplaceable, beautiful, amazing, loving sisters that I love and cherish and don't thank god for enough. I really don't know what I would do without them.
I feel blessed to have my perfectly flawed new friends. They are my normal, my comfort, and my safe place.
I will never hold your crazy widowness against you if you do the same for me. I love you guys.