The Pathological Truth Journal

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On Being A Pastor’s Widow

At times this is so unreal. It’s worse when it does feel real.  Every time I take a step to settle everything five more issues come up.  I am developing strange and pervasive fears of the outside world.  When I try to do something fun I start crying as if the sadness were a rubber band that had snapped back to place.  It’s hard to focus on anything.  All of this is very normal.  It sucks but it is normal.

I wish I was able to grieve by sitting in the dust and wailing because I feel (rightly so) that I have been torn apart. I am missing part of everything in my life. I want my husband. I miss my husband. Most of all, I want to continue to love my husband but I can’t. Love, that infernal verb, can not be done for those who are no longer here. It isn’t that I have forgotten my husband but that I simply can’t do anything for him. So, I am left with a mountain of affection and desire that will never be fulfilled. I am left with guilt and anger and sadness. I am left with grief.

I enjoyed being a pastor’s wife. I wouldn’t have married a pastor if I didn’t. I enjoyed supporting him. I enjoyed listening to him. I enjoyed helping the congregations in what ways were appropriate to my gifts. I’m not saying I always did a great job. I know I am a human being full of faults. there were many times when I was incredibly naive. However, over all, most of the days were good and in the days that weren’t good we had one another for comfort.

Since I lost my husband I am also no longer a pastor’s wife. I have lost both the good and bad of that life. There are adjustments that need to be made and some of them are tiny while others are monumental. Even the way I address a pastor is completely different.  Some people have told me to see this as freedom.  I have fulfilled my duties and I am now free to do as I please.  Great. Except that I liked what I had.  I chose that life for many reasons.  The main reason being that it is what I wanted.  The whole situation reminds me of a queen consort whose husband dies without children.  They were simply sent back home.

So, what now?  I have no idea.

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