Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

The Slouch

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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The slouch, hunched over, shoulders drooping – I saw my reflection and this is what I saw.

I’ve noticed this for a good year or two. I thought it came on from being pregnant and then holding my baby. But she is six now and I’m not holding her anymore.

When I see my reflection I try and correct and stand up straight, pull back my shoulders and I have to breathe. I have to force myself to reposition. And it is that deep breath that makes me realize how I carry my emotions, or better yet, the load of grief I’m wearing.

As widowers, there is a lot that all of us carry: First, the heartache of losing our partner/best friend/spouse/etc. Second, the everyday tasks of life that I take on all myself – grocery shopping/cleaning/house & yard care/laundry/dishes/paying bills. Third, the overwhelming new path for life that I must create – job/income/retirement. Lastly, for me sprinkle parenting on top – and oh my

that one really keeps my shoulders down trodden.

Did you know there is an app for bad posture? I can pay $150 for something I attach to my collarbone to fix my slouch. But honestly, that is skipping over the real issue. I need to breathe more often. I need to stop trying to live the life I had – and embrace a new journey that doesn’t have the same future I expected. And more importantly, I need to love myself.

The first year after Dave’s death, each morning I told myself to put on my Big Girl Pants and fake it till I make it. I haven’t made it yet. And I have to accept that while parts of me can continue, other parts of me need to be left in the past. My posture represents a sign of how I feel about myself. I feel tired, I feel unhappy and I’m stressed out. But I’m feeling and that is a good thing, because I spent the first year following my husband’s death in shock. Here is to the current challenge of fixing my posture and finding a new way to stand again and breathe!

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