These are the ones that really take your breath away. It’s impossible to write you a list as the triggers are totally different for everyone. What affects one person won’t bother another, but they all have the same effect. They stop you in your tracks.
They’re so difficult because there is no way you can anticipate what your triggers will be. It’s only when the wave has hit that you realise how much it takes your breath away.
The good news is this.
Whatever they are - you will survive. I have got through many years of these waves, and I am still standing, still strong.
You will be too.
You are still here, as the saying goes, you’ve survived every day so far - your track record is 100% - that makes you pretty damn amazing I’d say, wouldn’t you agree?
Some of the unexpected firsts that hurt me most were song lyrics. Not even songs that I liked, just random lines that seemed to find a new meaning.
How Do I Live Without You - Shania Twain.
Holy moly Shania, you caused an utter breakdown in the middle of a very busy shop on a Saturday afternoon.
That’s another recurring theme in life as a widow, things take on a whole new meaning.
I remember hearing a friend, not so long after husband died, referring to herself as a football widow. I think the politest way of capturing my immediate response to her, was I lost my shit.
How could anyone say such a thing?
What I now need to add at this point, is a few months before my husband died, he went away with mates to watch football. I jokingly referred to myself as a football widow. Am I a kind considerate person? Yes. Would I ever say anything to intentionally hurt anyone? No.
Things have new meaning. It’s just part of the course. What was once just words, grief seems to coat you in sensitivity, and makes everything feel like it's under a microscope, being observed, dissected, overthought.
My Irish friend has a fabulous phrase that I want to use here - I need to catch myself on. I needed to stop being so sensitive and assume that everything anyone uttered was intended to offend.
I went through a very angry stage, well, in honesty, probably several, and found myself taking umbrage to literally everything anyone said to me. It’s a wonder anyone stuck around. Thank goodness they did.
So with unexpected firsts, you’re going to have to expect the unexpected, but remember, you can get through them.