When Joanne and I were hiking last weekend, she asked me how I came up with the name for my blog. I then realized that I have never fully explained it, although I briefly touch on this on my About the Widow page.
The Widow Badass was born when my husband died – in the first few minutes of November 14, 2013. She had been conceived in the doctor’s office where we received his diagnosis of lung cancer, a mere 6 months earlier.
My grieving started at that moment of conception, and also my oh-so practical (this sounds so cold, but it’s true) planning for my future without him.
I was working full-time, AND pursuing my MBA online (as was he), at the time of his diagnosis. Due to his insistence, I kept working and studying. He was too weak to work, but he kept studying also. We weren’t supposed to let the cancer “win” by giving these things up.
I fully supported him throughout the course of his disease. I researched cancer relentlessly; went to every appointment and treatment; sat vigil in every hospital room; shopped and cooked and worked and studied and cared and cried and prayed; and then got up after a few hours rest and did it all again.
During my quiet moments in hospital rooms I thought about about and planned my future without him. I knew I would have a huge mess to clean up once he was gone. His OCD-fuelled hoarding had managed to fill up the large building that he owned for the past 20 years, and had spilled into the residence that I owned.
Listening to the hum of the ICU equipment, I estimated it would take me a solid year of working at it every night and weekend just to empty his building of the accumulation of garbage that was his hoard (the last room was emptied just a few week’s shy of a year later).
Drinking my lukewarm Tim Horton’s tea while my husband slept, I decided I would move into his building and erase the 20 years of his neglect at great cost to make it my own (I did).
Watching the nurses take his vitals, I knew it would take a few months to clean up my property enough to make it presentable to sell but I would do that first, then move and start cleaning up all over again (done, and done).
Pacing the hallways, I vowed that at some point during all this I would complete my damn MBA (damn straight, I did).
And so it all happened. The Widow Badass made it all happen. She was/is that aspect of myself that took over and got shit done. And she had no time or patience for anybody’s bullshit. She was all: blinders on, full speed ahead and let’s deal with the wreckage later when the dust settles.
What I didn’t plan for was finding out about my husband’s unfaithfulness to me during the clean-up process, a couple of months after he died. Finding print-outs of emails between him and another woman shook my entire world-view of what I thought my life with him had been about.
But that didn’t stop the Widow Badass. Oh no. She mined the knowledge of that 18 month-long affair like it was diamonds buried in a refuse heap. She used that hurt and rage to further fuel the mission to create a new life.
So now the Widow Badass is here and here to stay. Long may she reign.