#AtoZChallenge X is For Xenas

strong woman

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Okay, this isn’t a post about Xena, Warrior Princess! 😀

But then again…

A xenas is a strong, confident woman, so maybe we can take something from Xena.

Though my parents raised my sisters and me to be strong, confident women, the day I lost Den, I lost my strength too.

I was easily confused, would lose my train of thought, and couldn’t make a decision to save my life.

I doubted and second-guessed myself on things as simple as monthly bills, and began to avoid situations where I’d have to make decisions.

When I could no longer put off the dreaded trip to Social Security, I made an appointment, slipped Den’s death certificate into my bag and braced myself.

It turned out to be one of the brightest moments I’d had since Den died.

Mr. L wasn’t simply an overworked, underpaid paper shuffler.

He was a kind, compassionate professional who obviously had empathy for the dozens of people he helped every day.

Mr. L didn’t stare at a document or his computer screen. He’d printed out the documents he’d need for my appointment, positioned them so we could both see them, and what I believed would be a ten-minute, stressful ordeal was instead an uplifting experience which lasted almost an hour.

When I lost Den I also lost more than half my monthly income, and from the past experiences of family and friends, I knew Social Security wasn’t always female-friendly to married women (or widows). My mom was the only female I knew of who’d actually come out on the plus-side.

So, I steeled myself, ready to eat meat only on days with R’s in them, beans on days with S’s in them and buy store brand toilet paper. 😀

However, after Mr. L explained it all to me, I saw I was going to be okay, with no drastic changes even though I hadn’t reached retirement age. I wouldn’t have to choose the store brand toilet paper. YAAY!

(DISCLAIMER: I had NO idea hoarding toilet paper was on the horizon.)

I came away from the appointment feeling lighter, a burden lifted off my shoulders.

Simply because a kind man treated me with respect and dignity, and like an adult.

Because I AM an adult!

DUH, Felicia!

Months of soft voices asking childlike questions came crashing back. I was about to get heated in the parking lot.

How dare anyone treat me like-…

Then I realized how I’d been acting.

But no more!

Den always said one of the things that first attracted him to me was that I was take no prisoners ballsy!

I still consider it a compliment.

This grief journey is not just about learning to navigate life alone with a broken heart.

It’s also about not allowing grief to change or define me.

I am a strong, confident woman, regardless of what life tosses at me… a xenas.

Maybe the Warrior Princess and I do have something in common.

And I love her boots! 🙂

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On May 30, 2019, I lost Dennis, my husband of over thirty-five years. Ten short weeks later on August 18, 2019, I lost my eighty-four-year-old mother. My grief journey has not been an easy one. While we know grief has five stages, there are many situations and feelings some bereaved never get to express, and I’m using my first AtoZ Challenge to say things I’ve never been able to give voice to. I hope you’ll follow my journey.

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atoz badge 2021

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Image by John Hain from Pixabay

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