I immediately felt the effects of being a widow.
The simplest things would rip my heart into pieces:
- Checking “widow” for the first time when I had to state my civil status
- Writing only my name beside “From” when giving gifts
- Being the one to drive the car while someone else would sit & play with the baby
- Wanting to try out a new restaurant and having noone to go with you
The realization and the heartache was (and still is) a real physical pain.
It took me a long time to take control of my health & finances — two things I’ve identified as critical for our survival.
Health just recently became a challenge. For some reason, ever since Jim passed away, my lupus would flare up sporadically. And since I have been in remission for such a long time, I had to relearn what to do.
Getting a grip on our finances was hard. We are now living on a single income. And as far as I’m aware, there is no financial help coming from either my family or my late husband’s family.
I immediately divided our remaining savings between mutual funds and high yield time deposits. I decided to live on my employment salary alone, which does not amount to much for our day-to-day needs.
I decided to start budgeting every peso I receive. Gabby came first on all things — food, clothing, and comfort. I stopped buying anything for myself. I cancelled all planned vacations, and decided to make do with whatever is affordable (i.e., malls). I stopped buying clothes for myself. I started eating whatever is remotely edible in the cafeteria.
Big decisions I’m seriously contemplating on:
- Whether or not to sell our condo
- If we need to move somewhere where there will either be more income opportunities, or less cost of living
It still feels weird handling all these alone. But I’m getting there.