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When I started planning to go to the March on Washington the day after the inauguration of the 45th President of the US, I was honestly not certain I would be able to do it.

Since Dave died, I find myself easily overwhelmed in crowds of people. My energy is unpredictable, day by day. I am less able to guard myself from the feelings of others, especially when emotions run high. I have said, “yes,” to attending an event and woken up in tears, unable to leave my bed. Hours and hours of tears happen less often than before but still daily.

This mattered enough to me that I committed anyway, no matter what. Service, Self-care and Sacrifice alive in the same space. And it was OK. There were 100s of 1000s of people. We stood in one place for over an hour which was way more tiring than being in motion. I was overwhelmed, inspired, held (great for my usually inadequate hug quota – 4 hugs for health, 12 hugs for overflowing vitality), exhausted. I was overjoyed to go with my Mom and proud that many other family members and friends were marching all over the country too.

Making choices as a bad widow means knowing there may be a cost, on the days I feel like a shadow of my former self. It also means honoring not getting out of bed at times and allowing myself to cry privately or in public. And I took Dave’s ashes with me in a tiny plastic container that used to hold pills, so appropriate.

Tonight, I’m going up to the Thalia to sing a song, “I Never Do Anything Twice” by Petula Clark at the open mic because, for sure, a bad widow has some nasty woman in it. Right?

Making choices to honor my need to stand up for the causes and people I care about. Making choices to honor my feelings and bring them along in living my life, even if it makes me squirm.

Share your experiences of making choices below.