I am at my wits end. I joined a local bereavement group in my town of Bethesda, Maryland and there is one man and nine women including me.
I lost my husband Stan only four months ago and the last thing I want and need in my life is a man. I am still grieving for gosh sakes!
All of the women except for me and Cynthia are being so blatant and obvious flirting and carrying on with this poor widower, Joseph. I find it extremely pathetic and distasteful.
I told our group leader to do something and she just waved me off and laughed. Isn't this unprofessional of her? Should I say something again to her or talk with the women and tell them that they are making fools of themselves?
We are all in our early to mid-seventies.
Dear Disgusted Widow Laura,
The one thing you don't mention is how Joseph is responding to all this attention. That should be the only concern. I don't know your group leader, but most are responsible and sensitive and have seen it all.
My evil bereavement shrink Gene shared with me many a story about how quickly men "recover" and how needy they are for a woman. Statistic show that widowers remarry on average 2 years after the death of their wives while widows wait 5 years.
I'm sure she figures if this man is uncomfortable he wouldn't be coming back each week. After all, outside of this group Joseph would have to travel to Florida to find 9-1 odds. It's commonplace there for elderly women to elbow each other as they drop off a tasty casserole to the poor widower. All compete to win the prize - a man who drives at night.
If good old Joe is like most men I'll bet he fantasizes all week about having sex with every woman in the room. (you included) He probably has a little blue pill with him 'just in case' like our sons carry condoms.
Consider, too, that you may be mistaking flirting for nurturing. Many widows miss the daily sweet gestures we did for our husbands. Even me, a certified take-out queen enjoys cooking for my kids and friends and now an occasional man.
This brings to mind a conversation I had with my nephew Chuck about four months after his uncle died.
Chuck sat in my kitchen reminiscing about how my husband loved a good back rub from him. Jimmy would lean over and yell "Blood blood!" Of course, this meant "Help me get the kinks out."
Chuck said, "I could barely pass his chair without him asking me to give him a massage. I always did, but I didn't always want to."
"He was so demanding" Chuck continued. "But now if I could do it just one more time..."
"I know what you mean," I said. "I feel the same way about the blow jobs."
Lighten up, Laura.