Monday, August 17, 2009

My Widow Advice #24 Hey, Widows, You're Not That Special!

Dear Carol,

I've been reading your blog since a friend sent to me last year a month after my Pete passed. It's been a big big relief to hear that you and so many widows experience many of the same
reactions and feelings.

In my small town there are no bereavement groups. Your blog is my group!

I thought I was going crazy! I'm just writing to say "thank you."

God bless you!

Sharon

Dear Sharon,

Your e-mail warms my cockles (what are cockles?) I'm grateful to know that the Internet connected you to me and poor widow me has helped you and that the input from other widows has given you a sort of group consensus. And, I do appreciate that you took the time and effort
just to say "thank you."

THAT SAID, I'm taking this opportunity to wonder aloud something that bothers me or as my friend Connie says, "It rides my nerves." Connie, from Queens has obviously lived in New Jersey way too long.

My pet peeve is: Why do we adults need others to validate our feelings?
Sharon, did you not know that everything you feel after loosing your husband is normal?

We're not a 13 year old boy from Utah growing up in the '60's alarmed that his dick grows while
watching re-runs of Spartacus. He fears he's abnormal and decides the only way to make his mama proud is to become a priest.

We're not that kid. We are grown-ups and as the saying goes, "We may be shiny but we're not new...or we may have been born at night, but not LAST night. I am continually shocked that other widows are surprised that other widows can't focus enough to read a book the first year or are unable to eat lamb chops, his favorite.

We're human beings. Our reaction and feelings run the gamut but at the same time are universal. Our loved one dies, we hurt. We sit on the edge of the bed smelling his tee-shirt and his hairbrush. It's a scene unimaginative directors use because it is universal.

We cry at old songs and we get scared that we'll run into someone who may not know he died. We blurt out, "Oh, you must have mistaken me for someone else" and we run away. (okay, I almost did that)

We have trouble sleeping or we sleep all the time. We redecorate or we change nothing. His cuff links remain on his night table and we make coffee for him every morning. (all right, the coffee part may be nuts)

We get a dog for companionship and/or a boyfriend for spite. We use "He would have wanted me to buy a new car" to get what we want. In this case, a new car.

His annoying habits are elevated to "If I could have him back I wouldn't mind." Then, the truth kicks us in the ass and we realize after and hour and a half he'd be annoying again.

We make no sense, Sharon, but because we are grieving we make perfect sense.
Grow up grievers and stop acting surprised that you're not that special!