Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Widow Advice #25 Stress this!

Dear Carol,

My husband Paul passed on June 23rd - a car hit him. I've been dealing with not only his loss (we were married 17 wonderful years and two girls, 11 and 14) but the anger and frustration of losing him in this senseless way.

The police have closed the case and not charged the driver because it seems that Paul had a heart attack and fell into the way of traffic while walking. I'm not convinced of this because there was no sign or family history. He was just 49.

My friends tell me to contact a medium and maybe he or she will be able to tell me if he is all right and if he indeed had a heart attack. And, I want to know that he is
happy.

I am also distressed because we had just had an awful fight and he left the house angry "to blow off steam" and obviously never came home. Maybe, a psychic will tell me if his state of mind contributed to his death? If this is true I will never be able to forgive myself.

I'm writing to you because you seem smart and clear headed. I feel silly going to a
psychic, but what else can I do?

Thank you.

Confused in California,
Stacy

Dear Confused in California Stacy,

What else can you do? You can mourn your husband's death and grieve as all widows do. Make up your mind here and now that your story, while compelling and a bit unusual is not the moment in time for you to hold unto.

Paul died. If he stopped breathing on your couch while watching re-runs of Seinfeld would you wonder if the story line from that episode made him anxious?

Let's take your concerns one by one. You're worried that because you had an argument (was it your first fight in 17 years?) you contributed to his death?

The following is good example of an emotionally healthy reaction to a similar situation....

My friend who is now in her forties told me that when she was 19 she had a fight with her brother and her last words to him were, "Drop dead!" He proceeded to
go out and get hit by a car. Very similar except he was in a coma for three months, came out of it and today is a husband and father. Happy ending.

I was horrified and said, "Oh, my God...you must have felt kind of responsible." She answered, "Not at all. My brother knew I loved him."

Stacy, Paul knew you loved him. And, if stress did contribute to his heart attack or even his lack of awareness of the traffic YOU are not responsible for how he handled or mishandled his stress - Any more than his late night Rocky Road binges, driving like he's Mario Andretti or complaining that you don't give him enough blow jobs. (to a man it's never enough, so again, you're off the hook.)

Your "I'll never be able to forgive myself" is a stupid declaration. It belongs in the
garbage with:

"That was the last time I'll order a third martini."
"I'll never let that junk drawer get so messy again."
"Why did you make me cut bangs? I hate you."

Let's discuss your worry that Paul isn't "happy." Not for nothing, why wouldn't Paul be happy now? He's free from the burden of bringing home the bacon (not literally) and he no longer will get roped into a pointless debate with friends over Obama's health care policy.

While, granted, poor Paul will not see your daughters grow up, he checked out just in time to miss the wonder years of PMS and seeing their heads spin around when you declare the guy your baby faced daughter thinks she loves is a dirt bag.

Oh, and by the way, you and only you will have to point out to her, "Honey, your skirt is too short because I can see your Tampex string...Good times, eh?

Paul is flying light and bright and most likely he's on to another universe where music is soulful, all spirits are kind and he doesn't really give a shit that this minuscule blink of an eye life is over.

By example your daughter's will absorb that after the darkness of a tragedy the light of life peeks through and we must look toward it for a new beginning. Throw away the psychics number and give your girls that example.