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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Letter to a Friend in Need

For starters, let me say how sorry I am about your dad. I too am very very close to my dad, and can't imagine what it would be like to lose him. But I do know what it's like to lose someone that I love with my whole heart, as you do with your dad. I completely understand how you feel...after my husband died it seemed like everyone around me quickly forgot how much I was in pain. Because he wasn't their husband (or their dad, in your case) they weren't the ones grieving. Yes, they felt for me, at the beginning, but of course they didn't have their heart broken like I did, so it was much easier for them to move on to everyday life after the funeral. And let me tell you, it took a long long long time for me to stop crying. That trip to Chicago that I wrote about didn't end my tears, it just reminded me that I could still be happy.

And I know EXACTLY how you feel about not being able to talk to anyone. Talking about death makes people uncomfortable. I could see that whenever I talked about my husband, even if it was to reminisce a funny story about him, let alone talk about how much I missed him. Most people don't want to be reminded of their own mortality, and me talking about my husband, no matter how funny the story was, (he was a pretty goofy guy, probably the one of the top reasons why I loved him) reminded them of death. And frankly, people are too busy to think about death. I could see people pulling away from me. No one wants to hang out with a sad widow. But I so needed to be around people, because at home, I was all alone. My parents live in a different state than me, and I have no siblings. So after my husband died, it was just me. So I pulled my pain inside and put on my poker face for everyone else. You're right that everyone wants to see you be strong and not cry. I think it's because if they see that you're ok, then it makes it ok for them to move on. And that's what everyone else wants to do...move on. They just don't understand that you (or I) are not ready to move on yet.

I found a widow's support group, here in Houston. I was really reluctant to go because I'm not a support group type of person. In fact, in general, I tend to not open up at all. But the hospice that my husband was with kept calling me...sending me letters...reminding me of the support group. And I remembered that my husband had asked me to please not cry for him after he left. So I went. And even though these ladies were much much older than I, (I was 26 at the time, most widows tend to be older) and even though we were all strangers to each other, we all understood how each other felt. We felt the exact same pain. And we all talked about how we couldn't talk about this stuff with other people, because they just didn't understand. We all cried a LOT. We cried for ourselves, and we cried for each other. To us, it seemed like our support group was the only place where we were really allowed to really let it all out. And every single one of us did. It was great. The group was facilitated by a pastor who kind of discussed different aspects of grieving. He let us know that everyone grieved differently, and that there was no time limit on how long we should grieve. But for the most part, he would just let us all talk.

I don't go to that support group anymore. But every so often, I meet someone in passing who, for some reason or another, will let me know that they are a widow. And it's almost like I scream out in joy, having found someone else who knows how I feel, "I'M A WIDOW TOO!!!" And for just that passing moment, we give each other that look that let's each other know that we both know the secret pain that each widow carries in her heart forever.

But even those moments, are few and far between. And even now, as happy as I am, I still have those fleeting moments of pain. They don't come as often as they did when my husband first died, but yes, I still get sad. I don't want to forget my husband, just as you don't want to forget your dad. But doesn't it sometimes feel like everyone else wants to forget? It's hard to find that one person who will remember with you, cry with you, or just listen to you. We both know this. But I want you to know, that I understand. I will remember with you, I will cry with you, and I will listen to you. Anytime, day or night. Because if it wasn't for those few people who did that for me (and still do for me) when my husband died, then I wouldn't be "The Merry Widow." I would just be "Widow."

The Merry Widow

posted by The Merry Widow at 10:39 AM |


Commented by Blogger Surfie:

Merry, you are one hell of a lady. Anyone who has you as a friend is very, very lucky...indeed.

Peace, my friend, and have a nice weekend.

May 07, 2005 11:29 AM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:


May 07, 2005 11:36 AM 
Commented by Blogger mrtl:

Merry and fabulous. Don't forget that.

May 07, 2005 3:07 PM 
Commented by Blogger The Merry Widow:

Thanks so much you guys. But really, I wouldn't be this merry and fabulous without my friends and family.

May 07, 2005 11:34 PM 
Commented by Anonymous Guy #3:

I thought being friends with you would make me immune to your tear-jerking posts, but no! Your passion for understanding and helping others is exceeded only by your eloquence in doing so. Thanks for existing kid.

May 09, 2005 12:19 AM 
Commented by Anonymous kristine:

I'm with Guy #3, I don't even know you and you make me cry.

Email me, we are pimping this blog..and it's going to merry and fab...and pink!

May 09, 2005 3:39 PM 
Commented by Blogger The Merry Widow:

Guy #3: Don't say nice things to me or else I'll really miss you when you leave. I'd prefer it if we left each other on bad terms, dammit.

Kristine: Don't cry for me, Argentina! I'm on my way to email you now.

May 09, 2005 11:19 PM 
Commented by Blogger Pissy Britches:

Ok. How did I miss this post. What a great post! You are fucking fabulous!

May 10, 2005 8:29 AM 
Commented by Blogger Pissy Britches:

Ok..can I just say this even though this probably is the proper post to make this comment on.
I fucking love your new design.
Killing husbands since 2002.
fuck that is funny

May 10, 2005 4:21 PM 
Commented by Blogger Alexandrialeigh:

Love the new look! (And thanks for the link.)

Oh, and I'm jealous of that tiara. Seriously. I must have one on my site, too.

May 10, 2005 5:19 PM 
Commented by Blogger Shaun:

looks great! I told Kristine you need a skull and crossbones on that tiara though....

May 10, 2005 8:28 PM 
Commented by Blogger Head of our pack...:

As said by many others already...what a great new look!

Also, I just wanted to say that I think this was a wonderful of you to have written this letter.
It is so hard to go through a loss, and when it happens people feel so alone and never want to "bother" others with thier need to talk. The silly thing is that we ALL need to talk about our losses.

It helps us to heal and you have captured this wonderfully in your letter.

May 10, 2005 9:38 PM 
Commented by Blogger The Merry Widow:

Mrs. Pissy: Isn't that a great line? I've been laughing at that all day.

Alexandrialeigh: You're one of my daily reads! Oh, and Kristine searched high and low for that tiara for me. She rocks!!!

Shaun: I like your idea! Just as long as the skull is also wearing a tiara.

The Life Of Me: Thanks so much! You're right in that it often feels like we're "bothering" people with our need to talk. That's why I love blogging! People around here are seem more open and understanding.

May 10, 2005 10:56 PM 

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