I had a shocking email recently from someone who I had long thought of as a friend even though we rarely saw each other these days. She actually wrote me, based on reading my blog, that she believed that I “had gotten over” the loss of my husband. Is losing the true love of one’s life (45 years married), one’s beshert (soulmate) ever something that one can get over, like a cold or flu?? I was pretty shaken; I might have understood better if the comment had been made by a total stranger.
I have been taking a unique route to healing, perhaps. I promised Larry on his deathbed that I would be okay. I plan to honor that promise and each day does bring its own challenges. I have recently discovered how effective writing is, primarily as a distraction to help me deal better with my sorrow. I REALLY enjoy writing about things that make me laugh. In truth, what really held our marriage together was that Larry made me laugh, hard and frequently. The kind of laughter that could require a change in underwear. (TMI?) How does one even find laughter during extreme sorrow? Joy seems to have left my universe. I lost weight, without trying, although I wouldn’t recommend the “grief diet” to anyone. All my senses have become anesthetized; my world seems so dull without him.
We were extraordinarily well matched to one other. And honestly, as anyone who knew us can attest, he was devoted to my happiness. At least when he was not on the golf course. So I know that he would not have wanted me to be miserable and alone.
So, I have chosen to experiment with the dating world. I am self-aware enough to know that while I am not ready yet to be in a relationship, it is very amusing to dip my toe into this crazy new world.
I have been on fewer than a handful of dates, all but one did ask for a second date, which I considerately declined. This blog is not about making fun of real, decent guys or “kiss n’ tell”, because my lips are sealed! I am on a perilous journey to find MYSELF, not a boyfriend. Really. Where is Frodo when you need him?
I understand that sharing this blog opens me up to judgment and criticism both from friends and strangers. It is a risk that I am willing to take, because if I can make a few other widows smile and realize that there is indeed a path to healing, however narrow or rocky, my choice to share my journey is a compassionate one. My children, at least, have been very supportive. And thank you Jill, who texts after each post to say how much she enjoyed reading it!
And while I will probably never meet them in real life, I am enjoying chatting online with the white-haired archaeologist in Cambridge, the 30 year old law student in NYC and the black artist in Harlem. They enrich my life. Even the obnoxious guy from NYC, who told me that he only contacted me because I was so “unattractive” that he felt sorry for me. I called him a schmuck and told him that his ”bubbe”(grandmother)would be very disappointed to hear that he spoke that way to a nice Jewish girl!” And, he still continues to text me. And the beekeeper/bird watcher from White Plains who wants to know ALL about me! Sweet! He actually asked, in a joking way I think, that I would get bonus points if I chose to reveal any sexual fantasies. I replied that it was definitely too soon but I could think of some “off- label” uses for honey.
Laughing is so MUCH better for me now than crying.