Friday, November 12, 2010

Rain Check Please!

After the funeral I wanted to be left alone. The suffocating hugs and tears and the “Call me. I’ll bring over a bagel. I’ll scoop it out for you” was kind, but irritating. There was no pleasing me. Bring Jimmy back. That’s all I wanted.



I wish today, four and a half years later, I could cash in on the services offered then. “Rain check, please!” should have been my mantra. Sympathy ought to be like a postdated check or a gift certificate with no expiration date.


At the beginning we’re just too foggy to appreciate being the center of attention. We’re like the bride and groom at a wedding except no groom is involved and it’s not a joyous occasion. Strike that stupid analogy.


A reasonable analogy might be “youth is wasted on the young.” Weepy widows can snap our fingers and like Domino Pizza there’s a knock at the door within thirty minutes. Talk about being too good to last.


Part of me, apparently, the self absorbed part, was aware that I only had a year before I’d wear out friends and family with demands to butter my toast and help me off with my boots. I knew my ‘special time’ was up when at 16 months my daughter Jackie called me and I sounded down and she asked, “What’s wrong?”


If only I wasn’t self conscious and embarrassed to break down in front of people I might have milked it through to the 18 month mark. It’s exhausting to put on strong face giving people the impression “Oh, she’s okay. She’s more than okay. She’s remarkable.”


Being stoic comes more naturally to me than publically sobbing and carrying on “Oh, why did he leave me? Why? Why? Why?” I left the drama to my private time. I suffered in silence; hence, I missed out on many a home cooked meal, a free movie or two and possibly even a Broadway show.


Sometimes these days I feel cheated and want to scream “Do over!” That’s insane so I keep it to myself which is the difference with actually being insane and not being insane, I think.

Regardless, I can’t change who I am. I put on a happy face which 'happiness experts' suggest may have helped me become happy.

Anyway, that's how I roll. I love saying “That’s how I roll” because I’m not that cool and it makes me feel I might be just a teeny bit.

Rain Check, please!





13 comments:

Anonymous said...

You were amazingly stoic and strong and that in itself was scary because I knew one of two things were true. Either 1)you were going to publically (someone there) crash ,(which never happenned, to my knowledge) or 2) you were sufferring in silence every night , which I felt awful about. Never too late to call "rain check!".

becky.z said...

My husband passed away 1 year, 2 months, and 18 days ago. The funeral was a blur of hugs, just as you said, but even then I knew that in 30 days everyone would be back to their lives and I would still be alone. I made incredible efforts to accept the dinners, party invitations, etc., and even though all I wanted to do was curl up in a little ball and wish the world away, I know it was best for me to make some effort to get on with my life. I'm 42 and my husband was just 2 days shy of his 51st birthday when he died, and he made it a point to tell me many times to get on with my life. I've done just that, even though I miss him every day. I think, though, that if he can see me, he would be proud. And I don't know you or your late husband, but if you both loved each other as much as it sounds, he would want the same of you.

Guest said...

Carol, you alway's get it right and what I love about PWM is you put my thoughts and feelings into words.

Jill said...

It has been 19 months for me and I still remain a bit in a cocoon. I could not deal with anything social and still have difficulty making small talk. I am great at rationalizing that it is ok to be like this. I guess the down side is when folks around you get tired of asking you and you always saying no, they disappear. When I am ready to rejoin the world, I will worry about it. I need to get used to being be myself and sometimes the aloneness is comforting-no energy to entertain the masses.

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I love your blog...Just found it via the widow-blogs I follow. I have found humor to be my number 1 source of comfort and enjoy the way you also embrace it. : )

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traci in virginia said...

My husband passed away a little over 2 years ago. This was our 3rd Christmas without him. We were both 39 at the time, I turned 40 four days later. This for whatever reason was a very hard Christmas for me. I have 2 children and just as you stated, I put on a happy face. It's what you do. I have to take care of my kids, I couldn't/can't stay in bed. I am generally a happy person by nature and very social...BUT, this does not mean that when the kids are in bed and I am alone at night, I am happy. I am most decidedly not. Nights are hard. I miss my husband.

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Luxie said...

I choose this name because it sounds cool and liked the fact that we both want to sound cool even though, at least on my end, the very opposite is more than likely. It is a play on my last name and many folks at work use it so I guess that makes it a tad legit.

I've been searching for a blog all day to help me feel like it's OK to be a widow. Nearly at the five year mark and I'm still falling back into my private crying jags and just had to cash in on my rain checks with two of my closest people who are always, always there for me; a friend and a sister-in-law. But it's still feels like I am using a get-out-of-jail free card illegally so to speak.

Thanks for the giggles. Much needed today. And really helped.

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