.... a nice bank account.
That's the issue today. I originally published the majority of this post (with a different title) on my personal blog on October 27th. But it seemed to hit home with so many widowed people that I thought I'd write it again (and add to it) here.
"You treat yourself nice." ....
.... someone said to me yesterday, while looking at a pair of boots I was wearing. (I got them in Spain and they were quite inexpensive, but who cares? They're from Spain!)
Anyway, this person made this statement with a kind of smirk on their face and I, being a woman, wondered what was really behind it. So I asked what the statement meant (while refraining from using the correct word, "nicely", thank you very much. Yes, I can be petty and gracious at the same time. :) ). I was told that it meant nothing, it was just a statement. Funny, it sounded more like an accusation.
And I've been thinking about it since yesterday.
It's not the first time that I've felt "accused" of not being a "poor widow".
Jim made a good living. He worked his ass off for 27 years in order to make a good living. It took a long time and many lean years for our family, but he kept working.
Not only did he work hard, but he also thought ahead.
I had no idea how far ahead he thought.
And because he did, he is still taking care of me/us.
I am blessed and I am constantly aware of that fact.
I am blessed in many, many ways .... not just financially.
I don't have to work, fiscally-speaking, but I do have to work, emotionally-speaking.
I can travel and I can buy inexpensive boots in another country.
I can't go around buying yachts and houses and huge items like that or I will one day really have to work, financially-speaking.
But as long as I'm careful .... I'm good.
I still donate my time as well as my money to charities and to my church and to my alma mater.
Having said all of this ..... if Jim were here .... I'd be far wealthier .... in every aspect of my life.
He was worth far more alive than dead.
And to my children.
I would give up every penny that I own if it would bring him back.
So when people seem to "accuse" me of having the money to do mostly what I want .... I want to scream.
Because no amount of money is worth the loss of Jim.
No amount of money can replace what I've lost.
No amount of money will buy joy, contentment or lasting happiness.
No amount of money will heal my now half of a heart into a whole one.
No amount of money will bring Jim back from the dead.
Why do some people seem to think that things must be OK if we have money?
Do they think that money, and the spending of it, heals a broken heart?
Does it mean that those of us who don't "have" to work are grieving less than those who do?
Do they entertain the thought, even for one nano-second, that having money makes up for not having a spouse?
Or do they think that because we spend money to try to attain a little happiness (because yes, it is nice to be able to travel, or buy something that's for fun and not for a need sometimes) then we are less of a person who deserves to grieve our loss?
Bottom line: I don't give a crap what they think.
I know, probably better than they do, that I have no control over what others think. Nor do I have control over what "issues" or "baggage" they might have.
I learned 35 months ago that I really have control of nothing. I just thought I did.
I would rather be dirt poor .... and still married to Jim.
But I'm not either one of those.
And so I do things to try to catch a bit of happiness here and there.
Does it make my life better?
I don't think so.
Does it make my life easier?
Certainly .... in some ways.
In others .... not so much.
I feel so much empathy for those widows who have to work, and work hard, to make ends meet.
There are far too many of them.
Life is not fair .... ask any one of us.
I want to slap every single alive husband who doesn't have insurance (by his choice).
There. Is. No. Excuse.
But I also refuse to apologize for having a husband who loved me so much that he thought of me even as he thought of his future death.
And I refuse to apologize for living my life the way I want to live it now.
Yes .... I can buy myself something nice when I feel like it.
But .... I wish I had Jim, who would do it instead.