.... because I am starting to realize that not everyone on this path .... "gets it". Yes, that's a broad term, but I've used it and seen it used hundreds of times amongst widowed people. Since Jim died I have discovered that when widowed people are together (or writing to one another) many words don't have to spoken. Most emotions and feelings don't have to be explained. Most behaviors don't need to be defended.
We "get" each other.
Or so I thought.
But I'm beginning to realize that some don't.
That's neither a negative nor a positive statement.
It's just an observation.
I've observed it by some comments that I've read on this blog .... not just comments on my posts, but on everyone's posts.
I've overheard a couple of widows talking a few times.
I've observed it by listening to some things other widows/widowers have said to me.
Heck, I've even heard it from the man in my life, who's also widowed.
I'm not sure if there's a common denominator.
Most people seem to be several years "out".
Some are re-married or have been in a long-term relationship for a while.
I don't know if time or relationships have anything to do with it, or if it's just the personality of the people I've observed.
Please don't t think that I'm saying that I've experienced this from many people, because I haven't.
But I have experienced it.
And it makes me afraid.
Because I don't want to wake up one day and not "get it".
I want to always be able to relate to and feel compassion for people who have lost half of themselves.
I want to be able to feel what they're feeling, as much as I can.
I don't want a widowed person to feel that he/she needs to defend their thoughts, words or feelings to me because I don't understand.
I don't ever want to lose this new part of me.
The part that I gained the minute Jim died.
The part I never had before .... and never wanted to have.
But now that it's in me ..... I want to keep it.
Am I afraid that if I stop "getting it" that will mean that Jim is becoming less and less to me?
But I'm more afraid of not being able to connect with others who need connection.
I'm afraid of not being able to let someone else know that he/she is not crazy, nor are they alone.
I'm afraid of not being able to feel an instant bond with someone .... just because we both happen to have a dead spouse.
But I guess my biggest fear is this:
I'm afraid that Jim's death will have accomplished nothing.
I'm afraid that I will have gone through this hell on earth .... for no purpose.
Which means that I will have lost Jim .... and gained nothing.
And that makes me afraid ....