The other week I saw this meme on Instagram about dying and not wanting the person you’re with to be happy afterwards and about how they should get in the casket and die too. It was framed in a “funny” way and meant to be a joke but I didn’t find it funny at all. I felt defensive, like it was an attack on me and other widows who have fought so hard to find happiness again. I felt like I was being judged and that made me mad. Then I thought: That’s stupid to care about what others think and I don’t care. People who haven’t experienced that type of loss yet are very blissfully ignorant and very immature. People who liked that and tagged their partners (including people I follow and “friends”) are pretty much idiots and have no idea what it’s like. I almost pity them to have that outlook on life and the happiness of the person they apparently love should something happen to them. Which reality check: either you or your partner will end up in this position at some point unless you (very unlikely) have some kind of joint Notebook death.
The thought of others finding it funny made me think though. Was there a time I would have found this to be funny? I certainly couldn’t relate to the humour now but would I have before? Would Mike have related to it? Would I have been one of those people who “liked” it or tagged their partner? Was there truth in it? So much in such a silly, stupid meme.
I guess behind that is the truth that I really don’t know what Mike’s thoughts were. I don’t know if he’d want me to be happy or find love again. It was never something we talked about. We were young(er) and probably immature and a bit selfish and jealous, like so many of these Instagram “likers.” We weren’t thinking he was going to die. Oddly enough, I knew what he wanted in terms of burial but never about life afterwards. So many people have said to me, “he’d want you to be happy and love again” and I always think, “would he really though? How do you know? I really don’t know myself.” Even so, I’ve tried to go with hoping he would want me to be happy. That if he knew the reality of my life after him that he would want what was best for me, even if he might not have thought that way when he was alive. I now know that I would want that for him if I had died instead and I don’t know if I would have thought that before either.
The last line of the meme says “get in this casket NOW” and I do relate to that part. That is what I wanted to do when he died. It wasn’t a joke like in the meme I read. It was where I wanted to be...I wanted to move him over and climb in there with him to be buried. But I couldn’t and I didn’t. I don’t think any of the over 94,000 people who liked that meme would find that very funny.