What Would you do, do you Think?

Your husband dies.  Or your wife.  

But to keep this simple, we’ll say your husband and you, the reader, can change it as needed, as you ponder the following situation...

Anyways, you deal with the death and grief as best you can, going on with your life...and 5 years later, when you think you’re okay, in whatever way that means to you, you see a man who is your husband’s doppelganger and you arrange to meet this person and knowingly (except not, really, because the whole widow thing is an ongoing clusterfuck) begin a relationship with him.

Every so often you call him by your husband’s name but it isn’t a huge deal, even though he corrects you. He has no idea he looks exactly like your dead husband. Your adult daughter freaks out when she meets him but you don’t explain why to him, other than the obvious idea of her being upset that you’re dating again. You take him to a vacation spot you visited with your husband. Indeed, it’s where your husband died. And this new man discovers exactly what’s going on.

That’s the plot line of the movie I just watched on netflix this evening. I found it accidentally. The title is The Face of Love, starring Annette Benning and Ed Harris.

Holy shit. That’s pretty much my review.

My stomach is still lurching after watching it.  Lurching because I recognized myself in AB’s character, in her physical and emotional appearance.  She has that edge to her, even 5 years later.  That edge that says her soul is shattered, even as she engages with life and pretty much appears okay to the world at large. Something about her eyes, the way she carries herself, the energy around her..

She knows what she’s doing, as they go on dates, and kiss, and hit the sheets,even as she wonders what the hell she’s doing. There is an edge of desperation in her, wanting to believe her beloved husband has returned, even as she knows in her heart it isn’t her husband.  But she needs him to be her husband, so she continues the relationship.

The movie made me think about my own reaction if such a thing happened.  I desperately want Chuck back, but if I were to meet a man who looked and acted like him but wasn’t him...I don’t know if I could handle it, and it might just actually drive me over the edge insane, honestly.

I’ve read posts from widow/ers who have dreams of their special someone’s, and their reactions.  For some it’s a comfort, for others it adds to the grief upon waking to the reality.  I’ve never had dreams of Chuck so I truly don’t know what it would mean for me.  

But this movie, this idea of meeting his doppleganger...a true twin in appearance and behavior...I don’t know.  I wish him back with all that I am, and I could see myself wishing it so hard that I’d be willing to blind myself to the reality, but how long could that sustain itself?  We all know the likelihood of such a circumstance happening in real life, but the movie poses an intriguing question, doesn’t it?

Amidst the missing-ness, the loneliness, the grief, the skin starvation...and all else that happens in this widowhood...if your special person seemingly appeared in your life again, even as you knew it wasn’t really him or her....what would you do?

Showing 4 reactions

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  • commented 2016-03-03 14:45:54 -0800
    My husband, life-partner, soul-mate died just over a month ago. I am having a tough time. If I saw Darrin’s doppelganger, I am sure I would freak out. I wouldn’t want someone who was his “double” in looks, it would be too weird, but if I ever find love again, the man will have to have the same kind of respect for me and for women that Darrin had. He would have t have the same kind of intelligence and love for life, but I wouldn’t want that person to look or even BE just like him. I can’t imagine ever finding another person to love with the same soul-encompassing love that I had (still have) for Darrin. This is hard. I hate being a widow. I write about it, but writing won’t bring him back. I would hate to see his double, and know that it wasn’t him. All I want right now IS him. How do you do it? how do you make it through this thing called widowhood?
  • commented 2016-03-02 14:26:20 -0800
    If he looked like my Travis and was even half as wonderful as he, I would love to get to know him and him get to know me….after all, that is the type of man I am attracted to….oh God test me…go ahead and test me!!!!
  • commented 2016-02-24 21:21:43 -0800
    I have not seen the movie. I did start to watch the movie Chances Are about a husband who dies and comes back as a younger man & meets his wife/widow. I couldn’t handle it and stopped watching. I have been a widow for 19 months, I am afraid that the shock of seeing my husbands “twin” would send me into a fall that I would probably not recover from. He might look like him but no one has my husband’s personality or passion. Despite the looks, I would know in my heart that it was not my Richie…like they say “you can’t go back”💔
  • commented 2016-02-24 16:12:07 -0800
    I saw that movie a week or so ago, too. I understand the draw, but I’m afraid that the reality would kick in before I went too far. Looks aren’t everything, they’re only a small part of who each person is. But then again, if my husbands’ twin was in front me in this moment, I’m sure I would embrace him, and want what once was, because this life certainly sucks.