How about something a little light hearted? Instead of writing morosely and trying to explain metaphors, I’ll look around the room and just take stock of where I am, nearing 4 years since Megan’s death? I don’t feel like “finding meaning” today. Not every day has to have “meaning” when it comes to widowerhood.
Sometimes, funny things happen irrespective of our widowship (is that a word?). Sometimes, I just like to sit back and observe, and point out coincidences instead of “signs”. Sometimes, I just want to sarcastically write about funny things I notice, will no ill-intent, in the hopes that I can make someone smile, or perhaps even laugh.
Sometimes, the world doesn’t revolve around the fact Megan is dead.
This sentiment doesn’t come from Megan...it’s something we shared mutually long before we ever met, as do Sarah and I. It’s a “sick” sense of dark, sarcastic humor...kind of a screw-it-all coping mechanism for stress. I mean, if anyone could laugh about becoming a dead person, it was Megan, but I’d be remiss if I hadn’t made a few jokes about having myself buried in the backyard to act as fertilizer.
So I guess my observation is that it hasn’t changed. Sure, there was a pretty shitty time (that should be a song name) right after her death where it might have felt a little insensitive to make those kinds of jokes, but it quickly passed. Artificially suppressing any kind of dark humor about it would have been a big damned lie to both Megan and I. Her justification for being cremated was so she couldn’t come back as a zombie and kill us. Seriously. There was no frilly sentimentality of “so you can take me with you always” or “to spread my remains in a beautiful place” (I mean, we did toss like, a dixie cup full of her in the Atlantic Ocean, but that was all she requested). She had already went through the five stages of grief LONG before she died, and had come out on the other side of it ready to just accept it.
That helped me. Her attitude rubbed off on me pretty well, and I was able to, I guess, accelerate the worst parts of the process, as I had already been dealing with it for months...scratch that...years before her death. I kind of got a jump start on the whole “death sucks” thing...lucky?
But, I digress. Yes it sucked that my wife died. It sucked that she was sick for so long. It REALLY sucked that she got a lung transplant and good health for only a couple of years, only to have it taken away in a season, but this post isn’t about her. I’ve been writing here for over three years...people kind of know the story, or at least can research it if they so choose.
I really do want to point out some of the things that “just so happen”, rather than “are a sign”. I want to people-watch and make sarcastic comments, because it’s fun sometimes, and if I get so much as a smirk out of someone as they read this, I’ll have done my job. So, this is to the other writers here. Some of you I’ve met at Camp Widow (and even hosted in my home), some of you are so new that I’ll have to apologize later. Rest assured that it’s all in jest. Remember, I “get it” too, and should we all ever get the chance to sit around at camp and BS, I will gladly take my licks...because this widowed community of ours thrives on it...the breaking of balls. In the vein of some of the stupidity we hear from others “out of the know”, I will snarkily make the following statements.
First of all, there are too many damned “Mikes” being thrown around this place. Staci, Olivia, you will have to find a different name to use. Sorry, I was first, and frankly, it confuses me to read your posts, because I don’t remember any of those things happening. I feel like I’m being stalked. You may use an “M”, but it would be much more helpful if you used something like “pookie bear” or “fluffle tummy” to identify your late husbands.
Sarah, you may use my full name, but please place it in ALL CAPS so that I may better identify myself in your writing.
Secondly, Alison, you will have to stop travelling. Sorry, but envy is one of the seven deadly sins, and I am envious of you. Thus, you are making me a sinner. Is that what you want? You want me to sin? You’re so insensitive. You asked earlier this month, where your loved one may be, and Chuck is right there with you, travelling and making me sin.
Third...Bryan. Not only are you the only other widower writing here, but you have also taken the “long-term illness” topic. Please reconsider this. I dunno, research time travel or something. I am considering a trademark infringement proceeding (or is it copyright?). Not only that, but you are in a much more recent space, so you have much, much more to write about, and you’re making me look bad. I would like to request that you get over it and be happy as soon as yesterday. Please do so BEFORE we would meet in-person, so that this unfortunate coincidence isn’t hanging over our heads.
Fourth, Kelley. Don’t you think it’s time you stopped being so prolific and moved on? Stop writing books and doing Ted talks. You’re not allowed to be sad anymore, as the statute of limitations has run out. You now have a new person now, so it is completely irresponsible to think about Don. As a way to ease you into this transition (that should have taken place years ago, frankly), I am proposing that the title of your comedy presentation be changed from “My Husband is not a Rainbow” to “Everything is Awesome: The Story of Kelley Lynn”
Also, I would like an autographed copy of your book, but every instance of the word “Don” should be redacted.
Fifth, Sarah. I have to live with you, so I’m gonna keep my mouth shut.
Finally, Michele. How DARE you, ma’am! You have brought thousands of widows together over the years. You’ve formed a veritable battalion of men and women that have lost loved ones, and you have yet to create the halfway-house for widows that has been SO requested. Seriously, every single camp I attend it is suggested that a big commune be built somewhere for all of the widows and widowers to live in, and you’re dragging your feet. You’ve also re-married, which you’re not supposed to do. As the Executive Director and Founder of Soaring Spirits, I expect more.
Seriously, folks, one of the best things about our community is that I can write (or say, in person) the above, and know that the person it’s directed at “gets it” in their own way. We're not fragile, we're not broken. We've all shared in a form of the same experience, with different circumstances. It DOES suck, but it sucks for all of us. It sucks to welcome a new member to the club, but at the same time, they are welcomed nonetheless. Joking and good-natured ribbing are part of the initiation for some.