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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another Widows Story continued

Long time between posts. I had my birthday and my anniversary. I celebrated my anniversary with my kids in Palm Desert, a place that Bruce and I enjoyed on many occasion. He loved going away and Palm Desert had all the ingredients for a great getaway. Bruce loved the shopping, the eating out, the desert landscape. I thought of him as I did some of these things and wished for him to be with me again.

But I had great company-my children and their significant others (who I consider as my children as well) are the people that I love spending time with. They are kind, caring, and wildly entertaining. When I am with them, I laugh and truly enjoy life. They are the best part of Bruce and it is so "normalizing" to be with them.

I am missing Bruce a lot these days. Not a boo hoo kind of experience, but a longing for him as I tackle hurdles and issues at work and home. I miss his company in the evening, and his sage advice or comments when I get home from work or get an e-mail that sends me into a tailspin. Bebe tries to be a good listener but unfortunately as a dog, she is more interested in playing ball or chewing her Nylabone.

I finally finished Joyce Carol Oates book: A Widow's Story. It really focuses on the first few months after her husband Ray dies. Interesting how she really separates her personal and professional self. She is both Joyce Smith, widow of Ray Smith and Joyce Carol Oates, the writer and professor. Her grief overwhelms the personal self while the professional self attends lectures and gives talks all over the country. I marvel that she is able to keep some separation even though she is very devastated by her husband's death. And then at the end-she meets a stranger and the book ends. I learned that she re-married 6 months after Ray dies and I think that it is this stranger (who almost literally falls in her lap at a dinner party) who becomes her 2nd husband.

I thought about this a lot. Is it better to fill the void quickly before you get used to being alone? There are many widows and widowers who do this. Many were quick to condemn Joyce Carol Oates for her quick turnaround from grieving widow to blushing bride. But a part of me refuses to condemn this behavior. We need to continue-to find some reason to go on after the devastating loss of our loves. Whatever helps us achieve this end is okay. And-unless you have experienced a loss like this-it is hard to have any perspective. I worry that the more that I get used to being alone-the harder it will be to invest in someone else. Being alone, truly alone is hard. And the idea of being alone for the rest of my life seems to re-fresh my grief. I grieve for the loss now and for the loss of my future with the man I love. I grieve for what I will not get to share with him-the wedding, the grandchildren, the commiserating about our growing old, and the retirement. More on this in the next entry.

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