Saturday, May 10, 2014

More Mowing Musings: A Life Divided

Dear John,
 
I mowed today. The good thing about mowing is that it gives you lots of time to think. The bad thing about mowing is that it gives you lots of time to think.
 
I've been seeing memes on Facebook and Pinterest lately that say that, during rough times, God is in charge and has even better things ahead for you. I agree with the first part - God is in charge. The second part makes me cringe.
 
I suppose it all depends on your understanding of the word "better." I know absolutely that what my future holds is what is necessary for my eternal good. But most people probably understand it to mean that their future will be happy and easy. I'm finally able to look the future in the face and I'm dealing with in as constructively and responsibly as I can. But I do not expect either ease or happiness - the best I hope for is contentment. I expect to mourn for the rest of my life. I'm learning to be content while knowing that the best of all the years have gone by. I will make the best of the future that I have. But I have no high expectations and I do not look forward to it.
 
I'm not depressed or sad - please don't misunderstand me. From what I hear from long-time widows, I'm being normal. While you were here I loved life and looked forward to the future, certain that it would be as wonderful as my past had been. That joy of living has been replaced by stubborn endurance. There will be, and are, things that I enjoy. But I cannot think that I will ever feel that kind of joy in living again.
 
I shouldn't blame the memes. They're written for people at a very different stage of life than this undesirable place were I am, and I'm sure they meet a need. Widowhood is a lonely place - you are so out-of-step with everybody else. There's this gaping chasm between your experience and that of everybody else. You look at life from the other side of the glass. and the other people don't even know that you're on the outside looking in. It's a parallel existence.
 
What makes it livable is knowing you share the experience with almost all of the women who have ever lived. There is a great cloud of witnesses. And our little group is doing it together, and that helps even more. Just don't tell me that, after a while of grieving, life will go on like it did before. Your death split my life into two parts and things will never be like they were before. People who aren't widowed can't understand that; I didn't either until it happened to me. Now I'm on the outside looking in. But I have friends with me, and both of my grandmothers, and all of my great aunts, and your mother and grandmother.
 
So I need to get a grip, stop griping about the memes, and remember that I live in a different world. The next world will be with you. Hurry the day!
 
Adore you,
Joan.

3 comments:

  1. ALL so true...we do have 2 lives. You must be reading my mind.

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  2. The death of a husband is such a huge event, isn't it? Absolutely everything in your life changes. I've never been able to explain that to anybody that hasn't experienced it.

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  3. Unless you have experienced it you can not understand it. You can not explain it really...Lu Davis

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