Monday, December 21, 2009

My Troubles

Today I found myself having lunch with some old coworkers.
Afterwards, I wandered the halls and tried to bump into other former cohorts.
I found a few.
It is always nice to see old familiar faces.
Nice to have some old hugs from people who knew me from before.

The one physician, Dr. B, I used to work with is a really nice guy.
I did not appreciate him before.
We are generations apart.
And honestly, he annoyed me.

But, unfortunately/fortunately we have something in common.
Five years ago, his son died in a small plane crash.
He was twenty-nine.
He had only been married ten months.
He was full of life.

At Roger's funeral, I greeted each attendee with a hug.
And my tears just overflowed.
Dr. B quietly handed me his blue handkerchief.
I could tell he was deeply sad for me.
He understood slightly.
I could tell he did not want me to feel this pain.
To share this kind of grief.

A few months later, when I received the autopsy report, it was late in the evening.
I needed someone, specifically a doctor.
Dr. B helped me.
He helped me decode all the medical terminology.
What it really meant.
What it meant in real life.
To me.

Today, as I traversed the halls, I wanted to say hello to him.
It is always nice to talk to someone who gets it.
Even if it is slightly different point of view than mine, we understand each other in some ways.

He said a few things today that resonated with me.
After Roger and I were married, I felt different.
Like I had a completely dedicated team member.
But Dr. B phrased it even better than me.
He simply said, "When you are married, your joy is doubled and your troubles are halved."
That is exactly it.
And boy how my troubles are not halved...

Then he talked about how for a young widow it is hard to start to move forward.
But he mentioned how widows have an opportunity to love again.
A different love. A new love.
But parents do not.
They do not get a second chance to have another son or daughter.
And neither do siblings.
It is different for them.
And he warned me about how it will go when Mr. X meets Roger's family.
How it will be hard for all.
How it may never be comfortable for everyone.

But, he always talked about how he desires such happiness for his daughter-in-law (and he still refers to her as that).
He has met some of her boyfriends and even her (ex) fiance.
He still talks to her and she is still part of his family.
Even five years later.
That gave me joy and hope.

Dr. B was happy for me.
He was truly happy for me.
And interestingly enough, a man I did not like very much when I first met him understands me.
And my troubles.


Sonja said...

I hope you don't mind if I use the quote by Dr. B. That is so true and explains a lot. Hope you're able to enjoy your Christmas.

Mars Girl said...

I agree that that is a wonderful quote by Dr. B!! That's exactly what marriage was like.

I'm really having a rough time missing my husband right now. Ack. It all started with watching the wedding video... But it's probably also the holidays. I always miss him during the holidays. The holidays are most fun when you've got someone to love and share them with.

Crash Course Widow said...

"But he mentioned how widows have an opportunity to love again. A different love. A new love. But parents do not."

You know, this sentiment is one of the things that piss me off the most in widowhood. I got it a few times in the earliest weeks and months, that I could find love again, have a new future, blah blah blah, but Charley's parents and sister could never replace the son and brother they lost. I was too stunned and numb, then, to realize that I was being told that my loss was not as severe, as deep, and as striking as theirs. Except *I* was the one who planned every single day around him, whose every future depended solely on him. My life changed in every single minute facet because he died, yet theirs largely did not. They still had their futures, their plans, most of their dreams. I had none of it.

I hate the double standard that you can miss your dead parent/sibling/child for as long as you live and nobody bats an eye, but a dead spouse? Those we're supposed to "get over" and "move on" and, eventually, "find love again." Except it still doesn't change that someone we loved--in a way totally separate from blood relatives--is still dead and gone, it wasn't our choice, and we always want them back.

It's only finally been in the last 2 years or so that the comparison "which loss is greater" bandying doesn't piss me off QUITE as much as it used to. But it still hits a sensitive spot, obviously. I will fully grant that they're all different versions of intense loss, but I'm sorry--being able to (having to?) find love again doesn't make it any easier or better.

My two cents.

Though I will add, too, that when I saw you post the quote on FB before Xmas that my sarcastic widow sense of humor wondered what the Widow Version of the doc's quote might be. "When you're widowed, your joy is quartered and your troubles are...what? Exponential?"

But it's not nearly so catchy, huh? ;o)

Hugs, my friend. xoxo