This Lonely Life of Mine

Being a widow is a lonely life. I’m sure some are wondering why I’m writing this, but I’ll tell you the truth and only the truth as I see it. Ever since Robb died in Iraq my life has become very lonely. I’m home most nights by myself. I rarely go out and when I do go out I’m by myself. On Tuesday afternoon I went to Barnes and Noble by myself to pick up a book that just came out. I hung out there as long as I could, but eventually I had to come home. Today I took the laptop to the Geek Squad to get it fixed, then I went and picked up lunch at a Philly steak place. Now the last two days I forced myself out the door, which it seems to have become the norm for me lately. Before Robb died I was always doing something with someone. What happened?

I think being a widow causes people to not want to talk to you for fear that they will say something that will remind me of Robb. Well, hell I do that all on my own anyway, so it’s not a biggie with me. I think people just don’t know how to talk to me anymore. They don’t know what to say for fear they might offend me or I them. They don’t want to take a look into my life as it is now knowing what my life was like before. I think it’s hard for them to do that. When Robb was alive we did stuff with other couples all the time. Now, my phone only rings when my daughter calls, my brother calls, or a telemarketing company calls. I think that a lot of women see me as who they don’t want to be, meaning the widow. There’s a connotation with the word “widow” and it’s not a good one either. When I really think about the word “widow” I think of something dark and kinda creepy. I don’t see happiness, joy, hope, or anything pleasant and that tells me most others see the same as I do. Now I must admit when I look at it that way, I wouldn’t want to spend time with me either, just because the word isn’t something we assign a good meaning to it. That’s sad I think. It would be so nice to have friends that would actually call me and say, “hey lets go to a movie, or go for a cup of coffee.” and yet that doesn’t happen.

I have discovered that this happens to other widows as well. But it still boggles my mind. Why do we do this? Why is being a widow so terrible that we don’t reach out and bring them into our group. At church I wanted to be in a small group, and after I signed up I never received a call. I’m not sure what happened, and I like to think there was a mistake along the way, but no one ever called and said you’re in our group. So after a while (like 2 years or so) I asked a couple of group leaders if I could be in their group, and I was told they needed to check with the group to be fair. I said OK and now I’m in a small group. I’m still not sure why widows are treated like the plague, but that’s how I’ve been treated. This whole death thing is weird anyway, and yet being a widow makes the death thing seem like a much better situation to be in. (not that I’m going to do anything like off myself, I’m way to chicken to do that.)

As American’s I think we view the whole death thing really oddly. Death isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and yet so many of us put such a dark gloomy cloud around it no one wants to even discuss it. Death shouldn’t be feared, well I don’t think it should. I know Robb didn’t fear it. He said so time after time again, “when it’s your time it’s time, there’s nothing you can do about it.” He is right too.

I don’t have any answers yet to my many questions, but rest assured I’m looking for the answers and when I have them I’ll pass them along.

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One thought on “This Lonely Life of Mine

  1. You’re not a widow, you’re a window.
    You’re many other nouns as well; people, places, things. Don’t worry, your nouns will assert themselves and find sentences to hang out in.

    You’ve got a great perception about how we view death, too. My mother went to church somewhat regularly, but my father wouldn’t go with her and eventually my sister and I stopped as well (once doubt set in). Mom wasn’t ostracized per se, but she was definitely seen as less of a person, in church social politics. It was similar to being a widow… she didn’t fit the model, she was odd, she was different. People were polite but conversations were short.

    Eventually she joined a “small group” too… the committee to reach out to members who hadn’t been seen in the pews in a while.

    She got sicker and sicker but said nothing, and finally was unable to go to church. We heard nothing from the church, including from the committee. They hadn’t noticed she was missing until we contacted them for a memorial ceremony. It had been about eight months since she’d last been there.

    Assert those nouns, kiddo.

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