Thursday, August 2, 2012

Widowland....It's a Small World After All

My last post was about a weekend we spent on a lake.  While there, we met some new friends, Gabby and Blair.  I didn't tell anyone that weekend about Brian, or that I'm a widow.  We've since seen those two again, at a Wine Club gathering at our house, and we got along fabulously.  In fact, they were the first to arrive and the last to leave.  This time, I let them in -- or at least Gabby, anyway -- on the full story of my past, but only because it came out in the most uncanny of ways.

In conversation, we were talking about our families.  Gabby mentioned that she had a brother who had died in the armed forces at a very young age, leaving behind a young wife and child (maybe two makes the details fuzzy).  She spoke of her sister-in-law, who is still very much a part of her family.  She talked about how it took this young woman a long time to get herself together, to heal, to move on, and how her boyfriend is now fully embraced by the family.  She talked about her sister-in-law's boyfriend, and how they have pictures of her brother in their home.

I couldn't help but be struck by the similarities between Gabby's sister-in-law and myself.  Sheldon has become a part of my family, which includes Brian's family.  He has been embraced by us all, and he has embraced Brian as a part of my past, and has welcomed his memory in our home.

I took Gabby back to our bedroom to show her my own wedding photo on the wall, and to tell her about my pre-Sheldon life.  It all resonated with her, and I know she won't see me differently because of this, though she knows that my life and my perspective are different than most.

There really are a lot of people out there who understand grief.  People don't tend to talk about it, or open up, but it's surprising to see how many people relate and empathize.  It feels good to be normal, whether or not that means telling my whole story.  It feels good to know that even when I do share, I am still normal.


  1. Wendy, this may be my favorite post of yours so far. We as humans have such a tremendous capacity to open our hearts. The families you have the great fortune to be a part of have that capacity. It is inspiring. And it is a great reflection of your big heart and wonderful spirit that they are open and willing to do so.


  2. Wendy, I've come to your blog through our comments on Supa Dupa Fresh's blog, and am catching up with your beautiful postings, but I wanted to say, first of all, thanks for your positive comments on Fresh Widow, and second, if I gave you hope, you give me hope too: that I can keep loving my late husband and also maybe someday love someone new who'll love me for who I am and who I've been, if such a creature exists and crosses my path. So thank you!

  3. Oops... the "give you hope" thing was in reference to the other commenter on that blog that didn't think I was a complete idiot for not totally wiping my late husband from my life for the benefit of some future guy. The rest stands, though! :-)