I am not interested.
It’s one of the paradoxes of grief that you can’t imagine being alone the rest of your life, but you also can not imagine being with anyone else.
How do you go from waiting for your soulmate patiently- swearing faithfulness, fighting through the most difficult times, to thinking about marrying someone else?
And yet this is what is usually expected of a young widow. I hear from others in the “club” that they are told, “You’re young- you’ll marry again…” or “When are you taking off your ring?” My favorite response to that from a fellow widow, “When I feel like I’m not married anymore.”
Everyone wants to “fix” this. No one wants to know, truly know, the pain that I know. I understand this.
I made up rules in my head, to which one of your friends told me online it sounded almost funny: “…probably wear my ring for three years…” He asks me something like if I would ever think about settling for Audrey’s sake or for security…I tell him I’d feel sorry for the guy. It wouldn’t be fair.
I laughed with another young widow over the list of qualifications I’d come up with if it was even possible to consider another man:
a) Must have known Dan because Dan was so unique and will always be so important in my life
b) Must be a widower- to understand the depth of the pain one experiences- anyone who has not been through some kind of trauma/loss seems kind of shallow after this.
c) Must be a lot younger so that I don’t have to suffer through this kind of loss again…once in a lifetime is enough for me, thanks.
See? It’s all quite ridiculous.
Another paradox- I’d love for Audrey to have a father-figure in her life- but can’t imagine that figure not being you. That thought only brings me pain.
We had that conversation- you and I, lying in bed one night- I think the same time we talked about burials and bagpipes…”I’d want you to remarry…” we both said. But we didn’t know you’d die at 33.
Who then, could possibly follow you?
You asked me all the time as I pleaded that we could start trying for a second child, “How could we love another child as much as Audrey? Isn’t she enough?” I told you we had more love- but children are different than husbands. Getting pregnant again after a miscarriage really did help me heal.
Your loss- will not “heal.”
Do I say all this as a defense mechanism because I am an aging single mother and chances are no one will be interested in me anyway? Maybe in part.
I won’t make any vows. I’m at seven months.
I read a quote by Betty White on some widow group on FB the other day- her husband apparently died fairly young and she never remarried, “When you married the best, who cares about the rest…” Succinctly said.
I will say this:
I think I know now why our relationship was always so passionate- in good and bad times…
so many kisses and tears in eleven years…
it had to last a lifetime…
and I believe it will.
I love you Dan Cho.