Never Knowing the Right Thing to Say
There are so many jokes that have been written about the impending death of a spouse and the romantic aftermath with the new significant other. For example there's the one where the dyng wife tells her husband to let his next wife drive her sports car and he answers, "No, she doesn't drive a stick shift!" Or, when the dying wife tells her husband to give her golf club to the next Mrs. Wonderful and the responds, "No, she plays left-handed!" You get my drift.
Well the reality of dating in the WW (WIdowed or Widower World) isn't funny at all and can be really complicated. Take the woman who really didn't like their dearly departed at all and weren't sorry to see them go. I remember trying to be sensitive once and saying, "You must have loved him very much." The response, "I couldn't wait for that son of a bitch to die so I could finally begin living." Who would ever have guessed. And, she didn't have to be so mean spiritied. But, I guess she caught him with his hand in the cookies once too often.
Then there was the widow who make her house into a shrine for her high school honey who became the hubby for over 35 years and was now immortalized with literally hundreds of photos scattered strategically around the house. The last straw was when she finally invited me into the marital bedroom only to be greeted by over 30 pairs of the ex's eyes staring at me from those tiny picture frames sitting on the bedside table. OY! I told her I couldn't do it with HIM watching and made her go with me to sleep in her daughter's bedroom. A little kinky. She later removed the photos..It was time for her to move on.
I never asume anything about widows any more and I now dance around the subject like a barefoot native dancing on hot coals until I discover the proper positioning. I eventually find out what I can and can't say, and then proceed from there...but newly minted widows still get a pass from me. They're too weepy and while I understand the problem I know that I don't want to be the solution.
- anonymous in Vail, CO