Apology is extended for the lapse in time in posting to this blog.
Your normal self walks around with striking confidence, a cocky attitude, omnipotent disposition and wham – the earth falls out from under you. A life changing event is truly a “life changing” event. You are shocked. You are afraid. You have now become someone else. The crazy cloud surrounding you makes everything a daze. It is unkind but oddly protective.
Through my walks in life, I hear or know someone who has lost their partner or spouse. If it has never happened to you, and it will, you extend sympathy, condolences and prayers. Your expectation is for the person with affluent loss to bounce back into their own true selves. Everyone else is in their comfortable routine of work, kids, family, hobbies, activities and even the mundane of watching Lockdown at 1:00 am. It is understandable they do not grasp the internal panic the grief-stricken party is experiencing. We are not them or in their moment.
So we walk on eggshells and try to be sensitive to selective subjects. We don’t mention the precious conversational tidbit recently shared with our own spouse. Conscientious effort is made not to even mention a squabble. The lone surviving wife or husband views someone else’s fight as a cherished event they wish they could have had – always wishing for those “few more minutes”.
Extreme turnabout is the oblivious asses asking what you’re going to do with the partner’s personal possessions. It isn’t small talk or an extension to assist. They want the cowboy boots they saw on the back porch or the lace tablecloth that is on the table. It is self-serving and greedy. It is usually someone not in the inner circle with no ties to sentimental journey. Concrete comparison is required to know the genuinely good from the classless bad.
When any of this, from either side, happens to you – keep in mind we are each human. There is no right or wrong. Unless someone has lost multiple spouses to death, they have no experience with what is happening to them. Losing a partner in your twenties may be very different from losing one when they are fifty. Life plans for the survivor instantaneously evaporate. A solitary passage of doing everything for one instead of two.
Please understand a smiling face, a gracious greeting and a brave face may be veiling extreme sadness and grief. Fill their lives with new experiences, fanciful flashes and be open to share a memory or two down the lane when that special door is open.