What is it with the world and widows/widowers are we under special surveillance or something? In the past couple of weeks I have had some inquiries that have made me uncomfortable. One "friend" asked me if there was something different about me , I said: "No, I don't think so" then he asked me: "Are you going out with a married man?" I answered: "I don't know where you got that from but the answer is no." Another supposed friend asked me: "Is there something you want to tell me?" I replied: "No, why?" she replied: "Oh nothing I've just heard some rumors that's all" when pressed further she didn't want to tell me what the rumors were. Bless me, where does all of this stuff come from?
On 19th September it will be three years since Ray died. I have been out on a few lunch dates but nothing serious. I do now go out about once a month with an old school friend, he has been married a few times, he has no intention of having another wife to add to his problems. We drive separate cars to the lunch and at the end of lunch go our separate ways. So far as I know nothing is going to change there. I have another older male friend I meet for morning tea occasionally, same set-up, finish the tea, finish the conversation, go our separate ways. Maybe there is a three year syndrome or something. Maybe at the end of the third year Mr Right is supposed to come along on that white charger and off you ride into the sunset.
In a couple of the organisations I belong to I have recently detected a difference. When couples are present the singles seem to be left out, this seems to apply to the men as well as to the women. I can sit down and someone will move up one chair and say: "I will leave that for whoever you choose to sit next to." I have had that happen twice now. Be assured I am no femme fatale and they have nothing to fear from me. Both Clubs I have belonged to for many years and so known these people for many years also. I wonder what changed?
So, I survived Father's Day with no husband or father present in my life. My younger son rang mid-afternoon on Father's Day and told me about his day, he is separated and his daughter lives with his ex- wife but it was his weekend to have his daughter so she came on the phone and talked to her Granny. I was pleased to hear the happiness in his voice. I survived Ray's birthday (8th) kept myself busy all day and came home to find a message from my daughter telling me she was thinking of me and hoped I had managed to get through the day. So two out of three of my children are mindful of the pain of loss I still feel.
And I do still feel the loss, especially around those special anniversary days. Those days are still very hard to get through alone. With my children so scattered I am lucky to receive a message or a phone call but just the fact that they reach out is a blessing. Of course I am slowly rebuilding my life, doing new things, enjoying meeting up with old friends and hopefully making some new friends but it still feels like it is my old life slightly patched over, as yet there is no new life for me. Maybe I will have to move from what has been my home for 46 years to be able to feel that life is new.
So I find as a widow I have to be very careful. I know there will be people who think I am on a man hunt, some who will think I am after their husbands, some who will just wonder if they need to be wary of me but maybe that happens to all widows and widowers to a certain extent and not just to me. Do some of your friends not invite you to special events now where once you would always have been included? Yes, that is happening to me too. Surely we don't need to invite just other couples so there will be an even number of people? You would think not anyway.
So is it just Australia or are singles under surveillance all over the world to make sure they are not encroaching on a couples world? Or is just me and some form of paranoia? I sincerely hope not. This is supposed to be a year when I get back into mainstream life, put the past behind me and get over it, isn't it? This is my year to make a big comeback into society. I wonder why no-one has thought of having special events for widows to celebrate this? The invitation would read "Mrs X is officially out of black now." Not that widows wear black any more, maybe it would be better if we did, then at least we would look different as well as feel different. And widowers, does some of this apply to you too?