I am just over three months out. Three short months that sometimes feels like an eternity. At this point in my new life without my husband I have heard many times "you will find someone else" or "you are young and may remarry again" or "there are other fish in the sea, honey" (yes, someone said that).
My husband was not a goldfish!
I tear apart these comments. I look at them front ways, back ways and inside out. I consider the source. I consider that they 'meant well.' I consider that they are looking for ways to comfort me. I consider that they just have my best interests at heart. I consider that they don't know what it's like. I spend a lot of energy dissecting these comments. I have read a popular grief book that says to ignore these comments, that people don't know what to say. So I ignore them and they fester inside me like a wound. We make excuse after excuse after excuse for why these comments are said and for the people that say them. You know what I have to say?
Screw 'em! Those comments are asinine! I have every single right to say something back when a comment like that is made! Is a respectable, philosophical reply so out of order? Why must we, in our grieving state, placate others, nod and smile and say "thank you?" Why? We are grieving for Pete's sake! Others dismiss anything we say or do anyway! We are already being treated like 2 year olds who can't make a decision and have to be told what to do, patted on the head and sent our merry ways.
So my mind starts working and scheming and coming up with replies. Replies to these stupid (albeit mostly well meaning) comments that we are supposed to ignore or take into consideration or smile and say thank you to the person who is supposedly comforting us by saying those comments.
Here is a conversation I so want to have with the next person that says that:
Them: "It's okay, your life will get better and you will find someone new."
Me: (Instead of saying 'thank you'): "Can I ask you a question?"
Me: "Have you lost someone close to you?"
Them: "Well, yes, my grandfather died several years ago."
Me: "So, 3 months later, did people start telling you to find a new grandfather, that there were others out there?"
Them: "Well, no, that's different, it was my grandfather."
Me: "Oh, okay, so you loved your grandfather more than I loved my husband, who was my soul mate?"
Me: "Can you see now why that would not be comforting to say that to me? I know you just have my best interests at heart and as your friend I just wanted to tell you that I don't want to hear that I will find someone else, I want to hear you say that my husband loved me and no one could ever replace him and that you don't understand how I feel, but that you care."
Then I would hug them and say 'thank you.'
I would hope that as a friend they would take my comment into consideration and then THEY will thank ME for my comment, for letting them know, for letting them see a small glimpse of what goes on inside my heart when comments like those are made.
No, my husband was not a goldfish. He was my soul mate. He will never, ever be 'replaced' even if a million, kajillion, bazillion years down the road I do find someone else. My husband will never leave my heart or my soul. He will be in there always. Always and forever, even if death did us part.
I love you Steve. Always have, always will.