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An old friend the other day asked me if I’m going to get married again. The question annoyed the heck out of me. It took years to builds the kind of relationship Don and I had and I’m not interested in getting married again just to have another warm body in the house. But I tried not to let my annoyance show when I answered, “no.” Then he says, “What’s the matter? Once was enough?” I wasn’t sure how to take that question and when I answered I felt like I was speaking the last lines in the movie, Secondhand Lions. I repeated my answer twice with an entirely different inflection the second time. In the movie the sheik’s great-grandson had asked, “These two men from your grandfather's stories, they really lived?” to which the adult Walter (played by John Lucas) answered, “They really lived.” Then a big smile broke on his face and he repeated, "Yeah, they really LIVED.”
What I replied to my friend’s question about once being enough was, “Yes, once was enough.” Then following a pause I said, “Once REALLY was enough.” I doubt my answer adequately expressed how I felt---Lucas got to rehearse his delivery---but I couldn’t help thinking about it on the way home. Do people really think you can replace a 42 year long relationship so easily and be thinking about it when you’re only six months out from your spouse’s passing? Coming from an old friend, the question hurt. It accented the fact that Don was the only person on the face of the earth who truly knew me--how I think, what my values, weaknesses and strengths are. Get married again? No way in hell! Maybe I was being hyper-sensitive. Widows get accused of that all the time but, to me, asking a question like that was akin to asking an amputee if he’s going to get a new arm. I always think of good answers like that hours after it’s too late to deliver them. Now I’m prepared for the next getting-married-again question that comes my way. I will use a reply borrowed from another widow: “I don’t need to get married again; I got it right the first time.” ©
My other blog is here.
My book of my first year of widowhood can be previewed and ordered here.