A Buffalo Grove widower's cry: Just Let Me Talk
"And they, since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs."
-- Robert Frost "Out, Out"
I know Maggie's death means far more to me and our kids than to anyone else. I know life goes on more quickly for others than for our family right now. I know that. I also know that others are uncomfortable talking to me about Maggie. Perhaps they're afraid of opening healing wounds, or maybe they don't know what to say.
I know I've been guilty of this myself, but it doesn't stop me from feeling the way I do. It doesn't stop me from feeling abandoned when someone doesn't ask me how I'm doing -- or when they do ask, but really hope I don't tell them anything that might make them uncomfortable.
I can see it in their face and in the way their body tenses.
I see people going about their day: shopping, laughing and talking about current events. And I think, "I'm OK with that." Then suddenly I want to grab them by their shoulders, shake them and say, "Hey! Listen to me! Don't you know that Maggie's dead?"
I could be sitting in a restaurant, hearing the laughter and banter from surrounding tables, and I think, "This is normal. People should be enjoying themselves. Their lives should be moving on though mine has stopped." Then, suddenly, I want to stand on a chair and shout, "What's wrong with you people? Don't you know that Maggie's gone? Don't you know what a gift we have all lost? How can you be so indifferent?"
And I don't want to hear: "Time heals all wounds," "Maggie wouldn't want you to feel this way; she'd want you to be happy," "It'll get easier."
I'm aware of that. But I don't feel that right now, and I don't want to feel that right now. I want to miss her. I want to miss her terribly.
And please don't tell me, "You're looking really good" or "You're looking no worse for wear."
Don't tell me that, because I want to yell back, "I'm not feeling good and I'm missing my Maggie every waking minute of every waking hour."
I don't want anyone thinking I've gotten over Maggie's death so quickly. I'm nowhere near getting over it. I will never get over it. I even feel guilty that I may look as if I am getting over it.
How dare they think that I could be doing so well so soon? It's an insult to Maggie. Don't they know that half of who I was has been torn jagged and the me that remains will never be the same?
So, ask me how I'm feeling and let me tell you without seeing that, "Oh, oh, I shouldn't have asked" look in your eyes, or watching you anxiously shift from one foot to the next.
Listen to me and just let me tell you how empty I feel, because I need that so much now. I need it so much that if a total stranger would be sincerely interested in hearing about Maggie and our life together, I would tell that total stranger everything.
THE LAST KISS SERIES
■ Patty & Corey: The Heartbreak.
■ Diana & Joe: A widow's advice: Embrace bereavement, don't avoid it A Straight From the Source story.
■ Janice & Joe A story of someday A Straight From the Source story
■ Janice & Joe Five lessons I've learned so far A Straight From the Source story
■ Patty & Corey: The Love Story.
■ Patricia & Tim: A widow cherishes the memories of her warrior A Straight From the Source story
■ Bill & Marian: A love that lives in dreams A Straight From the Source story
■ Dennis & Maggie: I reread her letters, I played her favorite songs A Straight From the Source story
■ Dennis & Maggie: Just Let Me Talk A Straight From the Source story
■ Patty & Corey: A widow wishes she had asked for one more kiss.
■ Patty & Corey: A widow's mission to sustain her husband's barbershop.
■ Donald & Helen: A widower's essay becomes his daughter's short film A Straight From the Source story
■ Susan & Guy: A widow's guide to dealing with the loss of a spouse A Straight From the Source story
■ Ted & Donna A widower's plan to count his blessing at times of deepest grief A Straight From the Source story
■ Fred & Beverly: Unique and Devastating Loss (by Wifeless) A Straight From the Source story
■ Last Kiss Epilogue: Some widows heal from grief by healing others
■ Ken & Michele: A widower's story of a loving couple's life A Straight From the Source story
For more on the series, please click here.