Sunday, October 05, 2008

walking...staggering...public service announcement

I went to an annual women's event in town with Marnie and a bunch of other girlfriends. Last year, Jeff was home. He stayed with the kids while I went out, drank too much and came home with silly stories. He thought it was hilarious and teased me mercilessly (I rarely drink and I go out in the evenings even less than that).

This year, I decided to go again. I was nervous because I feel, at times, that my new widow-status stands out like a sore thumb and makes me the person that people are uncomfortable around. The very strange thing was that when I sat down, I realized that I was seated beside a woman in an extremely similar position. It was wonderful to have someone who knew what this shit we now live is like. I look at her and see the sadness and loneliness mirrored back at me. But I also see strength....the strength that I so often feel I lack. I see humour. I see an amazing woman who is still standing despite it all...and I marvel at her.

As last year, we drank a bit more alcohol than we had planned. I am not a fan of overdrinking. I roll my eyes when people proudly tell stories of their drunkeness and think 'Wow! You can swallow!" I'm not proud. But I did have...well, quite a few.

It turns out though that I'm not the sad, widow drunk who talks about her grief. I am the annoying boring drunk who tells everyone to get life insurance. Tell their families that they love them. Don't smoke. Go to the doctor if you don't feel right. Try to keep perspective. That's not to say that I didn't dance my face off. Didn't laugh until I cried tears of hilarity. Didn't have a fabulously crazy night. Because I did. I had an AWESOME time. A stagger home and giggle most of the night time.
I just worry about the poor souls who went home with instructions to love everyone, be safe, calm down, and have more fun....Because life is TOO FUCKING short. Maybe I am a drunken annoying passer-on of unsolicited advice....Do I sound like a 'know-it-all'? Because I really don't think I know it all....or much of anything. I just think I maybe sound like I am....And it must be annoying.....Maybe everyone was as sauced as I was and don't totally remember....or care.....Let's hope.


Marissa said...

i'm so proud of you, jackie! laughter is awesome and does wonderful things for your soul, i'm so glad you were able to get out and laugh, laugh, laugh.

and don't worry about your life insurance drunken ramblings - drunk or sober, they ARE reminders we all need to hear and coming from a real person who really knows, its something we need to listen to.

i've learned so much from you.

Anonymous said...

HI Jackie,

What a hoot! Sounds like you had a great time. I'm glad.


Snickollet said...

Thanks for your comment at my blog.

I'm glad you had such a fun night! Sounds great.

But more importantly, I'm so sorry about your husband's death.

About Me said...

I think you needed to go out and cut loose. Good for you! ;)

Kate said...

Hey, sounds like good advice to me, drunken or not!

Lisa D said...

You know the strength you saw in the woman in a similar position? We all see that strength in you, ok? Maybe you don't see it, but oodles of us do & are proud of you.

Don't worry about your drunken PSA! Sometimes people need reminders on that stuff anyways!

Glad you had a fun night out!

indybarb said...

Wow.....what a great post....again! I love that you met someone close by in a similar situation as yours. It seems in this life what we seek most is to be understood. I am so glad that you met someone who can more fully understand what you are going through and that perhaps you can be mirrors for each other and find peace in the process.

It is also wonderful that even though you are going through such a difficult time, you are finding laughter and joy along the way. I admire you SO much.

Well......signing off for now......

Stranger and stranger friend,


TheSingingBird said...

Jackie I'm so glad you had this day. I have to agree with what indybarb and lisa d wrote above, I've read somewhere that what we see as the best or worst in another person are things(or varied aspects) that sometimes mirror our own strengths and weaknesses, and I believe the strong woman you saw sitting next to you was a wonderful reflection of who you are.

hugs to you♥

leigh in the sav said...

it looks like you had a blast and you deserved it! i am proud of you, too!


Anonymous said...

Oh good for you my friend, I think that is what exactly I would have done too, health, life too short, be fucking grateful you got someone to spat with sometimes and get to make up. That is exactly what I'll be doing at Evan's tourny here pretty quick giving people an ear full.. but they are coming expecting one!

Laughter is medicine in our culture, good medicine you gave yourself. You are stronger than I in that end of the field.

Hugz to you and yours,


Melodie said...

Good for you for going out! That must have been hard along with being fun. I'm proud of you for doing it. These things will eventually become a part of your healing.

I give everyone the same lecture... life insurance, living trust, beneficiaries, etc.

I also implore people to have just a single 10-minute conversation about what you would like to have happen with your body (burial, cremation, scattering, etc.) I am so glad that Greg and I had this conversation, because I would have been haunted by the options in those first few chaotic days when you have to decide so many things that you never prepared for.