Sunday, August 15, 2010

my four cents

Who knew that my last post (and maybe a few others) would have touched a nerve for some? I do feel that all of us have the right to our various views and opinions.....Hell, the world would be a remarkably boring place if we all believed in and supported the same ideas! I do, however, want to clarify some issues here...just for my own comfort.

Not that it matters much, but the 'anchor tattoo man' in the last post did NOT have an anchor tattoo. He was throwing out a bunch of cheesy and extremely obscene pick-up lines, aside from the comment that I chose to post, that did not sit well with me.....and I can expect would not good over well with any self-respecting woman. I suppose I was in error for not either including this information or for writing about the encounter in the post.

Yes, I have posted before about issues that now annoy me (that would not have bothered me 'pre-widowhood'). I suppose I must not articulate myself well if I am suggesting that I have a problem with people making queries or comments about my husband. Although it does ocassionally sadden me with the already frequent reminder of losing Jeff, I merely find it interesting to witness just how society assumes all of us have the same family dynamic. I am not excluding myself from this observation, either. In fact, just today while asking a patient's father for the name of a child's mother for in the chart, I thought for a moment, "That came out so easily. What if the mother doesn't live with the child? What if the mother is deceased? What if the mother is estranged?....How could I have worded that differently?"

Sometimes I do laugh, I suppose at the expense of another's discomfort, for being honest about my status as 'widow'. If someone inquires about or mentions my husband, is it more polite to lie and imply that he is still alive? Or should I sugarcoat it and use terms such as "passed away" or "no longer with us"? I find it humourous solely for the purpose of the observation of reaction. An anthropology study of sorts.

Why should I feel embarassed or apologetic for another person's discomfort of death? That is their belief system. However, I no longer shy away from the subject as I once did. It doesn't mean I'm correct in my dealings with death; it just means that I have stopped fearing it. Death will happen to all of us....not if but when. People just don't like to talk about it. It wasn't so long ago that our culture would whisper various ailments or details of a loved one's death during discussion for fear of 'catching' it or bringing bad juju to their family. I feel that the use of watered down statements about death and dying are an offshoot of this superstition.

As for the differences between divorce and widowhood, I feel that I am free to have this opinion as one who has been widowed. Nope, I've never been divorced. I do not know all the pain and discomfort this very unfortunate circumstance must hold firsthand. I can imagine it is truly awful, as I believe I stated in that post. I do still feel that both tragedies are unique unto themselves.

On one hand I think that we (as in me too) are all too sensitive to perceived injustices and need to just get on with our lives and just fucking live it. But as this is my blog and a place that I muse and mull over my life and its' happenings, I write about issues that have hurt/affected me/given me pause for thought. I do not claim to be right. I just claim to be sorting through my life as I learn. As all of us, I am a work in progress.

I am certainly not proposing that I have it worse or better than anyone else. Although my husband had, I have not lost a child. I do not have cancer. Although bitterly divorced, my parents are still alive. I manage to keep food on the table. I get to dip my toes in the ocean whenever I so please. As such, I do not write about living landlocked, grossly poor, ill and grieving a child without any parental assistance. I write about being a widowed mom to two little ones while trying to do what is best for us as a small family and the thoughts that I have as I travel along this adventure. Yup, I write about widowhood a lot. You know why? Because hoping my husband somehow has an eye on us from afar and missing his laughter takes up a good portion of my thoughts. I suppose that if you were wearing similar shoes, you would have similar thoughts. I can only assume from your comment veiled behind hidden or anonymous profiles that you do not. I may be wrong. As I said before, I do not claim to be 'right' either. I also have never claimed that my pain is 'any more real' than anyone elses.

I am sorry that my thoughts seem to have raised some issues for you. I am going to encourage you, if you feel my thoughts are 'ignorant' or 'rude', please do not read my blog any longer. I do not want to upset you. But I do want to continue to write as I feel that it helps me to process MY pain (and I am not going to apologize for finding the loss of my husband painful). I am also going to remind you to read the disclaimer on the right-hand side of this page.

P.S. I don't think you really do 'get' the widow humour......


megan said...


Jan said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Bravo sista!

(just as at the bar with that jackass, you don't need my back up here either. . . .=)


Poppy and Mei said...

What ever gets you through, sista, whatever gets you through...XXxx.

Cadi said...

I'm divorced & an unmarried widow. It is two pairs of shoes. In fact, I used to be a military wife & I had to "do it all on my own" oodles of times & make it through lengthy deployments.

It's NOT the same.
It's NOT even comparable.
And that IS MY opinion.

I once had someone say to me in regards to Brent's death, "I know exactly how you feel. I'm going through it, too. My husband is on a business trip for three days & I'm all on my own, too."

Ughhh. Really, huh?

Nope, NOT the same.

Cadi said...

P.S. Thanks for your comment on my blog. The days leading up to the birth aren't easy. I miss him so much. I want him to hold my belly. We joked a lot. He was a big guy. I know he would have made some comment about my "bowling ball." I never had the "right" answer to his humor. I always wanted to score "back," but he was just better at it. ;-) This time I know the perfect answer. Alas, no fun. He's not here. I would have told him something along the lines of, "Well, yeah. bowling ball. My belly is bigger than yours now, but at least I'll get to push it out through my vagina soon... Too bad you can't do that with yours..."

Having a mother who is convinced I should have had an abortion under these circumstances; who told me today to "grow up..." certainly isn't helping.

Thanks, again. :-)

Anonymous said...

This is your space, and as such I think you have the right to discuss whatever you want to here, in whatever way you choose. As you said, it's up to any individual to choose to read or not.

I know that some blog comments can really sting. I've had a few myself. But I hope that you remember that this is only one person out of many. Only one, and probably not the sort of person you would really get along with in real life anyways.

Ashley Tinius said...

Jackie...keep writing what you feel. Don't let other people dictate what you put on your blog. If they don't like it, they don't have to read it. I enjoy reading your words because of your brutal honesty. I myself am guilty of censoring myself on my blog because I know certain people are reading it, and now I don't really want to write because I don't feel as if I can be completely honest. Not fun...

Anonymous said...

This is YOUR blog, you write what YOU want. I love reading your blog, it makes me laugh, it makes me cry but I love to read it. Please keep it up!! I am also a widow and mother of two young girls and find it refreshing and comforting to see another woman doing the same things I am. Keep it up!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello! You were at a conference for WIDOWS -- your come-back was hysterical! Intent is everything and it certainly wasn't your intention to hurt the guy's feelings and frankly, if he wasn't an insecure ass, he would have laughed right along with you. As for the commentors that think you are rude, I think they need to get the sticks out of their asses!


Victoria said...

I am often amazed when I hear how critical some are in their comments on posts, either yours or other peoples. Honestly, if someone says something I don't like or don't agree with, I say nothing. That doesn't say anything particular about me, I don't think, but why would I want to pick a fight or try and hurt someone I don't know? I hate hearing the crappy comments and feedback you get - I say pee off everyone, what's that saying - this is J's space, if you haven't got anything nice to say, go away.

Anonymous said...

Definitely keep posting YOUR thoughts. If people don't get it, well, that is their problem.

I am not a widow and found your previous post funny. I snorted at your comment to the guy in the bar.

My husband and I lost our baby in the third trimester and eventually found ourselves cracking jokes that others found totally inappropriate. It seemed to make them uncomfortable. We found it helped us deal with the grief. It certainly didn't mean we loved our child less or didn't appreciate the magnitude of what happened. Luckily we understood why it was funny, just like I imagine your widow friends understood your humor. I got really tired of everyone thinking I should be devastated every second. That just isn't realistic.

Anyway, I enjoy reading your blog and appreciate your honesty. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Anonymous said...

You help me LOVE and CHERISH my life. Death is inevitable and rather severe in it's completeness. Your blog points that out to me time and again. I'm guessing that when your other half is dead you gain intimacy with death..., oh golly, it's freaky and setimental and halarious too. But thank you for every ounce of your sharing.