Widower’s rant. You’ve been warned.


Just read a comic strip that involves a widower. His new love interest said the following words to him: “today was special… Because it was the first time I didn’t see Lisa in your eyes.”. Ok, that did it. Something in me tripped, and I knew I had a rant to write.

So many problems with those thoughts. But let’s go back a bit in the life of a widow, widower, and just about everyone else. If you are not a hermit, there is a good chance that you will meet people who have great influence in your life. Whatever lessons you learn, you keep them close to your heart and mind. These things are important to you and they become part of who you are. To remove them is to remove part of your being.

Now, take the situation of a widow/widower who had a good relationship. (this was the situation of the characters in the comic strip, and my life for what it is worth.). They spent a good many years with on person, and that influence was immense. Then at some point, the relationship is torn apart and the surviving party only has memories to see them through what ever lies ahead.

The relationship, the following period of grief, and everything else that follows becomes part of who you are. But your only connection to your best friend, lover, parent to your children is in the memories you retain. If you believe that the eyes are the windows to the soul than a reflection of your dead spouse remans and is reflected out. It is a part you don’t want to lose.

I guess if I heard those words from someone I felt close to, I would need an explanation. The reflections of my late wife that you may see in my eyes, made me who I am. I am not looking to remove or replace those memories. I’m looking to build new memories. Hopefully the new memories will build on and add to the old memories. The minute I feel that someone is trying to replace my memories is the time I say so long.

What you see in me today is the result of all of my experiences in life. I cannot remove parts of my past and remain the same person I am today. I cannot live life tomorrow without changing who I will be. What you see in me tomorrow, is the result of all I experienced through today.

Rant over.

5 thoughts on “Widower’s rant. You’ve been warned.”

  1. I always admire the perspective and insight you give into the life of a widower mostly because you never seem to be feeling sorry for yourself nor depressed. You have amazingly positive, encouraging, and inspirational things to say, especially given the heaviness of how your heart must feel (always?) when you think or write about being a widower.

  2. DITTO! The eyes are a window to the soul and each and every experience for better or for worse is reflected there. I Good rant and I’m not sure but I think I would be tempted to find a way to comment to the cartoonist.

  3. To be fair, I doubt the cartoonist meant for the character to imply she is trying to remove or replace the lost spouse. But you cannot live wholly in the past, either, and when you are the new person, you can often feel like you are simply repeating what has already been done. Insecurities abound at that point. My experience wasn’t with a lost spouse, but husband already has a daughter, and when I was pregnant I was often afraid that this was not as interesting to him as it was to me, since he had already done it with “her.” Lots of crying and talking later, (I cried, he talked) I was brought to understand that it will always be as interesting to him, because it will always be different. But I imagine it can be the same for a widow/widower, and the character simply meant that she did not feel like he was reliving times with Lisa, but was wholly present with her.
    Just my point of view. You can tell me I’m wrong, if you like. 🙂

  4. Interesting to say the least. The question that comes to mind is this: at what point is a person ready to build upon the memories already established? Dare they leap again? Dare they try to write a new chapter in their life?
    Time heals all. Where memories are at first painful … later make us warm and give us a level of comfort.
    I do hope that some day you will be ready to build upon the memories that are already established and hopefully you will be able to find a partner in life that will appreciate and embrace your past just as you have.
    Great post John 🙂

  5. Little draclet, someday we may have a talk. I won’t say you are wrong, just that you don’t have the same outlook.

    Susan, yes interesting question. I’ve been writing new chapters for years now. As far as building new relationships, well I’ve been open to the idea. I’ve been more interested in making sure my daughters made it to adulthood, and I think I may finally be there.

    I think the desire to enter new relationships depends on how a person reacts to being in one and not being in one. I like the idea of a life partner. I react very well to that type of life. I also react very well to being on my own. I love my solitude. So for me, I’ll take what life throws my way.

    And I’ve said it before, and it deserves repeating. Time does not heal all wounds, it just let’s you adjust to your new situation.

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