Friday, April 9, 2010

turning tables

Photo by Mike_Rowe1

I'm sure that every widow/er has done it....Wondered if their spouse would have 'managed' had the tables been turned. Pondered over the differences that their loss would have created rather than their spouse's.
Jeff was known for his laughter...Would it have returned?
Would he still be sleeping with our little ones tucked up in our bed each night, two years after my death?
Would he have fulfilled his physical needs in the arms of another by now?
Would he worry about his abilities as a grieving parent or still feel his trademark confidence?
Would he need to learn to rebuild his definition of himself without the constant reflection I provided him? Or would he just still know?
Would he have gone back to work on the sea, leaving our kiddos in the care of someone else? Or would he devote every second of every day to them?
Would he still feel a palpable hole in his heart where I once resided, years after my passing?
Would he talk about me or shy from voicing the memories?
Would he be coping better than I am?
Would he succeed where I have failed....or fail where I have succeeded?

I will never know how he would have reacted....Just as I could have never know before losing him, how I would fare after his death. But at times, I do wonder.


  1. Jackie, Thank you for this post... I've often wondered the same thing... would Rick be 'surviving' my death... and if so, how?

    I love this line you wrote... "Would he need to learn to rebuild his definition of himself without the constant reflection I provided him?" ... WOW, what a sentence! I am TRYIN' (feels like I'm failin' miserably sometimes) to figure out the "definition of myself" without 'My Rick'... Married for 21 years, I'm finding that VERY hard. Who am I without my husband? Oh God, I want that answer!!!

  2. Jackie, I really like this post. I wonder everyday what Joe would have done if it were me. In some way I feel that I am doing it all wrong compared to what I think he would have done, but then, we'll never know. But I do always say thank goodness it was me and not him because I would never want him to go through this pain for sure.

  3. I am six months out and I wonder this all the time. I have a very young son and wonder if he would have been better of with just his Dad rather than just me.
    I like though the thought that I could never have known what I would do, how I would react if he was gone. That really is something to remember to think puts it in perspective. Thanks.

  4. I think about this a lot, too. Although, in my case, I know some of the answers. My husband suffered from clinical depression, which caused him to take his own life. I *know* he could not have coped with what I'm going through after losing him. If the tables were turned and I had died first, I have little doubt that he would have followed right behind me. And sometimes it makes me angry that he expected me to survive a loss that he couldn't have survived himself.