Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Am Afraid ....

.... because I am starting to realize that not everyone on this path .... "gets it".  Yes, that's a broad term, but I've used it and seen it used hundreds of times amongst widowed people.  Since Jim died I have discovered that when widowed people are together (or writing to one another) many words don't have to spoken.  Most emotions and feelings don't have to be explained.  Most behaviors don't need to be defended.
We "get" each other.

Or so I thought.

But I'm beginning to realize that some don't.
That's neither a negative nor a positive statement.
It's just an observation.
My observation.
I've observed it by some comments that I've read on this blog .... not just comments on my posts, but on everyone's posts.
I've overheard a couple of widows talking a few times.
I've observed it by listening to some things other widows/widowers have said to me.
Heck, I've even heard it from the man in my life, who's also widowed.

I'm not sure if there's a common denominator.
Most people seem to be several years "out".
Some are re-married or have been in a long-term relationship for a while.
I don't know if time or relationships have anything to do with it, or if it's just the personality of the people I've observed.

Please don't t think that I'm saying that I've experienced this from many people, because I haven't.
But I have experienced it.

And it makes me afraid.

Because I don't want to wake up one day and not "get it".
I want to always be able to relate to and feel compassion for people who have lost half of themselves.
I want to be able to feel what they're feeling, as much as I can.
I don't want a widowed person to feel that he/she needs to defend their thoughts, words or feelings to me because I don't understand.
I don't ever want to lose this new part of me.
The part that I gained the minute Jim died.
The part I never had before .... and never wanted to have.
But now that it's in me ..... I want to keep it.

Am I afraid that if I stop "getting it" that will mean that Jim is becoming less and less to me?
But I'm more afraid of not being able to connect with others who need connection.
I'm afraid of not being able to let someone else know that he/she is not crazy, nor are they alone.
I'm afraid of not being able to feel an instant bond with someone .... just because we both happen to have a dead spouse.

But I guess my biggest fear is this:
I'm afraid that Jim's death will have accomplished nothing.
I'm afraid that I will have gone through this hell on earth .... for no purpose.

Which means that I will have lost Jim .... and gained nothing.

And that makes me afraid ....


  1. Hi Janine,

    My husband died 5 months ago after having been in a horrible accident. There was a horrific month hospital stay and then his death. I found this blog a week ago and have been reading every day. At this point I have worked my way backwards through August. I love all the bloggers but I feel like I have the most in common with you. Like Jim, Andrew was my soulmate. We met at 18 and were married at 23. We were together 27 years when he died. Every time I read a blog about your relationship with Jim it reminds me so much of the way I feel about mine with Andrew. Would you considering emailing directly? If you would my email is I'm afraid to Janine but of so many things at this point I don't even know where to start.

  2. Brilliantly seems to me that if you are introspective enough to recognize this fear, then it will be unlikely that you will ever get to a place where you don't "get it" anymore.

  3. My husband has been dead for almost 8 months and I have read your blog and the other blogs daily. All the writers here are my inspiration in dealing with what most days seem the impossible. I certainly can't predict what I will feel like in years to come, but I hope, like you, that I will also continue to "get it". You lost Jim but we gained you. Thank you for your wonderful post.

  4. If we believe the Lord does everything for a reason, well then none of our Loved ones died in vain. I have since remarried. And we have a loving relationship. But I still get it and always will and it's been 34 years now since my wife was killed. Her death has turned me into a better person I know that and believe it with all my heart. My heart aches for each and everyone one of you because I still get it and always will till the day I die.

  5. I am truly sorry for everyone's loss, And so Janine I think you will find in time that you will always get it. And also that Jim didn't die in vain.

  6. Janine, I think that you will always get it. I think that like everything else people are different and deal with death in different ways. I lost my husand a year ago, and my oldest daughter I do not get, she expresses no sorrow for the loss of her dad. For her I think she does this to avoid dealing with her true feelings. I think some people have to deal with it in a different way almost deny their feelings in order to move on. But most of us choose to express them. Like you my husbands memory will always have a place in my heart! I know this, because I lost my mom at 22, 24years ago. I still miss her dearly!

  7. I see the loss of my husband a little differently. I do not believe God "does everything for a reason". We all have free will and catastrophic events will result from people's choices. I do not for one second believe God wanted my husband ripped from this life leaving my daughter and I without him. The person driving the car that killed Greg chose to drive unwisely, ran a red light and took a life. I used to think everything happened for a reason, but now I think it is a naive cliche. Suffering is a mystery.
    Another thing I've learned is kids grieve differently. They have to get on with the business of growing up. They put away the pain and loss and take it out in little bits now and then as they can handle it. I try to face it full on; my teenage daughter does it in tiny pieces as she gets on with her life. It is really, really hard.

  8. Patti,
    I'm with you. I don't believe that God took Jim for a "reason" or that it's what God wanted. He died because his aorta ripped. That was it. No great purpose behind it. It's part of life.
    But I do believe that I can make something good out of the experience. At least I want to. That's what I meant about not want to have lost Jim .... and gained nothing.

  9. If that's true, why didn't God stop the drunk driver from hitting my wife, the gear shift on the floor ripping into her spleen, lung, liver,
    I have to believe he did that for a reason. I justify it by saying I was and alcholic t in a car accident. he events in my life after her death made me a better person. What if I would not have quit drinking would I have killed a whole family, who knows. Right after she died I was so angry with God because he took her away from me and our daughters and I loving God wouldn't do that. So I have to believe he allowed her to die so she could be with him, and I would turn out to be better person, and in the end closer to him

  10. It has been my sincerest hope since my husband's death that we will be able to love more deeply because we have lost such great love. I would be so disappointed if our love (mine with my husband) was cheapened because I'd lost my compassion. There are moments though when I feel like I do want to throw it all away - just for one more minute with him...but I know in and through my being that I will never choose that. Hope for me is feeling and remembering the depth of my pain so I will always feel the depth that love has to offer me.