Thursday, March 1, 2012

the glamourous and lovely world of the widow

photo from here....

I went to the movie store last night to rent a mind-numbing and entertaining movie that would transport me to another existence temporarily. It's not that mine life is so bad or that I'd like to replace it. However, there are times that I seem to missing the "plot' of my own life and seeing the finite moral in a movie is comforting.
After after asking the woman behind the counter for some recommendations, I noticed that there are a fair few movies with either a heart-broken widower in need of love and understanding or a young, hot-bodied widow with a huge life-insurance pay-out as the protagonist. I suppose that they introduce these characters that have lost their spouses as a way to have a character who is hurt but not angry? Or to add a twist to the single status they wear aside from "single because there is a flaw here that does not make for good television"?
The clerk went on to tell me that "P.S. I Love You" was one of her favourite movies of all time. After making a mental note to never ask for recommendations from her again, I launched into, seemingly, 50 million reasons why this movie sucked. Hard.

I told her that in the first stages of grief, you NEVER look good. Your eyes are so swollen from crying you look as if you've been in a prize fight. There is one heck of a lot of snot involved and your hair never falls in romantic waves on your shoulders....more in a tangled rat's nest at the base of your skull.
I told her that although it was a lovely and romantic idea that this woman's husband had written her ten letters, it is highly unlikely that he was able to have the energy or the ability with a terribly invasive brain tumour clogging up his brain.
Also, I've been to Scotland. Yes, it's not Ireland....but they have great whiskey and fabulous accents too. And not every "bloke" in the pubs were charming and good-looking. In fact, a fair amount were missing teeth and had trouble keeping upright on their stools.
In real life, many of us widows/ers are left either without a life insurance policy or a loop-hole which allows the company to forgo payout. The "fortunate" of us who do receive payment are often bogged down with bills, payments or family issues requiring so very much energy and money.
I did love that the movie portrayed a growth and a fearlessness that occurs when you have lost the love of your life. That you shed a piece of yourself that is not necessary and tend to hold onto and rekindle the parts that require nurturing.
Now, looking back over the time I have spend as a young, not-so-hot-bodied widow, I see have truly grown and I can see my own plot....snot and all. But it is not at all glamourous and maybe I am just truly jealous of those last ten messages....


  1. Well ~ maybe you don't want to hear this. But my husband had a stage 4 Glioblastoma - a brain tumour.
    Yes, while it had a huge impact on his personality, his behaviour and his ability to sometimes reason. Despite all of that. He managed to talk about his life, our love, our children and to grieve his dying. AND - a month after he died, I found three notes that he wrote to me on post it notes. He placed them inside my journal in my bedside table. I had no idea. I just about died when I found them and sobbed so hard it was not at all pretty.
    It was an incredible gift and I know what it took for him to do this. Sometimes. . . things do happen. I
    No - not like in the movies.
    My grieving certainly did not look like that! But like you I take from it that I am stronger than I thought I would be. That when you love someone they stay in your heart forever.
    The best movies make you laugh and cry.
    Just like life.

  2. My husband left me messages on his cell phone and had burned some CD's for me which I found two years after his death. He put them in his things, knowing I would find them eventually, if and when I finally would go through them. I have kept his wallet, his notebooks, and other personal things. His most prized possesion was his patent papers that he recieved. I am saving those for my grandson.

    I have his favorite flannel shirt that I put on when I need a hug. I just found that he put something in the pocket for me.

    Yes, God sees that we are comforted and consoled in our own way.

    1. I forgot to children advised me against watching this movie. Just as they with the Bucket List!

  3. I played the part of the snot-nosed, swollen-eyed, rat-haired widow to a tee! Add to that my lack of motivation to wear anything but baggy warm comfort clothes, my persistant frown, the weight loss that resulted in the gaunt, gothic look and yes, I looked like I was ready for Halloween even though it was months away. It would have been great to have a real-life documentary showing how it really is to experience widowhood, especially in the early days. I thought I was losing my mind, that I'd fallin into an abyss and would never get out alive. I thought I was the only one.
    Your post made me smile and made me realize how far I've come. Thanks for bringing me the first smile of the day!

  4. I watch PS I Love you last year as well. Thankfully I was alone as there was a lot of snotty tears involved.

    I too immediately wished that my husband had left some letters or notes to me. He had 6 months but we refused to believe he would die. (He was going to be 'the one' that survived!) But still, I wish that at some point he had taken the time to just write a few words that I could hang onto...

    1. I so get this! We had SO MUCH hope that we also refused to think that he would not make it!

      I actually did sit with him one day and had him dictate a few words to our 2 children. This was done about 3 days before he died. It was extremely difficult to do, but I felt that if something did happen, our children would really want to read his words.

      They cherish that note...I just really wish that I had one as well - it is a tough realization that I just don't get to read one for myself.

  5. My husband refused to believe he wouldn't make it so he never discussed his death or left any notes. However, while he was alive he would leave post-it notes in the kids lunchbox or on their pillow etc telling them how he felt about them. Those are sooo precious now. Somehow a person's handwriting is amazingly emotive.

  6. My husband's brain tumour got him to the point where he couldn't read, and certainly not write. Poor vision, short term memory. And this was all loooong before he would have been bed ridden (he died before getting to that point).

    I, too, wished I could have had letters when I watched the movie. We had planned on making videos for the girls, but never got the chance. Though there aren't 'things' he left behind intentionally for us, I still find pleasure in putting on his coat and finding whatever was in his pockets when last he wore it. Anything with his handwriting on it, as someone else mentioned - is a treasure.

    Oh, and definitely the snot-nosed, sallow-faced grief fest from this widow.