Friday, April 20, 2012

The Crazies are Normal

Last Friday I attended a wedding.  It was quite the picturesque spring evening affair: the weather was Austin, Texas-perfect, the bride was Texas-stunning, and the decor was spot-on.  Seeing the bride and groom exchange promises while holding hands and crying was truly heart warming.  But part of me wanted to grab them both by the shoulders and scream “No, REALLY!  Do you understand the commitments you are making?  These words you are saying MEAN SOMETHING!”  But that would have blown the mood all to hell.  And who needs to be known as the crazy widower who shows up at weddings and yells at the bride and groom? So I didn’t.

Being a widower has made me crazy in unexpected ways.  For one, I don’t really worry like normal people worry anymore.  Things that used to be a big deal (and still are to most sane people) don’t even hit my radar.  My perspective has changed. I know what a bad day REALLY looks like now and, frankly, no amount of spilt milk, flat tires, or cat puke is going to come close.   Hell, it’s unlikely that even if the car or the cat caught on fire I’d be that affected.

But life is balance.   So while many things don’t bother me, the most ridiculous things do, like hearing the words “in sickness and in health” repeated just because the minister said, “repeat after me.”  That bothered me quite a bit.  But I truly hope that the worst test of that statement the bride and groom ever celebrate is over cute winter sniffles.

I think most of my friends would understand my crazy, but there’s only so far they can walk down this path with me; they are just visitors.  Fortunately, there’s another group of friends I’ve come to know.  It’s a group of folks I’ve met since I’ve been writing for Widow’s Voice.  I met many of them last year for the first time at Camp Widow.  And this year, here at Camp Widow East, I am overjoyed to see them again for this short weekend.  They really, truly understand what those marriage commitments mean.  They understand the crazy that follows the crash.  Every single person here will take my crazy, and add to it a little bit of their own.  They’ve lived through the worst, like me, and have come out the other side changed.

It’s so nice to be here back in the asylum.


  1. Chris, I couldn't have said it better! You really hit home. How true that those stupid things like car trouble or a misbehaving washing machine are so meaningless. Yet, I too, feel like a crazy person because tears come when I hear those words "husband" and "wife"..... someone I had and someone I was.

    But I am blessed to have the "other" group of friends that so get it!

    Hope all those attending the WC will find peace and some healing surrounded by their new family!

  2. OH is amazing what I take with a grain of salt vs. what makes me crawl into a shell and want to die. Fire in the front yard at 3AM...grain of salt...a bit excited but just exhausted from the required clean up....just biggie. But my girlfreind who has helped me through the worst of times needs me to be there for her for a surgery because she has a grapefruit size tumor on her ovary and her CA count is 125. I puked for 4 hours and hid from the world for 3 days. Not my shiniest moment. A week later all is well...everything was benign but wow..what a wierd reaction.

    So I just pick up the pieces and start a new day. Hopeful that I will have normal human reactions to news again oneday. I'm hopeful to get to Camp Widow one day. I have baseball in the spring and football in the fall with two boys in sports so it's hard but I will get there one day!

  3. Chris, you write so beautifully. Loved the post.
    Hugs from one of the inmates.