Last night, I was reading the wonderful article a lot of us have been passing around by the lovely Carole Brody Fleet called The Reality of Remarriage After Widowhood (no really, you should check it out) and loved the phrase she used with her title....Forget-me-never.
I won't try to recap what she so eloquently describes about life and love after losing a spouse. But it did make think about another related topic that seems to also need attention brought to it. It's not just the forgetting of the deceased spouse, but forgetting the widow.
One thing I've come to notice is once I got remarried, not only did people assume that I was free and clear of grief and must not think about Jeremy anymore, but also they I was no longer needing support, encouragement, or friendships for that matter. I watched a lot of relationships dissolve around me perhaps not on purpose, but probably under the assumption that I was now being taken care of. No one asks me about Jeremy anymore. No one calls to check in, offer their help, or invite me out. Most of the time, it's not necessary because I am aware that in some senses things have changed. But every once in awhile, the sting is pretty strong.
Maybe it's an egotistical desire. Never did I want all attention to be brought on me, and it happened in the worst way imaginable. But suddenly, when everyone forgot, I became mysteriously offended. At the heart of hearts, my truest desire is to know that people will never forget my Jer and to know that people understand I will never forget him. But somewhere in the back of my brain, there's a selfish little voice yelling, "Don't forget me either."
Carole said it best. Remarriage does not equal forgetting. In any sense of the word. Don't forget our loved ones.
And don't forget us either.