Thursday, July 18, 2013

Forget-me-never

source


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.

5 comments:

  1. Very well said!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the link and for the comments.

    I find that it is sometimes difficult to know the difference between people who have moved on, and think I should too, and people who don't want to mention Laura either because of their own feelings or concern about my feelings.

    With silence it is hard to know what is the cause.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Paul. People may feel awkward talking to you about Jeremy, because they don't know how appropriate it is to bring up your dead husband now that you have a new husband. They may think you've tried to put all that pain behind you, and that they certainly don't want to be the ones to dig it up again. I have not remarried, have not even started dating, yet people - even those very close to me - have expressed concern that if they mention my dead husband they'll be reminding me of my loss. As if we are not thinking about our missing spouse all the time! All I can do is laugh and tell them I love to talk about him - because I do.
    This may be one of those times when you just have to tell people that you still need them, because they are traveling uncharted territory and don't know how to behave. I try to think of it as educating those who are still innocent of these inevitable life experiences, and I've found that people usually respond positively, or even with gratitude. Don't miss your friends in silence! You have been through enough already. I am hopeful that you will find they are glad to know they still have a role in your life.


    ReplyDelete
  4. I have not remarried, but I had to be the one to bring up my late husband before others felt comfortable talking about him in front of me and I had to do this a lot, before they would! It has been 4 year and it is only now that others will mention him with out my doing so first.Also, other people move on and you learn to live with it. I too have found that I have to be the one making the plans to get together, because they are off living their lives as normal with their spouses. It is not fair, because often you have so much more to do, because you are by yourself, but people do not think about this! And unfortunately that is just the way it is. I will admit I am sure being remarried does make the situation more complex. but understand that even those who are not remarried soon lose the support that others showed in the beginning! I wish I could tell you that if she speak to them that they will get it, but they won't! Sometimes we just have to suck it up and do what we must create the life we want and find our own support network.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You talk about the friendships dissolving around you.... Have you tried to mend thm if there's a link to your former husband?? I don't think ppl intentionally forget or stop asking or offering support. People are busy, life is so fast paced. The fact that you were " strong enough" to get married again probably sends a message of "you've healed" (somewhat) and maybe there's not a perception of "need." It sounds like what you're craving is attention, and again....with a busy household and new husband and family, maybe ppl assume you've got more attention than the average person, how could you be lonely. Your post is somewhat intriguing to me as I am currently helping a friend deal with a loss.

    ReplyDelete