Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happily Ever After ......


...... is just a line in fairy tales. 
No one knows that better than those of you reading this blog.

But then ...... if we're honest ...... it always was.

Yes, many of us had great marriages.
But none of us had perfect marriages.

Many of us had terrific partners.
But none of us had one who was perfect.

I always found it interesting how suddenly perfect Jim became ...... after he died.
Don't get me wrong, he was a good man and a great husband.
Most of the time.
Those are the four words that people seem to forget ...... "most of the time".

Sometimes it's the widowed who see our loved one through the veil of grief that separates us from our true memories.
But most of the time, at least for me, it was others who suddenly seemed to promote Jim to the level of sainthood ...... or as close to it as a non-Catholic can get. 

In the beginning those comments were comforting.
But after a while they started to get irritating.
And then very irritating.
Because seriously?  Could anyone actually live up to the selective memories that people tend to gain after someone dies?
Not only that, but would anyone actually want to live with someone who was that perfect? I don't know about you,  but I would've found a such a spouse to be a huge pain in the ass.
Plus, it always felt like the closer Jim came to perfection, the further away I drifted. 
And I was nowhere close to it when he was alive.

So maybe I won't be living happily ever after because I'm widowed.
But I'll settle for how I would've lived ...... and how I'll continue to live, with or without a spouse:
Normally ever after.
With happiness stuffed in there as often as possible.


  1. I love this post. So true!

    1. Thanks, Anon. I'm glad you liked it.

  2. The love of my life wasn't perfect, but he was mine and I knew he loved me as much as I loved him. I felt protected and safe with him by my side even with the good and the bad. I don't think any two people can live together as one without issues coming up. After all, we were raised differently and look at life differently. I would give anything to just have the love of my life back especially now that I realize what life is like without him. I love him with all my heart and I will be his wife in life and death forever.

    1. Anon,
      You're right ...... issues did come up. With all of us, I suppose. But we all loved .... and I also suppose, would give anything to have them back. I know I would. But I also know that there's nothing I can do, nothing I can give, that will change what happened. It doesn't take my love away ...... nothing can do that. Ever.
      But I have been able to change my outlook. It took time.
      Quite a bit of time. But I've accepted that it's up to me to keep moving forward and to live life as best as I can, and as fully as I can. For myself ..... and for him.
      I hope that happens for everyone of us on this path.
      In time.

  3. Occasionally I like to think of some of the worst times I was angry at my husband. There's a little bit of comfort in the memory of our "who does more work around the house" arguments or "why can't he rake up the hedge trimmings right after he trims?" We don't talk to much about the struggles and anger in our marriages. I think because at this point, all that stuff doesn't really matter. There also seems to be a little bit of disrespect if we talk out loud about all the annoying habits and problems our loved one had in life. I read something that said we do the deceased person a disservice if we only remember their positive qualities. We want to remember them in their life at the fullest, faults and all.

  4. Jan,
    Thank you for this comment. I love it! I do want to remember him and his life at its fullest. :)

  5. I love this post. Early on someone told me it was very important to remember ALL aspects, good and bad. I certainly loved my husband with ever fiber of my being and we had a good solid marriage. But of course that is not to say that our marriage was perfect or that there were things that didn't drive me crazy. This same person told me that it is particularly important for the kids to have both perspective. That Emily shouldn't grow up with a skewed perspective of how he was and how our marriage was, that if she viewed everything as "perfect" she would never find anyone to meet those expectations in her own relationships. And that if David grew up thinking his Dad was perfect he would grow up feeling like he could never match up. In the beginning it was hard not to think of just the good, and the kids didn't want to hear it anyhow. Now they are more open to it, David even asks me sometimes what things I didn't like about Daddy - what habits I found annoying!! And I CAN see how important it is to love him for ALL that he was, and just the Dave that was on the pedestal. Thanks for writing this (see you DO still have words to share!!!) xoxo

  6. I am so glad I took the time to read this post, on this day. There are times I feel guilty remembering or discussing the difficult moments. It is the fact that we were able to survive those moments for 32 years that I am most proud of and it is those moments that helped shape the woman that I am today. No there is no happily ever after, but I thank God for choosing to be happy ever forward. One of the last things Eddie requested of me was to be happy, just be happy. So I'm making the choice to be happy, in the midst of my saddness, just to be happy.

  7. I enjoyed reading your post Janine. It gives me a sense of hope for the future while keeping my past. Normalcy is still possible.