Tuesday, March 10, 2015


One issue I've found with having a few people having died on me when they were younger is the issue of doppelgängers - people who freakishly look the same.  I've encountered them for my stepfather as I'm out around my city.  Sometimes the right shape from behind, sometimes a glimpse of a profile.  But I've not yet encountered Ian look-a-likes.

Until that 'what colour is this dress?' thing dominated a large number of corners of the internet.

Someone in a private Facebook group I'm on posted a parody she grabbed of someone else's news feed.

I chuckled because the dress in the picture was a bright pink.

And then I saw the reflection of the pretty much naked man in the mirror next to the dress.

And looked.

And looked again.

Then opened the picture and zoomed in.

They'd obscured their face with their phone and flash while taking the picture, but the person's build and general body shape was pretty much the same as Ian's when he was at the lower end of his fluctuating weight range.

Being triggered by seeing a picture of someone with a very similar body shape, especially when mostly naked, was never a situation I expected to encounter.

The additional reason for a double-take is they had a line of chest-hair right where Ian's open heart surgery scar ran.  And at the usual Facebook feed size, the body-hair looked a bit like a zipper line.

It also doesn't help that it's the sort of thing he would have done (at least prior to meeting me, with the right encouragement from his mates), which made the experience all that more realistic.

It's probably one of the weirdest widow experiences I've had to date.  I spent a good couple of days shaking my head in bewilderment.  It didn't really bring me back to a place of the ache of early grief, but did trigger the memory of my personal hot water bottle, and was again acutely aware of his missing physical presence. 

How can all of this now be sitting in a box on my dresser?

Ian's around the bigger end of his size fluctuations in this photo.  I just like the bunny ears.


  1. As I looked out my office window the other day I saw a man that looked like my husband going into the building next door. He had a familiar black hat, the same style/color coat and the same jeans and boots. He was the same build and height. I pretended it was Michael and I watched him until I couldn't see him anymore. I actually felt relief in my eyes as I looked at him and at the same time I felt intense grief roll through my body. I know just what you mean when you ask, "How can *he* now be sitting in a box on my dresser?" Thank you for sharing this, Kerryl. I didn't mention seeing this man to anyone. It feels good to say it here.

    1. The only way it would be harder to deal with is if the doppelganger worked in that building and you saw him every day, if not more than once.

  2. I have a photo on my laptop, of a guy who is my husband's doppelganger too. I saw it on Pinterest of all places. It blew my mind. I have no idea why I saved the picture. I guess because it *almost* made me feel he was out there somewhere in the world again, instead of in a box on my dresser. Wish fulfillment fantasy much? Maybe.
    Good to know I'm not the only one blindsided this way.

    1. So not what you expect to stumble upon on Pinterest!! I can understand why you saved it.