Friday, February 25, 2011


Hey there-

I have noticed something interesting lately.

I will give you an example.

Yesterday I met a woman. We began talking and the subject of my book came up. Since I am still working on my "elevator speech" I proceeded with my usual babble about being widowed and living beyond grief, yadda, yadda, yadda.....(doesn't that just make one want to run out and buy the book!??!!) Anyway, once the word widow came out of my mouth the familiar head tilt happened. You all know the one I'm talking about. The head tilt that comes with the furrowed brow and is usually accompanied by some sort of sympathetic utterance such as "oh my", or "oh dear".

This particular conversation continued and like so many other times before the subject of my second marriage came up. Once the remarriage statement came out of my mouth the head that had remained tilted straightened, the brow relaxed it's concerned wrinkled look, the eyes lit up, the woman smiled, and said with a sigh of relief; "Oh, that's so great. I'm so happy for you."

I am not picking on this particular lady, who was a very nice and grounded person and I would love it if our paths crossed again. I have had countless conversations that have gone this same way, and I find it interesting, the visible signs of relief I witness when the person hears I am married again. As if the two minutes it took to get from the grief of the young widow thing to the joy of the married again thing was almost unbearable for them.

Why are these people so relieved to find I am remarried? It's interesting. Is the relief for me or for themselves? I don't feel much relief being remarried so it must be for themselves. Is it simply easier to talk about marriage than grief with a stranger? Do they assume that because I am married I am happy again,no longer grieving, I am "over it", I have moved on?

Well, I am married again, and I am mostly happy, but I am not done grieving, nor have I moved on. I have moved forward, accepted the hand I was dealt, and tried to play it as best as I can. But at the end of the day, Bob is gone, which I am sad about, and Mike is here, which I am happy about. Not much relief in that, really, but it is interesting.

Thanks for checking in-



  1. I agree that this is an interesting topic. Mostly, I think that American culture forces us to emphasize winning, success, achievement and happiness. So in that way, a new husband emphasizes the positive, while a dead husband emphasizes the triumph of death over life (aka: losing), and unhappiness. I find myself wanting to talk about the loss of my husband often, while knowing how it can stop a conversation cold. And even though I feel that I have very good perspective on his death and my grief, I think that people who haven't experienced an untimely loss just don't know what to say or don't really want to go to what they perceive of as a dark place. It's scary for them. Now that I have a new relationship, I feel as though it will be even harder for me to talk about my late husband. People will assume that I must be "over" him. Or that his loss is somehow less important to me. You ask why people are relieved that you have remarried. It's a good question. I think that the thought of losing one's spouse is one of the biggest fears that people have. Often, people can't imagine how one could survive such a loss. Perhaps seeing that you have remarried gives them hope that they too could find new happiness after such a great loss. Interesting topic. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Funny you should mention this. I am a fellow widow, yet I am just like the lady that you met in the elevator. Since you have gotten remarried, I, too, consider you to be "over it" (although that is not exactly the word I'm looking for). I am coming up on a year, and you would not believe the overwhelming and paralyzing GUILT that I feel whenever I even THINK about POSSIBLY dating and remarrying. I do not date and I do not actively seek other men to form relationships with because even just the mere consideration overwhelms me with guilt, and I get physically sick from it. I have sentenced myself to a life of sadness and loneliness because I cannot get past this horrible guilt. From one widow to another, please do not take it as an insult, but a compliment instead, because I ADMIRE you for being able to do so, and maybe that is what the lady in the elevator was trying to convey - admiration.