Widowhood Is Not Funny

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Masks We Wear

After awhile, it becomes second nature. Someone says, "So, how are you doing?" And we look them right in the eye and say, "I'm okay. I'm fine."

And like they said in the movie, "The Italian Job," we all know what fine means. It stands for:

That's how we really feel.

So we say we're doing well, but it's a lie. They believe us because they want to; it's easier than having to deal with our pain all the time.

After a couple of years, no one really wants to hear that we're lonely, hurting and scared. This change in our life doesn't just hurt; sometimes, it's excruciating. So, we put our masks on again and say "we're fine."

If we're fortunate, our days are filled with work, and that's good. But we work like fiends during the day, in the hope that we'll be exhausted enough to sleep at night. The images drift in and out--unwanted and painful.

Time doesn't really heal; there's a gaping wound over our hearts, and everybody thinks they have the Band-Aid that will work.

We think constantly of our lost loves, wondering how our lives would be now if we hadn't lost our lifelines.

Of course, that does no good. Instead, we should learn to live again and make them proud of us. But we must begin to live for ourselves.

What do we do about the masks? Personally, I'm not sure. And I'm not sure if time will eventually help form a scab over the wound. Better stock up on Band-Aids, just in case.

So, how are you doing? And don't say you're fine!


  • At 8:18 AM, Blogger mykydsm0m said…

    You know, my husband died 6.30.05 after an 18 month battle with cancer. I have times when I feel like you described, but I also have times when I truly am fine. I have an 8 y.o. daughter, and we're building our new life - the life that's hers and mine, and doesn't include him. It's harsh to think of it that way, but that's how it is. If I allow myself to dwell on the fact that he was here and now he's not, and what that all means, I can get really sad. But I'm a very capable person - I was when he was here, and I still am now - and so fear doesn't play into this (a lot) for me. I'm still sad sometimes - especially when I think about all he's missing with our daughter, and all she will miss because he's not here.

  • At 8:37 AM, Blogger AlannaK said…

    My daughter is getting married later this year and she's not going to have her daddy to give her away. That upsets her a lot. Her brother has agreed to step in, but it's not the same. Plus, she's the last child left at home. My husband and I had plans for when both kids were out living their own lives. Now he's gone and I'm doing all of it on my own. That wasn't part of the plan. It sounds like you've got a handle on things though, and you're a strong person. Things will be hard, but you'll make it. Thanks for posting. Come back and talk anytime.

  • At 5:06 PM, Blogger Charleen said…

    I've lost two husbands and it never does get any easier. The first was over 40 years ago and though time has healed somewhat, the pain surfaces whenever an old song we use to love plays or some smell reminds me of his scent. I sometimes wonder if divorce isn't a kinder ending, not as brutal, not as final....It's the finality that is so awful to me.


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