WidowerMy grin is thin.
My laughter is skin deep.
Just below the surface
Is this bubbling caldron of tears.
Many triggers cause the volcanic eruption.
Of emotional water supplied by the suppressed
Memories of forty-seven years.

My response to old friends who ask
“How ya’ doin’?”
Is what I know they want to hear,
“I’m Okay.”
They have no way of knowing or understanding
My pain unless they have lost their spouse.
My new friends don’t have to ask, but if they do
They are not surprised or upset by my answer
No matter how lengthy.

I try to explain to old friends.
They may hear the words,
But have no comprehension.
I know I’ll be okay!
But getting there is no fun.

Talking with those who have been widowed for years,
I am encouraged when they say it will get better.
I believe this.
But believing does not removed the pain.
Hard to define the pain.
A lump in the throat
That can’t be swallowed away.
The unsettled stomach that Tums does not help.
Racing thoughts I can’t control.
Dreams. Some good!
Triggered memories are the catalysts.
A song. Passing a favorite restaurant.
Being at a dance and searching the crowd
To see with whom she is dancing.
But she is not there.
An empty car seat. Bed space. Chair.

Her perennial flowers are starting to grow.
About now she would be looking for flats
Of pansies and petunias for me to plant.

I think, “Would she mind if I dance with someone
She’s never met?”
Should I care?
In a way, I guess I care or I wouldn’t ask.
But I have to let go!
Forty-seven years together is the ultimate true bonding.

Does that bond shatter when “Death did us part”?
Am I shackled by that bond?
Writing these words is a catalyst.
Yet I can say I am crying less, months later.
I doubt I am clinically depressed because I see
Bright futures. I function easily. Daily.

Yet that pain! Still there. For now.
I laugh. I do enjoyable things. I socialize.
I’m easing old coupled friends out of my life.
They may or may not understand.
I sincerely hope they do. Or will.

Family is still the rock!
New widowed friends make life a whole lot easier
For obvious reasons.
The pain is still there months later.

George Weir, April 1992

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