Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Love. Life. & Grief.
Interesting, I was just reading through this week's post entries on Widow's Voice. There seems to be a running discussion about dating, a bit of man bashing (I mean that mildly, and with humor) and the usual check In's with the various writers that fill the week. What I recognize is something that has been on my mind lately, and something that one person left a comment about today.
What happens when that which brought us widowed together starts to change?
The comment I'm referring to was about having to always deal with seeing, or reading about, couples everyday. Then suddenly it is all that rave on Widow's Voice as well. I kind of agree with the person who left the comment. I am one of those people that really didn't want to see, or hear, about coupled people more than I really needed to. It hurt so much more to see happy couples move about the world. For so long I tended to separate those who were coupled, with those who were widowed. Those who were just plain single were neutral, and didn't garner too much notice by my grief-o-meter.
Whenever I go on Facebook, or receive a new friend request, the first thing I look at is the relationship status. If they are widowed I feel immediately connected to them, even if I don't know them. If they are coupled, I then take a deep breath before taking a look at their page, and prepare myself to see photos of their seemingly happy life. For some time I even hesitated about changing my own status on Facebook, and hesitated to post any photos of me and Abel. It wasn't just because I didn't want to give up my widowed status out of concern for my relationship with Michael, it was also out of concern with my relationship with all my widowed friends.
I recognize that for the time being, I travel in both worlds, the land of the widowed, and the land of the coupled. I suppose I will always travel in both worlds, as I am learning, having a new relationship in no way buffers the ongoing pain and loss that I feel about Michael. What's odd is that the closer, and stronger, I feel toward Abel, the more intense my grief tends to feel. Now at just over two years out I am not grieving with the same intensity of the initial two years, yet it is always there. So for those that read about my movement through a new relationship, or see a status change in my profile, know that what brought us together continues to bind us. Yet at the same time, I recognize it is something that also puts me into the other category.
I have been wondering if my role on Widow's Voice should be given to someone at an earlier place in their grieving, as I fear that those to seek support there are finding mostly veterans at this point. So many of us have been working through this for quite some time now, and what we write about, or what I write about, is less likely to be as raw, or immediate, than many of our readers might be looking for.
So, for the person who left the comment there expressing his/her discomfort in having to "see" couples, even on Widow's Voice, I completely understand and feel for you. It's what I continue to feel, even as I am involved in a new relationship. For those that come here to read, please know that I am always aware that what I share, or discuss, might begin to separate us into different categories. I get that. When I first began writing I wondered who would come here to read about a gay widower. I found that many chose to come here to read about...me. Are most of my readers widowed? Probably. Are most of my readers gay? Not really. Are most of my readers men? Not so much either. So what I have are people that come here for a common understanding of a similar path we travel on. Some may have arrived at an early place in my journey, some may arrive later.
I don't know what the future holds for me. I only know that for now, I will continue to experience it, and write about it when it feels right. As my blog title says, "Dan in real time - a gay man's journey through love, life and grief." It's all here.