Wednesday, January 26, 2011

            I had a situation the other day that although it was unintentional, caused me much pain and sorrow.  It was innocently done, but it hurt.  I had to ask myself the why of the hurt.
            Kevin died August 5-5 months and 21 days ago.  At times it seems like it just happened; at times I feel like it’s a dream and I’m going to wake up and he’ll be here.  I find myself hearing something outside, look out the window and yes, there is a part of me that still expects to see him walking down the steps, beer in hand.
I have been so very lucky with my friends and family who don’t think I’m some sort of wacked out person for still feeling things like this.  He was a major part of my life and always will be.  
Sometimes the hurt is so deep, so raw, so gaping that I simply can’t talk about it or share it with anyone. That’s when I go within, shut myself away as much as possible and wait to climb out of the hole.   I was finding it harder and harder to climb out though and finally asked for some help.  Let me advise anyone reading this: before you put chemicals in your body, try diet, exercise and homeopathic treatment.  It worked for me. I still tend to cocoon a lot of the time, but that is my way of dealing with this.  I won’t say I’m still not sad because I am.  I still wait for him to come home and I think he will probably always be standing there in the shadows. 
It hit me a couple of weeks ago though that I was living life without Kevin.  I was doing it.  Just like he said I could, should and would.  For once, I’m glad the grumpy Swede was right-again.  So, here I was feeling a little better about myself, my life and knowing that the future would be so much different than I had always imagined, but that I was lucky I had a future.   I was making plans again.  Fixing things at the cabin, getting the inside finished like we wanted to before he got sick, doing more artwork, writing…all of it.  I remembered-out of the blue-the first time he heard “I Hope You Dance” years ago and told me that he thought of me when he heard it.  I’d forgotten that.  He always did have more faith in me than I did.
I work off and on at a small tavern/pub in Jamestown.  I do not bar tend nights-couldn’t handle that-but on Saturdays.  I’ve always liked the day drinkers, aka as the “DD’s”  because they are generally working people just out for a few beers, some conversation and nothing else.  They aren’t looking for their soul mate, they are not forlorn, or sad or angry.  These customers are just plain everyday people looking for a bit of companionship on a Saturday afternoon.  It’s good for me to get out of these woods once in awhile, too.
            I met a family of men several years ago and through the years have developed the utmost respect for them.  The youngest is about my age and the oldest…over 68 I’d say.  Five brothers who run a farm, work full time and treat everyone with respect and dignity.  They come in, buy rounds of drinks, talk, laugh and generally cheer everyone up.  It’s hard to be in a bad mood when the "boy's" are in there.
            I always enjoyed when they came in, until the other day.
These men had met Kevin and although they did not become “friends”, they were friendly with each other.  Being blue collar workers all their lives, they had much in common and I was one of the things.  He loved me, they all liked me and had respect for Kevin and I as a couple.  Kevin didn’t come to the bar very often when I worked because he always said he hated it when the boyfriend hung around all day because the girlfriend was the bartender.  He said if you couldn’t trust the person that loved you, well, you shouldn’t be together.  We never, not once, had an issue with that.  Okay, once it was close, but it was resolved quickly.
Anyway, last week the oldest got it in his head that his one brother and I should start seeing each other.  I was polite, said I was not ready for that and tried to make light of it, hoping he’d drop the subject.  However, he kept it up and kept it up for what seemed like hours. Here were all of my regular customers listening to this and not knowing what to do or say.  One friend did try to lighten things up for me by making a joke but John still wouldn’t drop it. I was trying to bar tend, trying not become upset there, but it was hard and it was totally unfair.  HE DID NOT HEAR ME! I think if he had stopped and really looked at me and my reaction, he may have realized how he was hurting me.
            I came home and cried.  I was mad, I was sad and I wasn’t sure why exactly.  This man was totally in the wrong for assuming I was even interested in his brother.  I do not flirt, never have and it’s just not a “vibe” I give off.  I was told that by a good male friend, so I believe it's true.  So where did this come from?  His mind I think, knowing his brother was single, had mentioned I was a great person, and…well, you can figure out the rest for yourselves.
            Do some people really get over a loved one’s death that quickly?   Are some people so afraid to be alone that they immediately try to replace that person?  For me, that is just wrong! Right now, I can’t imagine another man in my life and I don’t want another one in my life.  It made me sad as well to think that anyone could believe I would or would even suggest such a thing.  It felt disrespectful somehow, to everything Kevin and I had together.  
If  John's girlfriend of 10 years died would he be back out on the circuit in less than 6 months?  What would that say about his feelings for her if he did?  That his love for her could just be shuttled to the back of his mind that quickly?  I try not to judge anyone because we are all different and have various ways of dealing with things, but I was not expecting to be broad-sided like this and I didn’t like it. I would have liked to get to know the family better and spend time with them, but as friends and nothing more.  I couldn’t be comfortable with them now.
            So by doing this, though totally unintentional and without malice, he took something away from me. I was just beginning to trust others again.  Do I have to watch what I say, who I talk to, who I laugh with because it may be misconstrued as something totally different that what it is?  Probably and I’m sad for that and the small minded people who might think that way.
            Perhaps, as well, I am just too sensitive to these things right now and have made much more out of it than I should. I know this won’t be the last time this happens to me. I'm sort of a likable person and there are many lonely people out there.  I will simply say I’m not interested in that sort of relationship and let them make the choice.  They can accept strictly friendship from me and be happy with that or not.
          It still makes me sad though.  It also made the loss of Kevin so much more…there again.  He is not here to protect me from this sort of thing so I have to shelter myself the best I can.  And you know, I know I can do it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry you were upset, Terry. I'm also sorry that this guy did not back off. I think you're right on one level, that he had no bad intentions, and may even have believed that he was being flattering and helpful. It's a lesson to all of us to take our cues from the bereaved person in these situations. As you know, my mom died in May. My dad, at 75, is a sight for sore eyes to the lonely widows market. He was asked out by two women in one day! He did end up going to lunch with one as a friend, but hasn't repeated it; I know that he felt uncomfortable. He said "I already had the best." When he asked me what I thought about him going, I knew that my reaction was very important to him. I know that it is soon, but I also know that he has been lonely; for adult conversation if nothing else. I wouldn't want him to be alone because he thinks he should be, and I know my mom wouldn't either; she said as much. I told him that, of course if she were here we wouldn't be having the discussion; but she is not, and so the decision is his. They were married for fifty years. And so he went, but it wasn't anything like going with her, and so it was disappointing. I think for him, as you said, it was like losing her all over again. Maybe he'll try again at some point; maybe not. What's important is that he knows that, whatever choice he makes, I'm supportive of him. I have private tears also, and would not be thrilled to have a 'girlfriend' for Thanksgiving, for example; but if it happened and he felt right about it I would do my best to adjust. The takeaway is I don't think there is any time frame or any right or wrong, but on the other hand, people have no idea of an individual's time frame; and buffoonish remarks and encounters seem to come with the territory. Please don't mistrust everyone on the basis of this incident. (I know you don't really). You are doing a great job of forging your way through your life and reality as it is now, and you have many good friends and family who make the effort to understand. When that hurt comes, it hurts like HELL, I know.


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