You know, it’s interesting; I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Hollywood has the wrong idea about widows. They treat it like it’s this glamorous thing: “We have this love story to write, and we need this tragic woman character who’s going to meet this man…I know! We’ll make her a widow!”
I was watching “It’s Complicated” the other day, with Maryl Streep. Mary Kay Place has a small role as one of her girlfriends and they say to her “You’re so lucky John is dead, so you don’t ever have to run into him.” That really pissed me off. Oh yeah, she’s lucky. I wouldn’t wish widowhood on my worst enemy. They SO have the wrong idea.
They don’t ever show the real “widowness” of the widow. It’s always just the set-up. It’s just the part of her that makes her tragic and somehow more appealing to the new man. The reality is, how could that be appealing to any man?
I always gave Sawan lots of credit for loving me, because I’m a difficult woman to love. I told him regularly that I was thankful that he loved me because I knew how difficult I was. I was strong willed and not teachable and independent and I came with lots of baggage. I used to make jokes about my “baggage,” that if I had to have some I liked to picture it as being cute little suitcases…probably polka dotted with my initials monogrammed on them. Now add to it that I’m a widow…and I think there’s no suitcase big enough to hold this baggage. I come with so much baggage now that it would maybe fit on a barge, and maybe the tugboat that pushes it around is cute?
I wonder how any man could feel like he was anything other than second choice? I actually had someone tell me in the first few months, in a very sweet way, trying to comfort me, “Don’t worry, you’re going to meet the love of your life.” I didn’t know how to respond. I already did meet the love of my life.
So I try and do this: I try to stay away from the “hero worship” as I’ve heard it called, the remembering only the best things about him and pretending like he could do no wrong. Because the reality is, I probably will meet someone else someday and I don’t want to constantly be comparing him to Sawan, and there’s no way that a real person can measure up to the fake person that I could make Sawan be in my mind. Just having them measure up to the real person that he was is going to be hard enough. He was an amazing man, he loved me well, and he could parallel park like nobody’s business.
I suppose no one really wants Hollywood to make a story about actual widowhood, because it would be incredibly boring. Cry, grieve, watch TV to try to get your mind off of crying and grieving, eat sliced turkey standing in front of the fridge, cry, grieve, repeat. And also, I have never been less glamorous than I am now. I just bought my 3rd pair of black sweatpants.