Monday, February 16, 2009

Good Grief or how to be - or not to be - a good widow.

Valentine's Day is a cruel holiday .... since so many people are not only excluded, they are brutally reminded, just how ALONE they are.

I have been a widow for almost 17 years now, so I have gotten used to it and treat being alone as not only normal, but enjoyable ... at least every now and then... and, anyway, nobody living with cats can ever feel truly alone.

Yet, every year at Valentine's my heart aches for all who are recently widowed, recently divorced, recently brokenhearted.

This year around Valentine's I happened to read this debut book by Lolly Winston about a recently widowed woman.

The book is well written, thoroughly entertaining and .... I learned a lot from it about grief I did not know about.

I learned that for many grief might be a totally overwhelming feeling, causing a total falling apart, a total collapse.

I used to suspect that the high drama of a debilitating depression, of falling apart with grief, was - consiously or not - just for show: a way to get more attention ? more support?

I learned I was wrong. I learned that many, may be most, people are unable to show the world a stiff upper lip and keep their grief under wrap, no matter how hard they try.

Are they more - or less - human for that? Are they more - or less - gracious as widows ?

Thanks, Lolly Winston, for introducing me to grief the way I have never known it. Thanks for letting me understand other grieving people better.


YICA said...

I caught your blog while doing a search on Las Casa de la Selva. I'm going there the last week in May with my Spanish class. I'm the oldest in the class at 54. After viewing your pictures and reading some of your blog I decided to follow your adventures in retirement. I too love Chopin, but not as much as Mozart and have two cats. I admire your courage and sense of adventure. You are living my fantasy life.

Minerva said...

Thanks for your sentiment... just remember that fantasy is not always comfortable and might have to be lived long after it stopped being a fantasy ;-)