|Two by Two|
It is hard to always have to create what we need. It becomes a job, an effort. I have been reflecting on these feelings since an encounter with a fellow widow, a mom my age of two daughters, both in college. We have been trying to get together for about a year now. She has been widowed five years to my eight. I was really looking forward to talking to her, especially about her empty-nest experiences and feelings.
This woman was at a recent graduation party I attended and I made a point to set up a "date." She invited me to her home for a pizza dinner. Now her sister overheard us making our plans and "invited" herself to join us. The woman looked about as distressed as I felt with this development - we had wanted an opportunity to talk and relate privately about our lives with someone on our same page. She assured me that she would take care of her sister so we could meet alone.
When I showed up at her home I was actually angry and bitter to see the sister there. I felt irritated and resentful. It took a few moments for me to compose myself and go with the flow so I had a decent evening. Then to top it off, the widow's mom showed up as well! But by that time I was resigned to the situation. Fellow widow and I didn't get the opportunity to share and support one another. The conversation flowing was more general than I hoped. Widow's youngest daughter was there too and we talked a lot about her Freshman year experience.
But what I had really hoped for was some time to let my hair down with another widow and compare notes so to speak. This didn't happen and it made me sad because it is difficult to arrange intimate encounters - they don't occur every day and it seemed that an opportunity had been lost to uplift two widows in need.
This other widow has a very close and supportive family and that was sure evident. I thought that her family was actually kind of intrusive and I had to control myself from speaking my mind. What would I have said? Probably something along the line of people needing to be more considerate of a widow's need to vent with someone who shares her circumstances. I also would have said something about how married people have a built-in intimacy factor, even if they aren't particularly close. Just living with another adult under the same roof provides some level of intimacy. My divorced girlfriend has become so aware of this that it is difficult for her to be in social situations where the wives put down their hubbies. She actually has to leave if this happens.
This whole situation just soured me. We'd all just been together at the graduation party so this was supposed to be a time of private healing for fellow widow and I. Instead, it was just another group event without the one-on-one intimacy I crave and miss in my current life. There was definitely irritation at the sister who is married and invited herself to join us - a sort of mean reaction by me against this woman for not being able to get past what she needed (selfishness).
As I left for the evening, fellow widow whispered to me that we'd go out to dinner next time alone. Hopefully we can manage to get together sooner than the year it took last time.