Musings & Threads. Living in the Netherworld.
Living in the Netherworld
Listening to a sermon about the poor widow’s mite, my mind wandered (as it tends to do during sermons), I thought about what it means to be a widow, it feels like I am in some kind of permanent limbo.
As a widow, I receive few dinner invitations, I rarely entertain, or take the initiative. (To be fair, I moved after my husband died…had I remained in NJ, my social life would be more active.) I don’t know how other guests feel, but I feel like the odd number at the dinner table; the person that people don’t know how to talk to. (Can we ask her about her past? Is it okay to talk about our spouses?)
This is surprising to me because prior to my marriage I had a career and a full social calendar. I would not have described myself as ½ of a whole…I considered our relationship equal parts togetherness and independence.
But somehow, after Jeff died, I became a half. Not necessarily to others, but to myself. It is like standing on the threshold between married and single, I can see both rooms, but don’t know which one I want to enter.
I have observed women who have been widows longer than I. A few have remarried, others live quiet lives, and even fewer live large lives. All seem to be profoundly defined by their loss.
I am not averse to remarrying…but it would have to be just right. I would have to find someone who is a widower; someone who loves his wife as much as I love my husband. At this point in our lives, we have histories that rattle as loudly as tin cans tied to the back of a “just married” car. A relationship would be a tenuous dance indeed, one with intricate steps that will offend everyone at some point.
Any possible relationship is an abstraction, in fact, there are few opportunities. And in this small pool, I would have to complete with casserole toting single women who are not as ambivalent as I am.
So I live in this Netherworld, patching the holes in my life with snippets from others. My daughter is my history and a source of unconditional love. My friends and family are my source of entertainment and unconditional love. My dogs keep me warm at night. Pieces, fragments cover the gaps. I believe that I will always feel like a broken vase that is missing pieces. I fill the holes with other pieces of glass, carefully glued to be able to hold water and flowers, but one that no longer has its same shape.