Author Topic: The elasticity of time  (Read 538 times)

Bunny

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  • widowed 2012
The elasticity of time
« on: August 30, 2017, 12:07:53 PM »
Was at a party this weekend. My bf's friends were throwing it, but there is a bit of overlap between his friends and mine. I said hi to a man whose done a few plumbing jobs for me in the past and he asked- how do I know you? I told him my full name- he knew my husband- and there was an instant look of recognition. Then he asks- what's it been, 10 years? (referring to my husband's death). I tell him it's been 5 years and two months. His date cringes and I try to lighten the mood with a bit of gallows humor by telling her it's a common problem, people have trouble remembering who I am without the dead guy next to me. Which is true- it's gotten quite comical for me really.

But I ignored the real reason for her cringe because that part was too tender for my heart to properly address. Just the other day I was texting with his best friend and he said- Half of the people don't remember shit about us a few years after we die. I guess that's true, even for someone like my husband, who was known and loved by so many. Over the years I've gone through the dueling phases of fear of forgetting and the desire to forget. But my motivations were based on love and pain. I guess it finally sunk in that for a lot of other people, even those who knew him, he's now just another dead guy from somewhere in the past.

I mean, let's be honest- do I remember the day and year my friends, or my friend's parents/siblings all died? Kinda. Sorta. It's funny, I've always been okay with the the idea of being forgotten after death. But my husband cared about his legacy. Maybe that's why it's making me kinda sad.
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.

TornApart

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Re: The elasticity of time
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 02:37:38 PM »
Oh wow. Hadn't realised this. True. Spins my head.
"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." Kahlil Gibran

oneoftwo

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Re: The elasticity of time
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 02:43:18 PM »
"people have trouble remembering who I am without the dead guy next to me"
yes, my guy was gregarious, and the neighbors would go so far as invite us over when his parents were visiting me, even after he died- they only invited us if his parents where here.

For some reason this reminded me that I got a phone call years later on my #  (which used to be his) and the elderly gentleman asked for my husband. He'd done some work for him in the past and the man wanted him to come do more. So I explained that wasn't possible- the gentleman was so kind,  "he was a great guy"
It was like a poke with a red hot stick

Mizpah

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Re: The elasticity of time
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 02:44:03 PM »
Back in the early days, I would get really upset about this, and kept saying that I didn't want time to keep going on, because time was like the wind, erasing his footprints in the sand, and that eventually you wouldn't even know he'd been here.  His parents and siblings and I remember.  And that is all.  When they die and I die, there will be nothing of him here but a gravestone and a plaque on a bench in a park in the City.  But it no longer upsets me, somehow. 

(Your joke is absolutely hilarious.  Sick, dark, widow humor.  I would've laughed so hard.)
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Euf

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Re: The elasticity of time
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2017, 04:48:34 PM »
Quote
Over the years I've gone through the dueling phases of fear of forgetting and the desire to forget. But my motivations were based on love and pain. I guess it finally sunk in that for a lot of other people, even those who knew him, he's now just another dead guy from somewhere in the past.

No words of wisdom here.  Just want to say I hear you.

Jim is remembered by a few but basically forgotten by most.  I'm OK with being forgotten too. Maybe this is just how the ones left behind feel.  The dead were so important to us that is seems strange other people don't think of them as often as we do. But I don't care if no one remembers me.

Except maybe as a footnote. I assume that when I die, a few people might think about Jim.  "Oh Yeah, that was Jim's wife that died."  I don't care if they talk about me, but it is nice to think they might tell a few "Jim" stories and remember him.

I guess it hardly matters at that point, so for now, I choose to believe that is how it will be.

tybec

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Re: The elasticity of time
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2017, 07:55:57 AM »
Oh, Bunny!

This is so part of of widowhood.  5 yr. 8 months.  I get it.  Thanks for sharing this.

Bunny

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  • widowed 2012
Re: The elasticity of time
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 11:51:58 PM »
Thank you, everyone, for your responses. As usual you all remind me that though we walk our widowed path alone, you are all there as my fireflies, fluttering around me as points of light in that darkness.

A little update: this weekend is the car show my husband and I started 17 years ago; his car club continues to have it but I no longer work it and rarely attend. I did go to a pre-party they threw last night though. My bf took me because he is a good, secure man- able to surround himself with people who absolutely adored my husband and with The Widow on his arm. Anyway- after last week, it was a nice balm to be around people who love and remember him, who still feel his absence. I was introduced to a man at the bar who, when he found out who I was, enthusiastically told me about doing work for my husband on the show in the early years. I talked to him about it with happy tears running down my face.

It was an emotionally exhausting evening but I'm glad I went. And who knows, Euf- maybe he'll tell people tomorrow about running into T's wife and they can share some stories about him. Yes, it is a good thought, isn't it?
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.

Adley

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Re: The elasticity of time
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 06:16:29 PM »
Bunny, sounds like you have a good man there. I want to share something that this reminds me of, although I'm not sure why it reminds me. A month or so before we found out my wife was sick, some team members of mine at work had a little "fuzz up" in the woods. One had ignored procedure standards and one had taken it a little too seriously. They were both a little wrong but I'd work with either of them again. One was ready to run the problem all the way up the chain of command but the team lead at the time wisely nipped it in the bud and had everyone on the team vent there gripes in turn. When it was my turn I just said "one day this whole job is just gonna be a little blip in our memories, let's make it a good one". Well for some reason that struck everybody funny, and they all laughed and some commented " little blip in our memory?". Now, years later, I have run into a few people who weren't there and threw the quote at me. I don't know why that minor comment outlived the actual event. I guess because it was true. The job is done, folks moved on, and it was nothing but a hiccup to most.
   Our own personal tragedy has been much more than a hiccup. But not really to our associates, acquaintances, and coworkers. Their minds do ping us with that particular event, put it in storage and use it as (subconsciously) a standard to judge how we are doing, but it does not define their reality as it does ours. But I bet they identify us with that tragedy forever, in the minds of most it will become a defining characteristic of who we are, something they might mention to someone before they introduce us. It's a blip to most, but maybe a blip significant enough to mention.
  Thanks for posting, it actually helped me to revisit memory lane!
Here's to my pretty young wife     sleepin amongst the stars           now they say what's hers is mine but I know what's ours is ours

kjs1989

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Re: The elasticity of time
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2017, 03:42:56 PM »
Bunny, I loved your post.

That has been so hard for me, too, knowing everyone for the most part has moved on now at five years, and the kids and I are still here wallowing in the hollow void left by one very incredible human being. I want to say and remind people... do you remember, do you REALLY REMEMBER  what a dynamic, remarkable guy he was? He was a beloved boss to over 100 employees, a loyal friend to a dozen or so individual guys who referred to him as their "best friend" to me, and a respected leader in the business and civic community. There were over1000 people at his funeral.

And now, like you, I find myself wanting to move forward from the pain, but simultaneously  wanting to hang on to him and the bittersweet memories for dear life. And so true, it sucks to know that more and more with time, he is becoming "just another dead guy" to the vast, vast majority of those people who grieved at his funeral.

I am very thankful for the handful of very close friends who never cringe when I say his name or rehash a shared memory. I am thankful when they, too, say his name and offer their own precious recollections.These are true friends.