In a number of online boards, one of the most common “insensitive” things said to a widow is something along the lines of “I know how you feel, I got divorced” or “At least you don’t have to deal with seeing him anymore”
Because, yanno, death and divorce are the same thing.
Did you hear the sarcasm?
The anger that comes from that statement?
When you divorce someone, you choose not to be with that person. You end a marriage, choosing that the person you once wanted to be with for the rest of your life is no longer someone you want in your life. You always have the option of texting or calling or seeing or talking to that person. That’s an option, whether it’s an option you choose to exercise or not.
When someone dies, that’s it. You don’t get to hear their voice. You don’t get to send them messages. You hold on to those last few messages from them as if they’re gold. There’s no option to go back. No option to have dinner and rehash that last fight. No option to have make-up sex. Nothing. It’s OVER. DONE. GONE.
When your spouse dies… you lose not only the person, but you also lose who you were… as in I’m not MarkandJane anymore, I’m Jane. The Markand part of me is in the urn on my shelf in my living room. You lose your future as well. You see, I was supposed to have a 50th anniversary with him. I was supposed to be a Grandma to his Grandpa. I was supposed to be Mrs. to his Mr. Claus. I was supposed to travel across Canada with him. I was supposed to have a LIFE with him.
That was taken from me. Ripped away in one tiny sentence. “I want to go home.”
And that was it. It was over. The fight was done. And within 30 hours, I wasn’t a wife anymore, I was a widow. I was an only parent. I was half of the whole I was before he died.
Death cheated me out of a lot of my life plans.
That’s not to say that my life isn’t good – but death took my choice away. Divorce? You make that choice to change your life. When Mark died… I didn’t have a choice.
Death and divorce are completely different entities. The defining point? Choice.
I will forever mourn the loss of my husband, my future with him, our hopes and dreams. Because I didn’t have a choice in the matter.